I recall that he started his Beer Hunter series by introducing himself by name and apologising for the fact that he was neither the same pigmentation nor the same shape as the other Michael Jackson viewers might have been expecting.
He was probably the first bloke in modern times to try to level the playing field a bit between beer and wine, and show that beer was more than something to simply throw down your neck without a second's thought. As such, he was certainly inspirational to me when setting up York Beer Shop, since our aim then was to try to get drinkers to view beer a bit more seriously. I used his early books as kind of guides as to what I should try to stock, since overseas breweries were a bit of a mystery to me back then. They still are in quite a few instances.
The huge growth in interest in quality international beers over the last 20 years can be largely attributed to his wide knowledge, informed opinions
and highly readable books and journalism.
I reckon I owe him big time.
York Beer & Wine Shop