Happy Birthday Michael Jackson and CAMRA! Without whom…

A couple of months ago, I was at the excellent Rake Bar in London’s Borough Market. It was a tasting involving BrewDog and their increasingly bizarre race to brew the world’s strongest beer. We’d reached the gloriously un-PC, Sink the Bismarck. There was a couple of student types there for the same event. I tried to eavesdrop their conversation. They were talking knowledgeably about BrewDog, cask ale, and American craft beer. I went up for a chat.

“Wow! You’re students. What the hell happened that you’re not drinking WKD or Magners?” I thought, but didn’ say out loud. Trying my best not to sound like their dad, what I did ask was how they got interested in beer. Their answer? Going to good pubs, rather than the usual student hangouts, and reading about beer. Oh, just like I did, then.

I’m betting two factors that brought our undergraduates to beer were the same then as when I was at uni, namely CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale, and Beer Hunter (and Whisky Chaser) Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson-related links

Read the tribute that announced his death in 2005:

Buy the book he inspired:
Beer Hunter Whisky Chaser: New Writing in honour of Michael Jackson

But above all, have a really good beer this week. If you can, go to a pub and order a pint of cask-conditioned ale, and raise your tankard in celebration of CAMRA’s 40th birthday and Michael Jackson: two real beer heroes.

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