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other notable deaths

The Baltimore Sun

MICHAEL JACKSON, 65 'The Beer Hunter"

Michael Jackson, a leading world beer critic who praised the brews of Belgium and acknowledged he would never be as famous as "that Michael Jackson," has died.

Mr. Jackson, known as "The Beer Hunter," died Thursday of a heart attack at his home in west London.

During a 1998 visit to Baltimore, Mr. Jackson told The Sun that the city, with its well-made local beers, ranked among America's top beer towns. Seattle and Portland, Ore., he said, vie for the title of the nation's most beer-friendly city. Next in his rankings came Denver and Austin, Texas. On the East Coast. the three best beer cities, he said, were Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

"He was simply the best beer writer we've ever known," said Tim Hampson, chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers. "He told wonderful stories about beer, breweries and faraway places. He told the story of beer through people, and he was humorous and erudite at the same time," Mr. Hampson told the Associated Press.

Mr. Jackson especially loved Belgian brews. His books The Great Beers of Belgium and World Guide to Beer introduced them to many export markets, including the United States.

By identifying beers by their flavors and styles, and by pairing them with particular foods and dishes, Mr. Jackson helped give birth to a renaissance of interest in beer and breweries worldwide that began in the 1970s, including the North American microbrewery movement.

His TV documentary series, The Beer Hunter -- which popularized his nickname -- was filmed around the world and shown in 15 countries.

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