Bristol Brewing – Happy Trails, Josh Osterhoudt
It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend and General Manager Josh Osterhoudt. Josh succumbed to a short but valiant battle with cancer early Wednesday morning. He went peacefully surrounded by the family he loved so much.
I can’t begin to speak for the whole brewery when it comes to expressing how much he’ll be missed, so today I speak for myself. I jokingly called Josh “work Dad” because, like my own wise and kind father, he was almost a pastor to me. I picture him best in the “Yellow Submarine” (our back office, so called because of the galvanized steel ceiling, bright yellow walls and complete lack of windows). It would be early evening, after everyone else had gone, he working at his desk with a pint of Yellow Kite Pilsner, me at mine with a pint of Red Rocket. There would be complete silence except for the clicking of keyboards and Josh’s jazz station playing quietly in the background; there’s a strict hierarchy to the music played in the office, and Josh was second in command – jazz only came on when Lynne was gone. He would wait until I shut my laptop before he asked how such-and-such a project was going. Often it would be a short check-in punctuated by his big, easy laugh, but sometimes the conversation would meander and we would end up talking deeply about God and religion. Our beliefs differed in some fundamental ways, but it was never an argument. Josh was a philosopher, a seeker of Truth instead of mere answers. He wanted to understand more than he wanted to convince.
Josh landed in Colorado almost by accident. The story he told was that he and his beloved bride Kristie were riding around the country on his motorcycle. They stopped here, took one look at the mountains and never left. Over the years, he touched literally thousands of lives, first in his 30 year tenure at Pepsi, then at Bristol, and always through his love of bikes (both pedal and motor) and his tireless work as a volunteer for trail advocacy organizations. His management style was reflected in that epic, cross-country ride: give people the freedom to roam, follow their passions and land where they fit best. It worked for him and it worked for us.
Amanda Bristol remembers Josh here.
A service for Josh will be held Monday at 11:00 at World Prayer Center, 110005 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. We will hold a Bristol-style wake at the brewery starting at 5:00. Please join us to share toasts and remembrances.
Happy trails, Josh-O. You finally have the truth you sought.
The Bristol Beerocrat