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Preview: Comments on Seen Through a Glass: Michael Jackson

Comments on Seen Through a Glass: Michael Jackson





Updated: 2017-09-29T09:56:22.479-04:00

 



Mr Jackson believed it was "crucial to go to the p...

2007-09-06T17:53:00.000-04:00

Mr Jackson believed it was "crucial to go to the place where beer or whisky is made to understand it."

Having gone to many places where beer is brewed--always with one or more of his books in hand--I most certainly agree.

I always considered it an honor when I found something he had not (yet, anyway) written about. Like the Okocim porter on tap in Krakow in 1994, or the Pschenichne hefeweizen in Ukraine. Of course, only rarely did I get to feel I was in on something he had missed. He really was the "prohpet of good beer" (as Eric Asimov said for the NYT).



Lew - great tribute.I heard the news yesterday (do...

2007-09-02T03:41:00.000-04:00

Lew - great tribute.

I heard the news yesterday (down here in Sydney). I am sad. I haven't spoken much to Michael for several years, but during the time that I was actively writing he was an inspiration and a mentor. Never too busy to take a call or have a chat. And frankly I think he helped me find my footing in the beer community. One of my best stories was about what it was like to watch MJ enthrall an audience during one of his tastings -- that's my lasting impression of him, sharing his passion and enthusiasm for beer with others. He shall be missed.

-Ben Myers



When I read the news about the passing of Michael ...

2007-09-01T23:32:00.000-04:00

When I read the news about the passing of Michael Jackson, I, like all of us who had the distinct pleasure of encountering Michael in one form or another in our lives, felt the deep sadness and pain of a loss of such a special soul. Through his work, his words, and his actions, MJ touched and inspired the lives of more people than I think even he could every fathom. And I think, in typical Jacksonian fashion, Michael would be humbled by it, and would have us convinced that we were the ones that touched him. I have been reading the tributes and stories of those who MJ has touched, and it seems the one constant, is the fact that Michael Jackson, simply put, was a decent, caring, honest human being. He had a very special gift of bringing out the best of people, and making you feel instantly comfortable and at ease with him. We all know MJ was as human as the rest of us, but it is clear that he has left a mark on this earth, and that his too brief time spent here was to do good.

Like others, most of my experiences with MJ were beer related, but I did have one unique encounter that just a select group of people in every country MJ visited had. To those who did not know who MJ was, this encounter would have been nothing out of the ordinary, routine at best. But to someone who loved, respected, and admired Michael and his work, it was a memory that would last a life time. A few years back I was working for what was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service. As an Immigration Inspector, I had literally inspected hundreds of thousands of people over the years seeking entry into the United States, including dozens of "celebrities" from every field you could imagine. I have inspected some pretty "important" and "famous" people, but being a die hard beer lover, which of course translates into one of the thousands of MJ's fans, I often wondered what it would be like to inspect the Beer Hunter. He had frequently traveled to my port of entry, and the odds were he and I had been in the same inspection hall on more than one occasion, but I never inspected him. The beer gods must did me a favor on day, because one evening, up walks MJ to my booth, presenting himself, along with his UK passport for admission to the United States.

I started my inspection with "I know you, you are Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter." He smiled, and seemed a bit amused to be greeted to the United States with instant recognition. It was GABF time, and Denver, CO was his final destination, so there was no reason to ask him: "What is the purpose of your trip to the United States"? I told MJ that it was a pleasure to have meet and chatted with him at a beer dinner years earlier, and to have listened to him lecture at on a few occasions at some of his tastings. I of course told him how much I admired his work, and he thanked me very genuinely, for my support of him. I inquired as to any projects in the work. He informed me that whiskey, not beer, was interesting the market at the moment, and that he had a book on whiskey in the works. I thanked him again, for opening my eyes to the wonders of the beer world, and all its treasures. MJ left me with, "It is like when soldiers went off to war. When they came home, the farmer's daughter was just not the same." We shook hands, and he was off to judge at another GABF.

Thank you for everything you gave us all Michael, and when my time comes, I hope you have the pints ready, and we can share one again.

"just a drinker" who owes his love and passion for beer all to you.



RIP Mike(Not that Mike, but to drinkers far and wi...

2007-09-01T21:13:00.000-04:00

RIP Mike(Not that Mike, but to drinkers far and wide THE Michael Jackson.)



