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Michael Remembered
In Memoriam : 1942–2007
Michael Jackson, best known as the "Bard of Beer" and the world's leading authority on beer and whisky, died at his home in London in the early morning of August 30, 2007. The cause of death was determined to be heart failure. He was discovered by his housekeeper in his bathroom. Mr. Jackson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease complicated by adult diabetes.

Michael was the first journalist to take the subject of beer to an art form. His early work rhapsodized the pub culture found in the great beer bars of England and heralded the existence of the classic beers of the world. These works and many more to come during his prolific life leave an extraordinary legacy. To know beer is to read Michael Jackson.

Michael's relationship with the Celebrator began when founding publishers Bret and Julie Nickels contacted him about the magazine's impending launch in January, 1988. His first contribution to Celebrator was an interview with Bret and his attendance at a beer dinner hosted by Klaus Lange of the Seacliff Café & Vest Pocket Brewery in San Francisco.

The inset photo was the cover of the June/July, 1988 issue. In that issue is a picture of Michael surrounded by early beer pioneers from the San Francisco bay area attending that dinner including Mark Carpenter, Anchor Brewery; Judy Ashworth, Lyon's Brewery of Dublin; Steve Norris, Home Brew Company, Brendan Moylan, then with an import company; Ken Vermes, Scottish & Newcastle; Ed Chaney, beer distributor and various Celebrator staffers including Bret and Julie.

Michael's comments on the dinner give insight into his manner and passion for beer:

"It exceeded my expectations of a very special and spectacular meal. The idea of using beer as both an accompaniment and ingredient in food is something I've been trying to promote myself."

We at Celebrator Beer News are saddened by the loss of such an influential and forceful presence in the good beer movement. He brought a journalist's energy and ethic and a poet's heart to the subject of beer. The good beer story started with Michael Jackson and his legacy will be inherent in all that is to come from those inspired by his great work. We at Celebrator, and all those who love great beer, have lost a great friend and champion.

Michael poses for Celebrator's June/July 1988 cover

A publicity photo of Michael at home done for the Discovery Channel

Another publicity photo of Michael at home done for Simon & Schuster

A publicity photo that Michael hated because in newspapers it looked like he was pregnant... he's actually resting on a globe

An early blind tasting of Anchor Christmas beers held at the Vintage Cellar Wine Bar in Hayward, California in 1988 (now the Bistro). Pictured from left: Michael Jackson, Tom Dalldorf pouring, Sean Donnelly and Jon Paxman (brewers), Bret Nickels (hidden), Judy Ashworth of Lyon's Brewery and Jim Parker, beer writer. The '86 came in first and the '81 was second much to Michael's surprise!

Brewer Paul Holborn of Bolt Brewing in Fallbrook, California offers Michael a Palomar Porter at the first brewpub in Southern California

An early picture of Michael with Lou and the late Steve Harrison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

Michael enjoys a fresh one from Roger Lind of Lind Brewing Company in San Leandro at the AHA Conference in Oakland, California in 1989

An early San Diego food and beer experience with (from left): Tom Dalldorf, Celebrator; Michael Jackson; Rich Link, Celebrator; Mark Allen, Anderson Valley Brewing Co.; Skip Viriligo, AleSmith Brewing and the manager of Montana's Restaurant. Judging from Dalldorf's hair it must have been about 1993...

A youthful Brendon Moylan watches as Michael pours from magnum. Date and place unknown but could be Marin Brewing in Larkspur, California...

On the road in San Diego in what would become known as the 'Iron Liver Tour.' Michael and Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf spent two weeks on the road trying to taste beer from every brewery then operating in California. In various areas, one brewery would host and three to six others would attend ⤔ each getting a shot at having the Bard of Beer taste their beers and write about them. After the extensive tour of California, Michael flew off to do the same in Oregon suffering near hospitalization in Eugene. The publisher never put his work in print...

Charles and Rose Ann Finkel brought Michael Jackson to Seattle in 1978. Here is a photo of the Finkel's daughter Amy with Rose Ann and Michael in the garden at their home. (Photo courtesy of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel)

Michael's first visit to the offices of Merchant du Vin in Seattle. There would be many more! (Photo courtesy of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel)

Michael (holding the umbrella) at his 'local' then a Young's pub with Charles (standing) and Rose Ann (seated) and friends (Photo courtesy of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel)

Michael working on his traveling typewriter at the Merchant du Vin offices in Seattle (Photo courtesy of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel)

Michael and Charles at an early event (Photo courtesy of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel)
National Toast to Michael
  Further Remembrances








» "The Unique Michael"




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