Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Jackson, Louisville, and the Color Red," my column at

I'll always be proud that the real Michael Jackson once set foot in New Albany. Even so early in my career of beer, it was an affirmation that I'd done it the right way. 

Louisville Craft Beer Week is here, and among the many things about LCBW that you should know is this tidbit:

"Text LCBW to 72727 to receive texts throughout Craft Beer Week reminding you of daily events, specials, and giveaways."

Meanwhile, I'm still thinking about what brought us here. But more than that, I'm thinking about what's next.

Jackson, Louisville, and the Color Red

It’s an old story, but one I delight in retelling, and Louisville Craft Beer Week strikes me as the perfect time to do so.
Michael Jackson unexpectedly visited the former Rich O’s Public House in November, 1994, a tad more than two years after we opened. If I hadn’t been drinking for much of the same day, tagging along as the Beer Hunter made pre-arranged appearances at Bluegrass Brewing Company and the now defunct Silo, I’d have been far too nervous to properly function as host.
I’ll be forever grateful that Jackson consented to accompany our ragged band of awed and inebriated fledgling beer enthusiasts on yet another beer hunt, this one at 9:00 p.m., from downtown Louisville across the Ohio River to an embarrassingly unfinished strip mall space that at the time could offer only three beers on tap.
Moreover, knowing that most of the regulars would be following Jackson through Louisville, we’d closed the pub for the day. Minutes ahead of the approaching motorcade, there was barely enough time to dash inside, flick light switches, sweep up and make the barroom somewhat presentable. Following hours of one-ounce samples, Jackson proceeded to order and consume a full 20-oz Imperial pint of Sierra Nevada Porter, and upon departure an hour and a half later, made this wry observation:
“I’ve been to many pubs in America, and I’ve never seen one quite like this.”

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