Nicely done as usual Lew. It's very sad anyone had...

2007-09-01T18:57:00.000-04:00

Nicely done as usual Lew. It's very sad anyone had to write that piece but Im glad it was you who did. It will help me remember the man as a real person and not just as an Icon - The King of Beer.
Peace, Dave K



Wow. Yesterday a champion was plucked from our bat...

2007-08-31T17:32:00.000-04:00

Wow. Yesterday a champion was plucked from our battlefield.
Ron and I felt the tremors almost immediately.
Words are insufficient, especially in light of the fact that this champion of beer and craft was also a master of words and emotions. One on one, his tales turned on a dime and bubbled with a joy of life and its blessing of camaraderie.
If you doubt for a second the impact Michael Jackson had on the beer industry, we submit this testimony.
When Michael was hosting a beer tasting at Washington DC’s famous Brickskeller in 1988, Ron was there as novice homebrewer seeking to learn more about his new-found passion of beer. He carried with him two copies of Michael’s Pocket Guide to Beer. While Michael was signing them, Ron apparently shared with him the dreams of two best friends who aspired to enjoy the best beers and so Michael wrote, “Dear Ron, Brew good beer, get a pub! Cheers, Michael Jackson”
Think about Victory Brewing Company now.
It was not even a single letter on business plan then and its principals were then a financial analyst and an art director.
Do you not believe that his honest suggestion worked?
If you have ever savored a Victory beer and admired the flavor as a wholly new, wholly pleasurable experience, you can credit Mr. Jackson. He still remains our root inspiration, having liberated his inner beer geek and dedicated his life to the exploration of great beer flavor and culture way back in the dark ages of 1976.
Of course his writings on beer inspired the grassroots British consumer awakening that became Campaign for Real Ale in the 80’s.
Similarly, American homebrewers became infused with this same rebellious spirit he ignited against flavorless industrial beers and put their lives into the craft of quality beermaking on through the 90’s.
In 1996 Ron and I joined those ranks and fulfilled Mr. Jackson’s entreaty.
Now, here on August 30, 2007, the day after his passing, we are challenged to replace our deep sadness with more positive endeavors to continue his inspiration.
We settled on something direct and immediate, much like the man himself.
For the next 11 days (the number of years since he challenged us to open a pub and we did) we will be setting aside 11% of our daily restaurant beer revenues to donate to a cause in his name. Maybe it will be Parkinson’s Disease Foundation or maybe our saddened beer community will pool resources to make a lasting tribute like a museum or a scholarship. Who knows at this point?
What we do know is that though no amount of money can buy the impact and inspiration this great man had on many, our collective contributions can most certainly fund hope and inspiration for those stricken with Parkinson’s or even those stricken with the burning desire to share great beer with the world.
Michael, we remained committed to inspire, as you had done so graciously yourself. As the bubbles rise perpetually from our glass, may you too come to find rest on the pillowy froth of sublime content.
Lew, you shared a great story that brought us some of light-hearted comfort that we new the man for. Thanks for that.

- Bill & Ron
Victory Brewing Company



Very well said Lew. Thanks for sharing the wonder...

2007-08-31T16:54:00.000-04:00

Very well said Lew. Thanks for sharing the wonderful words with us all.

Todd Ashman



Wow!Nothing goes better with great beer than great...

2007-08-31T16:08:00.000-04:00

Wow!

Nothing goes better with great beer than great conversation. Mr. Jackson spent a lifetime helping us find the great beer, but his loss will make it less likely we will find the great conversation.

Perhaps I'll go home tonight and open a Miller Lite just so I can be reminded how much people like Michael Jackson have impacted my taste... and my life.



Hi Lew,Great man, sad day, but good writing, which...

2007-08-31T12:04:00.000-04:00

Hi Lew,

Great man, sad day, but good writing, which he would have appreciated.

I propose a toast to MJ. "Heaven is now going to have to improve the quality of its beer."

Larry Bennett



Memorable recollections about one outstanding writ...

2007-08-31T11:07:00.000-04:00

Memorable recollections about one outstanding writer by another. One cannot overstate the influence Mr. Jackson has had from his great insight, talent, and timing. Thanks for the personal touch, Lew!

Bruce Brode
Los Angeles, CA



I never met Michael...but, like many folks, I felt...

