A new book is being released on March 27th featuring writings about beer and whisky to honour the memory of the inimitable Michael Jackson.
Many beer lovers considered Michael as one of the foremost authorities on the topic – while an equal number of whisky drinkers considered Michael to be THE authority on whisky. Michael was arguably the most influential writer on beer and whisky in recent memory.
The book is being published by Classic Expressions and includes contributions from contributions by Stephen Beaumont, Julie Bradford, Dave Broom, Ian Buxton, John Hansell, Charles MacLean, Hans Offringa, F Paul Pacult, Roger Protz, Lucy Saunders, Conrad Seidl, Gavin D Smith, and Carolyn Smagalski.
All of the writers contributed the work without fee and all profits from the sale of the book go to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the UK.
Renowned Drinks Writers Collaborate on Charity Project to Honour Michael Jackson
Leading international writers on beer and whisky have joined together in a unique project to celebrate the enduring legacy of celebrated drinks writer Michael Jackson (65), who died in August 2007 having suffered from Parkinson’s disease for over a decade. They have each donated a piece of new writing to Beer Hunter, Whisky Chaser that will be launched on 27 March 2009 in London to raise much-needed funds for the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the UK.
An excerpt from the introduction by Ian Buxton:
The news of Michael Jackson’s untimely death spread rapidly through the worlds of whisky and beer. Amongst those who knew him there was a sense of shock, but scarcely of surprise: his illness, borne with stoic dignity for so long, had visibly progressed. The deterioration of his health was painfully obvious and, on several occasions prior to his death, he had seemed gravely ill.
So news of his death was a shock, but not a surprise. Within an hour the plan for this book had formed, yet I did not act for some while on the initial impulse. There were others more qualified, I reasoned, others who knew Michael better, others with greater resources. I knew also that there would be other plans: a Memorial Service, perhaps, and commemorative bottling of his favourite beers or whiskies.
Michael suffered from the debilitating effects of this dreadful disease with grace and true Yorkshire grit for many years. It is fitting, then, that all profits from the publication of this book will be donated to the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the UK. To this end, I add particular thanks to you, the purchaser, for buying this book. You may never see the good that this has done, but it is appreciated and valued more than you can know.
Whatever your tipple, savour it with the knowledge that Michael Jackson is by your side – a reliable, robust and modest guide whose memory and influence lives on.
John Hansell, drinks writer and publisher of Malt Advocate tells me:
Michael was my mentor. I wouldn’t have chosen this career path if it weren’t for him. He was also my friend. He stayed at our house. He loved our cat (more than I ever will!). After press events we would sneak out to a local pub and have a pint or two together and just chat about anything. I miss him dearly.
Gavin D. Smith is one of the world’s leading (and prolific) whisky writers with 19 books, he’s also contributing editor of Whisky Pages:
It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to have been asked to contribute to this volume of essays. I feel I’m in distinguished company! It seems a great way of commemorating Michael and celebrating his immense contribution to drinks writing. I think he would have liked the idea of a book of new material such as this, and there’s a marvelous variety of topics and styles for the reader to enjoy.
Stephen Beaumont, Beer writer and scribe of World of Beer adds:
I thought it a great honour to be invited to contribute to this book, and was particularly happy to be allowed to expound upon a topic — the contextualization of taste — which I think Michael would have appreciated. Electing to publish a collection of writings on beer and whisky, rather than memories of Michael, was also a stroke of brilliance, I thought.I have not as yet seen all the essays, but I certainly know or know of all the authors, and expect that “Beer Hunter, Whisky Chaser” is going to make for some damn good reading!
The book will be available on March 27th (Michael Jackson’s birthday) on the Classic Expressions site and soon at leading whisky retailers, independent brewers and other outlets, priced at £12.99 (UK), €14.99 (Europe) and $18.99 (USA).