Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

September 4, 2007

Beer Issues:

A Eulogy In Beer

A tribute to the passing of a true beer pioneer and champion: Michael Jackson.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
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The second beer book I ever read, after Charlie Papazian’s The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing, was Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion. This book introduced me to the seemingly endless variety of beer styles across the world. It got me hooked on Belgian beers, old ales, IPAs, dopplebocks, and imperial stouts. In short, it was a huge influence on me becoming the Beer Dork that I am today.

Michael Jackson's Beer CompanionAnd that is what Michael Jackson did. He got people interested in drinking and appreciating good beer, long before the idea of craft brewing existed and the only import you could get was Heineken. Blech.

I never met Michael Jackson. I had a chance to a few years ago at a Goose Island beer tasting event at Sheffield’s in Chicago. He was there to sign copies of his books, and he and Randy Mosher were standing in the corner of Sheffield’s back room drinking Bourbon County Stout and giggling like schoolgirls. But I never walked up to him and said, “Hi, I’m Eddie Glick and I would like to thank you for all the great work you’ve done over the years to promote craft beer.”

I’d like to say I don’t know why I never tried to meet him, but I do know why: I’m a bit of a paranoid asshole, and the thought of talking to a beer giant like Michael Jackson scared me shitless. I was afraid I’d sound like a moron, or worse, a gushing fan, and that was enough to keep me from meeting a true beer luminary. Instead I hunkered in the corner and drank my Goose Island beers and pretended I didn’t know or care who this Michael Jackson dude was.

And now he’s gone. We’ve lost a great champion in the cause of beer gaining the respect it is due. I noticed much of the mainstream media pretty much ignored his passing, which is, I guess, a bit fitting, since he could at times be highly critical of their coverage of quality beer. Well, fuck them, I say. We don’t need the vapidity that is the mainstream media to eulogize one of our own. And we can do it in a way that he’d appreciate more, anyway. So raise a glass, fellow beer dorks, and when you sip, make sure you silently remember that the quality craft or import beer you hold in your hand is there in no small part because of Michael Jackson.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...