R.I.P. Michael Jackson

British journalist and beer champion Michael Jackson, a serious writer who led the way for many through the so-called beer renaissance of the 1980s and ’90s, died recently of a heart attack in his London home at the age of 65. Jackson had apparently been suffering from Parkinson’s for some time. Jackson’s wonderfully comprehensive World Guide To Beer was first published in 1977 (a dark era when American beer drinkers referred to their favorite beverage as “suds”). The book promoted the classification system for international “classic beer styles” — from ales to lagers — and set the standard for beer enthusiasts and brewers alike. He went in depth about different brewing techniques, ingredients, flavor profiles, cultural differences, and food pairings. His colorful television series The Beer Hunter appeared on the Discovery Channel in the early ’90s and was a serious travel guide and history lesson that sipped through Bohemia, Belgium, Bavaria, Holland, London, and northern California. He was an elegant speaker and clinician as well. He will be missed. Visit www.beerhunter.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Goodbye Noodles, Hello Sushi

The folks at the new Uni Bar in West Ashley are still fiddling around with their concept, hoping to keep patrons in their seats long enough to relax and drink some of the great sake they’ve got on the menu. They started out with noodles, lots of noodles, but they weren’t going over too well. “We are dropping the noodles and doing sushi, ‘Voodoo’ style,” says owner Jen Kulick, who promises an eclectic mix of rolls like duck mango and barbecue pork. They’ve got Kamikaze Karaoke going on Saturday nights from 10 p.m. until close. So don’t hold a bad bowl of noodles against them. Try the sushi and see what you think. —Stephanie Barna

Chazzfest Fare

The second installment of CHAZZFEST — the Charleston Music and Heritage Festival — will add a culinary component to the all-day event, which takes place Sat. Sept. 22 at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island. Local chefs — John Zucker from Cru Café, Marc Collins from Circa 1886, Kevin Johnson from Anson, Tyler Dudley of the Daniel Island Club, and Rena Prentis from Bulls Bay Golf Course — will go head to head in a shrimp and grits cook-off, which will be judged by food writer Holly Herrick and Mofro’s JJ Grey. A culinary stage will hold demonstrations from luminaries like cookbook author Sallie Ann Robinson, Fat Hen chef/owner Fred Neuville, and Chef John Besh from Restaurant August in New Orleans. After you chow down, you can enjoy music from 16 acts on four different stages throughout the day. It’s a family friendly event that aims to showcase the best of our local heritage — from music to food and art. Kool and the Gang and Branford Marsalis co-headline the event. Other performers include Galactic, Toots and the Maytals, Son Volt, Soul Rebels Brass Band, The Embers, Uncle Mingo, and a host of others. Tickets start at $45 for general admission, floor-level seats and go up to $75 for reserved. Kids 6-12 get in for $5; under six are free. (843) 554-6060. —Stephanie Barna