Monday, October 01, 2007

To Michael and his malts

Michael Jackson will not be missed, I said last night. ...

Because every time we raise a pint of good beer or a dram of aged whisky, we celebrate the lifework of Michael Jackson. His legacy endures and thrives with us.

Six of us had gathered at the Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton Maryland last evening to toast his memory, and share reminiscences. Clockwise from left: Paul Langlie (local B.U.R.P homebrewer), Ellie and Bob Tupper (brewers of Tuppers Beers and local beer hosts), Kristin Orr (past General Manager of Royal Mile Pub), David Battey (beer manager of Rodmans), me, Jamie Langlie (local B.U.R.P homebrewer).

I read a paragraph from the Michael Jackson's Beer Companion, to me an example of his writing style: a newspaperman's succinctness leavened with sly humor and lovely turns-of-phase:

"Do you ever drink wine?" people ask me, as though beer were a prison rather than a playground. A day may pass when I do not drink wine, but never a week. Whatever is argued about other pleasures, it is not necessary to be monogamous in the choice of drink. Beer is by far the more extensively consumed, but less adequately honored. In a small way, I want to help put right that injustice."
--- Michael Jackson

Bob Tupper offered some wonderful and poignant remembrances. He noted that most of us were drinking such as Schlitz and Budweiser before Jackson showed us the world of beer. He added: "There would be no Tuppers Hop Pocket Ale, if it were not for Michael."

So, in Jackson's name, we six collected for the National Parkinson Foundation. And then at 9pm, we raised our glasses (beer and whisky - mine was a 16 yr old Lagavulin), clicked, and exclaimed "To Michael and his malts". It wasn't so much a farewell but a thank you.

More on Michael Jackson.

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