The Year in Food 2007


Kerry Fannon

Last Call for Michael Jackson

Whiskey and beer lost a globetrotting advocate this year with the death of English writer Michael Jackson, the “Beer Hunter.” His 1977 book The World Guide to Beer was pivotal in establishing the modern theory of beer style—in brief, how you can sort a lager from an ale, a dark ale from a brown ale, and so on. Jackson was also instrumental in showing American drinkers that there is more to beer than Miller and Budweiser. Three decades after he began publishing deeply informed beer criticism and reporting in numerous books and journals such as the Independent and the Observer, specialty brewing is accelerating in the United States and around the world, giving mainstream American lagers some serious competition. A particular champion of Belgian beers, Jackson was able to take pride in a surge of Belgian-style tipples being made everywhere from Oregon to Quebec to England. —James Norton