On Tuesday evening the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan’s East Village hosted the New York City premiere of Beer Hunter: The Movie, put together by Beer Nation‘s Seth Wright and Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43.
Beer Hunter is a documentary about the venerable Michael Jackson (left), a beer and whisky writer who transformed the craft beer industry. His 1977 book, The World Guide to Beer was the first book to characterize beers in terms of style. Michael is responsible for saving certain beer styles from extinction, and basically inventing beer journalism, before his death in 2007.
The World Guide to Beer influenced Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione as well as Brewer’s Association President and Founder of the Great American Beer Festival Charlie Papazian.
Brooklyn Brewery Founder Steve Hindy made opening remarks for the premiere, saying of Michael, “Those of us who knew him well miss him very much.” Hindy related a story about drinking with Michael at the Burp Castle in the early 90s. “We were obliterated by around 3 or 4,” he recalled. The two met up for lunch the next day and Michael ordered an Orval. “Orval is my hangover beer,” Hindy remembered him saying.
Beer Hunter is an excellent – and at times hilarious – look at the few years before Michael Jackson’s death. The director is J.R. Richards, who initially started shooting footage of Michael to produce videos for his Rare Beer Club. He continued filming Michael around the world and decided to make the documentary after his death.
To entice you to see this film, here are some gems from Michael:
Eating and drinking things you enjoy makes you happy … moderation’s alright as long as it’s in moderation.
If the weather’s not great, all the more reason to go to the pub.
Sometimes when you’ve had a few drinks it’s nice to have a lamppost to hang on to.
We – as not only craft beer drinkers but also craft beer journalists – owe so much to Michael Jackson.
Keep a lookout for upcoming screenings of the film at Jimmy’s No. 43!