Greetings to 2010 and good riddance to '09!
And now I will pause and, a weather finger to the wind, will make a prognostication... In the next year there will be a move to Mild.
That is to say, there will be a chance for brewers from the mega-micros to the brewpubs will discover the range of flavorful brews that have been known in the UK as "Mild."
These are amber ales, with a touch of hops (usually Kent or Brewers Gold) on a non-too-sweet malt base. The beauty of this brew is that it is tasty and yet is only 4% at most in alcohol content by volume. This gives the brewer a brew that costs less to produce, it gives the consumer a chance to look "correct" and still have a tasty beverage that they can enjoy for taste and less for effect. It gives the brewing industry a truly "temperate" beverage that is a challenge to the neo-prohibitionists.
Best of all, it gives me a reason to put two - not just one - six pack on ice the next hot summer day that comes around.
And that is a very comforting thought on a cold and frosty last night of 2009, in Brooklyn, USA...