Beer Connoisseur Michael Jackson

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/14124170/14124139" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Beer expert Michael Jackson died last week. We remember the man whose mission was to elevate beer to the same level of sophistication as wine.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

No one would ever confuse beer expert Michael Jackson with the pop star of the same name. But the rumpled man, with the salt and pepper beard and moustache, was a king in his field, too. Jackson was known for touting the many charms of beer in books and on television. The beer hunter, as he was called, died last week in London. Jackson worked as a beer critic for more than 30 years. He told this program in 1994 that if you appreciate wine, you can appreciate beer.

Mr. MICHAEL JACKSON (Beer Expert): If you take a glass of wine, there are hundreds of flavor and aroma compounds in that glass of wine. But if you take a glass of beer, there are equally hundreds of flavor and aroma compounds in that. So the two products are equally complex. There are styles of beer that are as diverse as Cabernet Sauvignon, a champagne and a (unintelligible).

HANSEN: Michael Jackson's books, "World Guide to Beer" and "The Great Beers of Belgium," introduced many varieties of the ancient brew to the global market, including the United States.

Jackson also produced a TV documentary series called "The Beer Hunter." He gave speeches and held seminars all over the world in service to the beverage he love.

Jackson recognized the risks between beer lovers and enophiles but he believed that wine and beer were making peace with one another.

Mr. JACKSON: Wine, which used to be the drink of the elite, became the drink of the middle classes. And so wine extended its range down market and beer has moved up market. And they met in the middle, or are in the process of meeting in the middle. So I think we have a democratization of drink.

HANSEN: Cheers. Beer critic and writer Michael Jackson. He died Thursday in London at the age of 65.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.