When famed beer writer Michael Jackson died in 2007, he left behind much more than a library of educational books on beer and whisky. The entirety of his archives—including 1,800 books, the contents of 29 filing cabinets, and countless handwritten notes—is now housed at the Oxford Brookes University library.
In the September issue of All About Beer Magazine, Stan Hieronymus takes a peek into the Beer Hunter’s collection and the efforts to preserve his legacy. While the collection at Oxford isn’t available to the general public, we asked former All About Beer Magazine editor Julie Johnson to dig through our own archives and pick her 10 favorite columns by Jackson.
- “Calagione,” September 1999, Vol. 20, No. 4. Long before Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and founder Sam Calagione gained national fame, Jackson spent a day with Sam in Delaware, talking literature and tasting what he called “extraordinarily adventurous beers.”
- “Finally, the Kiss of Magic Malt,” January 2000, Vol. 21, No. 1. This tour of Moravia is a perfect example of Jackson on the road—part history, part travelogue, with brewery visits and brief but tempting tasting notes.
- “Tasting Beer Under the Sea,” November 2000, Vol. 21, No. 6. In a PR exercise to promote his Great Beer Guide to a group of booksellers, Jackson hosts an all-day beer tasting on a train as it travels from London, under the Channel and on to Belgium.
- “Just Words,” January 2001, Vol. 22, No. 1. A playful exploration of the origins of words used in brewing, with the help of a friendly priest.
- “Blue Collar Brews,” May 2001, Vol. 22, No. 3. Jackson recalls his immigrant background and working-class roots, and the English beer styles formulated to slake the thirst of laboring men.
- “Celebrating a Great 21st … But This is not Kansas City,” September 2002, Vol. 23, No. 5. At the 21st Great American Beer Festival in Denver, he recalls the visit of its founder, Charlie Papazian, to the Great British Beer Festival years earlier and the role of that meeting in launching the GABF.
- “Farewell, Father … It’s Beer War,” November 2002, Vol. 23, No. 6. Readers love lists, but woe betide the writer who omits a favorite beer from one titled The Ten Best Belgians.
- “My Tribute to The Coach,” July 2005, Vol. 26, No. 4. A touching remembrance of a favorite publican in a portrait of the pub he tended and the community that gathered there.
- “The Silence of the Ram,” September 2006, Vol. 27, No. 5. A rare flash of anger over the closing of a venerable brewery.
- “Did I Cheat Mort Subite?” September 2007, Vol. 28, No. 5. Jackson’s final essay for All About Beer, published after his death.