2007-08-31T09:32:00.000-04:00

I never met Michael...but, like many folks, I felt like I knew him.

I'll be sure and hoist a pint (or three) to the beer hunter this weekend.

Thanks for a great article!



Great article Lew. Michael was a great inspiration...

2007-08-31T07:46:00.000-04:00

Great article Lew. Michael was a great inspiration to me and even played a part in my "going pro" many years ago. He will be missed.

Jim-DuClaw



Hi Lew,I liked your story very much as it displaye...

2007-08-31T07:10:00.000-04:00

Hi Lew,

I liked your story very much as it displayed moments of a great life.

Cheers,
Rich



Like the lace left over in the glass of last night...

2007-08-30T22:48:00.000-04:00

Like the lace left over in the glass of last night's final Saison, he's gone but remembered with a smile. What a great man, and, like you, Lou, I probably owe my love of beer to him. I've poured a fine beer or three this evening in his memory.



Lew,That was a very nice tribute. I'm jealous that...

2007-08-30T21:05:00.000-04:00

Lew,

That was a very nice tribute. I'm jealous that I never met the Man.



I am relatively new to the brewing scene and I hav...

2007-08-30T20:45:00.000-04:00

I am relatively new to the brewing scene and I have to say that I loved all of Michael's writings in All About Beer, and I have scoured his books. It is incredibly unfortunate to lose such a wonderfuly gifted and warm soul.

I have to be selfish here, I made it a point that sometime in my life I would meet Michael. Alas, it was not to be.

We will miss you Michael! There will always be a pint for you in our home!



Every craft beer lover, thanks you Mr. Jackson, wh...

2007-08-30T19:39:00.000-04:00

Every craft beer lover, thanks you Mr. Jackson, wherever you are...the last time I saw him was right where this picture was taken, Monk's cafe. It was his beer dinner night at Monk's in early spring. Ok well I wasn't at the actual dinner, but I went in the bar right after it had wrapped up, for some DeRanke. I never met him myself and I didn't want to bother him, as he looked somewhat exhausted. Later I was standing outside the bar on the phone, as Fergie walked him out to his car. I overheard Fergie telling him, "thanks again Mr. Jackson." I say this with upmost respect to the man. Thank you for your dedication to better beer Michael!!!



Here's hoping there are no hangovers in heaven. Go...

2007-08-30T19:34:00.000-04:00

Here's hoping there are no hangovers in heaven. Godspeed to MJ. And excellent piece, Lew. Really great.



Well put.Truly a loss to this world.

2007-08-30T17:46:00.000-04:00

Well put.

Truly a loss to this world.



A very sad day--the shock is still settling in. T...

2007-08-30T16:57:00.001-04:00

A very sad day--the shock is still settling in. Thanks for your thoughts.



My glass will be raised to you tonight, old friend...

2007-08-30T16:57:00.000-04:00

My glass will be raised to you tonight, old friend.



He was truely a great inspiration. He will be miss...

2007-08-30T16:05:00.000-04:00

He was truely a great inspiration. He will be missed.
For you, Michael, a full pint of barleywine tonight.

Beth Z



To be sure, many pints and nosing glasses will be ...

2007-08-30T14:36:00.000-04:00

To be sure, many pints and nosing glasses will be raised high this day. I had the pleasure to meet MJ a few times, but I remember the first fondly. It was at the 1997 GABF, at a pre-party. I was minding my own business, drinking a beer when I turned and there was MJ! As if he were seeking ME out! And then he spoke and asked ME an all important question! I remember it like it was yesterday. He said,"Do you know what time the bus will return to the hotel!?" He asked ME a question! And my response was, "Uh, I'm not sure, I walked, I didn't know there was a bus!"

RIP MJ!

Bob R in OKC



It is a very sad day indeed. I never had the pleas...

2007-08-30T14:07:00.000-04:00

It is a very sad day indeed. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but he has had a profound influence on my life. I still have my old battered and bent copy of his Pocket Guide to Beer. I always enjoyed reading his articles and books, not to mention watching the Beer Hunter video countless times. I will raise a glass or two in his memory.

Thank you Mr. Jackson, you will be missed. And thank you Lew for the, as always, well written article.



Well said, Lew. This is a very sad day. Cheers to...

2007-08-30T13:31:00.000-04:00

Well said, Lew. This is a very sad day. Cheers to Michael Jackson.