Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Beer Hunter - The Movie

I think anyone who's interested in craft beer (at least, for more than just the past couple of years) knows who Michael Jackson is. And if you don't, for shame! An English journalist and author of many books on beer (and whiskey), he is widely credited with being responsible for generating the worldwide interest in craft beer.

"No one did more for craft beer then perhaps Louis Pasteur" -- Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing

Michael Jackson's The World Guide To Beer was first published in 1977 and inspired many beer drinkers to reach beyond their domestic macro lagers for more flavorful and interesting brews. The beers featured in his book were categorized into style groups based on local customs and names which later became the basis of the beer styles still used today to categorize and judge beers.  In 1990, Michael hosted a British TV show called The Beer Hunter in which he traveled to different countries to showcase their beer culture.  Unfortunately, despite its popularity, it was not renewed for any additional seasons, but Michael continued to be known around the world as The Beer Hunter.

Beer Hunter - The Movie is comprised mainly of footage shot during 2004 by a film crew following Michael to various countries for tastings, speaking engagements, beer dinners and simply enjoying a few pints at his favourite local. Its then finished with follow-up interviews shot last year with many of the people featured in the original footage. Its not so much a documentary of Michael Jackson's life, but more of a snapshot of what it was like to be the most well known and influential person in craft beer. Unfortunately, Michael passed away in 2007 at the age of 65 after suffering from Parkinson's disease in secret for over a decade, but his impact on craft beer will continue indefinitely.

The DVD is available for order online for $20.

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