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Beer writer Michael Jackson dies at his home in London

Beer writer Michael Jackson dies at his home in London

Michael Jackson, a leading world beer critic known as "the beer hunter," has died, his family said Friday. He was 65.
Jackson died of a heart attack at his home in west London on Thursday, and his body was found by his house cleaner, said Paddy Gunningham, his long-term partner.
She said in a telephone interview that he had kept writing and traveling, despite suffering from Parkinson's disease, and that he planned to write a book about the ailment.
"He was simply the best beer writer we've ever known," said Tim Hampson, chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers. "He told wonderful stories about beer, breweries and far away places. He told the story of beer through people, and he was humorous and erudite at the same time," Hampson told The Associated Press.
Jackson especially loved Belgian brews, and his books "The Great Beers of Belgium" and "World Guide to Beer" introduced them to many export markets, including the United States.
By identifying beers by their flavors and styles, and by pairing them with particular foods and dishes, Jackson helped give birth to a renaissance of interest in beer and breweries worldwide that began in the 1970s, including the North American microbrewery movement.
His TV documentary series, "The Beer Hunter" _ which popularized his nickname _ was filmed around the world and shown in 15 countries. One of the show's documentaries was all about Belgian beer, cuisine and breweries.
He worked as a beer critic for more than 30 years, writing in newspapers and gastronomic magazines, holding seminars and giving speeches, appearing on TV shows such as America's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Good Morning America," and writing a series of books about beer and whiskeys that were published in 18 languages.
Jackson knew that he would never be as famous as Michael Jackson, the rock star, and that was reflected on the beer critic's Web site. "Hello, my name is Michael Jackson. No, not that Michael Jackson, but I am on a world tour. My tour is in pursuit of exceptional beer. That's why they call me the Beer Hunter," it says.
Gunningham praised Jackson for being "passionate about his work, about beer, about single malt whiskey, about jazz and about Rubgy League."
He was survived by Gunningham; and his stepdaughter, Sam Hopkins; his sister, Heather Campbell; and two grandchildren.
Funeral plans were being discussed, and the family also was considering holding a memorial service, including songs from the critic's favorite jazz artists such as Billie Holiday, and quotes from his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, said Gunningham.
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On the Net:
http://www.beerwriters.co.uk
http://www.beerhunter.com
http://www.beertown.org
http://www.allaboutbeer.com