Naturally, almost every single beer blogger has written a piece about Michael Jackson after his sad and untimely death late on Wednesday. All of us have been influenced by his love of beer and all of us own many of his books. The book that first got me hooked on beer was Michael's 1977 edition of The World Guide To Beer. Thirty years later this book is still captivating and essential reading. I also have The Beer Companion, and a few versions of his Pocket Beer Book. I cherish these books and will always do so.
What Michael Jackson did for me and countless others is open eyes to different beer styles and beers from other countries. It made me want to seek out all of these beer styles and it gave me the knowledge to search for the best beers wherever in the World I might go. Michael was lucky enough to taste thousands upon thousands of beers, and it made me jealous. He wrote tasting notes on all these beers (or appeared to in the name of professionalism and journalism) and that was good because he was educating beer lovers like me.
Let's all raise a glass to Michael Jackson; the original scooper and rater, who of course was much more than that.