Beer, Wine and Spirits. Tastings and Travel. News and Events. Classic Flavors from Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across the Drinks World.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Beer Hunter: The Movie Looks to Kickstarter to Get Off the Ground

Michael Jackson was the unlikely father of the global craft beer movement. But the British journalist, who passed away in 2007, did more for good beer with words than most brewers in the late 1970s were doing with hops and malt. He can rightfully be credited with inspiring a generation of craft brewers and beer enthusiasts.

Jackson's landmark 1977 book, The World Guide to Beer, cataloged beer styles and brewing nations as they had previously never been treated. More books would follow and his 1989 The Beer Hunter television series was way ahead its time. There were no Food Networks or Travel Channels back then, but Jackson took viewers to the capitals of the brewing world.

J.R. Richards, a freelance documentary filmmaker and television producer, worked with Jackson from 2003-2006, producing video tastings and short documentaries for Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club. Along the way he captured 60 hours of video of Jackson in the U.S., England, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic, much of it still unreleased. The idea was to turn the footage into a documentary or even an update of The Beer Hunter series. A 2006 heart attack and Jackson's struggles with Parkinson's disease slowed the project, then news came of Jackson's death.

Now Richards is using Kickstarter to try to raise $30,000 to finish the project and produce a documentary film that could premier at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. It was at several GABFs that I had my limited encounters with Jackson, who was a rock star to the throngs of beer fans. When Jackson would approach a booth to try a beer or show up at a media tasting event you could see brewers spring to attention and make sure that The  Beer Hunter received a perfect pour. So it would be a fitting tribute to Jackson to have this film ready for the fifth anniversary of his passing.

So far Richards has raised just under a third of his goal. If you want more information you can visit http://www.beerhuntermovie.com/.

No comments: