[OSBURN ON TAP] A New Decade of Beer


“In the year 2000, Pete Rose goes on national television to admit for the first time that he bet on the Reds. Not the Cincinnati Reds, he bet that the Soviets would win the Cold War“-Conan O’brien.

This is not the usual happy New Year column. Usually, I write about how another year has passed and about all of the important events that occurred and all the beer I had a chance to imbibe. This year is different because when the ball dropped and you were (hopefully) holding your best girl close a new decade began. 2010 is the first double digit year of the new millennium. Ron Burgundy would say that it’s kind of a big deal.

It’s been ten years since the Y2K scare started this decade and Conan O’brien only recently stopped doing his “In the year 2000” bit within the last year or so. I don’t really know how Y2K affected many computer systems as a whole, but in my small corner of the world it didn’t really do anything. We didn’t need to go rush out and buy a hundred gallons of water and seven hundred rolls of toilet paper. Nothing much seemed to happen at all.

In 2000, I was only nineteen years old and a fresh-faced High School graduate with no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t turn twenty-one until my junior year at SUNY Brockport and, like most people; I definitely did not start my beer journey with the highest caliber of brew. I wasn’t sipping craft brewed IPA’s in my college dorm. I don’t remember my first beer, but I’m sure it was something like Rolling Rock or Molson Canadian. Not too shabby, and two brands I still drink from time to time today, but I was miles and miles away from the world of craft brewed beer.

In the last decade, my favorite sports team ended eighty-six years of misery. In 2004, when the Red Sox came back from being down 3-0 to the Yankees and went on to sweep the Cardinals, chants of “1918” became moot and Red Sox Nation was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief for the first time since Woodrow Wilson was President. And they threw in another one in 2007, just for old time’s sake.

A lot has happened in the U.S. and around the world since 2000. Some events, like the boom of social networking (myspace, facebook and twitter), will forever shape the way writers like myself get their voices (words) heard (read).

September 11th, 2001, the darkest day in U.S. history, occurred in the beginning of the last decade. On that day, 2,973 victims and 19 hijackers died in the worst terrorist attack in American History. There has been much tragedy and war in the last ten years, but the dawn of a new decade gives us hope for a better tomorrow.

I apologize for this article not being more about beer, but It’s hard not to think about how important the end of a decade is, as well as how much happened in your life in the last ten years.

In ’05, I got a degree in Broadcast Journalism and still had no idea what the heck I was going to use it for. Somehow, in 2006, I, my brother Matt and our friend Peter Borrelli were able to get a job at the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, New York as Beer columnists. I still don’t know how we got around the fact that we had no real writing experience and didn’t really know all that much about beer. I guess it’s true what they say about the importance of making a good first impression. We sent a tryout article to the D and C with no reason to believe that we would even get a shot at the job. Months later, we met with an editor to interview for the job and explain some of our  column ideas. We got the job a few months after that. Since then, I’ve been able to broaden my writing resume to include many national magazine and web sites, including my current job as sports editor and beer columnist for thefatherlife.com

A lot has happened in brewing as well. The world of beer was abuzz after the purchase of Anheuser Busch by Inbev, 2009 was the 250th anniversary of Guinness, home-brewing is becoming an extremely popular hobby and it seems like more and more people are giving craft brews a try.

If you aren’t one of those people, why not start off 2010 by putting down your yellow, fizzy water beer and grabbing a nice brown ale or IPA? If you decide to make the switch to craft beer, it just might be a new year’s resolution that you actually keep.

What’s going to happen in 2010 and beyond in regards to the brewing industry? What new and wacky beer concoctions are on the horizon? Is there any way Dogfish Head could make an IPA more potent than 120 minute IPA? Will the major beer conglomerates continue to try to steal the craft beer fan with mass-produced, below average products disguised as craft beer?

2 thoughts on “[OSBURN ON TAP] A New Decade of Beer

  1. Great reflection on the past decade, a well written and thoughtful piece. I look forward to reading more about the growing popularity of home brewing!

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