At the initial urging of John Evans, who has a fantastic photostream of beer bottles and tastings (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nagzi/) I'll be uploading the Rare Beer Club DVD tastings that I shot with Michael in 2004. This is where it all began. The Rare Beer Club was something that Michael started with importer Rob Imeson back in the late 90's. The idea was simple: find a way to get the world's most rare and interesting beers into the hands of U.S. consumers who had limited access to them, especially the Belgian and European beers. The club is still going (www.rarebeerclub.com) and has a cult following. Rob and Michael decided in 2003 that it would be cool to film Michael actually tasting the beer to camera. I was hired to shoot the tastings, and from there we started talking about doing a documentary or another Beer Hunter series. So after the tastings, Rob was generous enough to include me on many of Michael's trips in Europe and the U.S.
The first part of these tastings were filmed at the Beer Shop in London, on the first day I met Michael. We were accompanied by Keith Johnsen, marketing and PR director for the Rare Beer Club, and Ben Vinken, the publisher of Beer Passion magazine in Belgium. Ben brought along a few (then) hard-to-find beers: Malheur Chocolate, Brussels Triple, and Rodenback Grand Cru. Obviously, I had to edit the tastings down a lot, as Michael had reams of information regarding each beer. The full-length tasting will be available at a future point, as a DVD extra and an online resource.
Hope you enjoy watching Michael do what he does best: not just taste a beer, but bring it beer to life through its history, its brewer, its cultural context, and its personality. A votre sante!
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