Michael Jackson: the Beer Hunter

Michael Jackson enjoying a pint

Michael Jackson, whose death in 2007 is still mourned today, was the best known beer writer the world has known. This site remains not simply as a tribute to his work, but as an archive we hope will serve each new generation of beer drinkers. Thus we let him introduce himself just as he first did here in 1998 and many other times to many other audiences:

"Hello, my name is Michael Jackson. No, not that Michael Jackson, but I am on a world tour. My tour is in pursuit of exceptional beer. That's why they call me the Beer Hunter.

"I've learned a lot since my World Guide to Beer was published in 1977 and since public television first aired the Beer Hunter series. I'm here to share some of that knowledge with you, to tell you stories about breweries, to teach you about tasting beer and to help you understand what it means to be part of a beer culture.

I want you to think about every beer you put to your lips. Very often I'm just walking along . . . and somebody wants to stop and shake hands and say 'Hi, you introduced me to that really strange Belgian beer and my life's never been the same since.' Maybe the next time it will be you."

About Beer Hunter

Michael Jackson and Real Beer collaborated to create this site in 1998 and continued to update it until Jackson died in 2007. It incorporated articles from Jackson's archives as well as newly written ones.

Although Jackson was well known for writing about whisky as well as about beer, the focus here is on beer. His books sold more than three million copies. They included The World Guide to Whisky, The World Guide to Beer, and Michael Jackson's Beer Companion.

His documentary film series, The Beer Hunter, was shown on television in ten countries, and his articles appeared in newspapers and periodicals worldwide, including The Washington Post, Playboy, and Geo.

In the United States, he was the first winner of the achievement award of the Institute for Brewing Studies. He was elected the first chairman of the guild of Beer Writers in Britain, and was also been honored in France, Belgium, and Germany.

He lectured widely, from Cornell University to the Suntory Food Business School in Tokyo.

His legacy is bigger still. The executors of his estate donated the contents of his office to Oxford Brookes University Library, and The Michael Jackson Collection includes 1,500 books from his personal library on beer and whisky and 300 copies of his own books. There is also considerable research material, including the contents of 29 filing cabinets and 26 linear feet of archival material, available to visiting scholars.