Farewell Michael Jackson — the beer hunter

The sudden death last week of English beer guru Michael ‘the beer hunter’ Jackson prompted memories of his visit to Australia a few years back.

He’d been brought here to judge at the International Beer Awards in Ballarat.

Michael’s fellow judges — and I was one of them — quickly learned that he held little truck for bland or boring brews. While we slogged on through the lager classes Michael held court with the press.

After the judging Michael visited Canberra, hosting a well-attended tasting at Vintage Cellars Woden. To his surprise and delight one of his old journalist mates — Bill Goodall, long-serving Canberra Times Sunday editor – showed up.

But it was a visit to our Wig & Pen brewpub that finally put a smile on Michael’s face. No amount of feting, it seems, could match the simply pleasure of drinking beautifully made, interesting ales. It was a highlight of this trip to Australia, he said.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007