May 29th, 2012

Last call: Beer and Blog Portland quaffs its last pint


Last call: Beer and Blog Portland quaffs its last pint

It is with a tinge of sadness that I have to report that Beer and Blog Portland—arguably one of the key gatherings that codified our burgeoning startup community—has decided to call it quits.

Beer and Blog Portland is no more.

Beer and Blog founder Justin Kistner offered the following:

One thing I learned early on was that I was never really in control of the group anyway. Rather a meager steward of something larger, which was the desire for the Portland tech scene to meet up for happy hour on Friday. As I would cancel events, Blog and Beer emerged and decided to meet up anyway! While I will not be able to continue in official organizing capacities, don’t let that stop all of you from continuing to meet up on Fridays from 4-6 pm

Thank you to everyone who has attended Beer and Blog and made it the special time that it was. It will always be a fond memory for me and I know I take many lifetime friendships on with me. Cheers!

All good things must come to an end. And to be honest, Beer and Blog had admittedly run its course.

Once a gathering that attracted hundreds of people on sunny summer days, the numbers had begun to dwindle as of late. With a group of stalwart attendees continuing to keep it alive and breathing.

And the people who made that happen over the years—from organizers to attendees—should be congratulated for their incredible contribution to our community.

In many ways, we’re exactly where we were a few years back when Beer and Blog started. With similar conditions that motivated Kistner to start the gathering. When it was just a small group of a few of us who got together for a beer while we worked on our blogs. That handful of people soon grew to be the must-attend gathering, every week. And it became clear that Beer and Blog could be—and would become—a place to get to know other people in the Portland startup scene.

I know I had the pleasure of meeting a ton of you there.

Beer and Blog was the foothold. The icebreaker. The way to engage with Portland startups. It was the anchor you used to make sure that out-of-towners and visiting tech types got a feel for the Portland community. And when anyone asked how to get more engaged with the community? The response was always “What are you doing, Friday?”

So Beer and Blog is over. But we could really use a little of that magic, again. For a whole new generation of startups—and all of the awesome new people who are interested in our startup scene.

So on one hand, I’m sad to see it go. On the other hand? I’m excited to see what takes its place.

So here’s to Beer and Blog Portland. Thank you for everything.

(Hat tip @jkuramot)

Background that may help (or may not)

17 Responses to “Last call: Beer and Blog Portland quaffs its last pint”

  1. Reid says:

    To be fair, I haven’t been to a B&B in quite a while, but I’m curious about a few things.

    1) Why bother to officially end an event that’s basically just a bunch of people going to the same pub on Friday?
    2) Why bother to officially end it just _before_ the prime summer outdoor drinking season?
    3) Until last month, no one had posted a listing for Beer and Blog to Calagator since October 2011. Might that contribute to dwindling attendance?

  2. Rick Turoczy says:

    I can’t speak for Justin but my opinions on your questions:

    1) Because people still ask “Is that Beer and Blog thing still going?” at which point others would just shrug. Now we can definitively say “No.”

    2) I smell an opportunity.

    3) I don’t think a lack of Calagator presence was a contributing factor.

  3. Sad to see it go – as with Justin a few months back. As you mention there is always a fresh event around the corner. Tried #thinkndrink yet?

  4. Mr. Diggles says:

    Justin Kistner – a man ahead of his time. He has been an ongoing inspiration for me and my passion for the web. He introduced me to WordPress, CSS and making out with girls.

    Everyone likes to get together and drink and talk web. No one like to organize and moderate a bunch of people getting together to drink and talk web. People will get mad that it’s gone but not mad enough to take the helm.

    I was going to try and start Drug and Blog but when we had our first overdose I thought we should just stick to the booze.

    Well done Kistner!

  5. Ken Baer says:

    Well this is a bummer. I haven’t been going as often as I used to, but I have been going, as have others, albeit a small group. I understand Justin not wanting to continue maintaining a website and effort to make sure it keeps going since he moved to the Bay Area. But it seems to me at this point all he is taking is the name. And, as a stubborn, old school person of habit, I will probably continue to call it Beer & Blog, and go spend time with my tech friends.

    I am concerned about the lack of local Tech social networking events like this and Lunch 2.0. They have been very important for me as an independent contractor, and their absence has been having a financial impact on me. Not to mention a psychological impact since I work at home alone.

    I am a bit annoyed that Justin is declaring Beer & Blog over when it could continue. And with the improving weather, I think the current crowd will grow during the warmer months. I fear his declaration will dampen what would be a seasonal increase in attendance.

    And finally, I want to credit Beer & Blog for my participation as a founding member of Taplister. I met Kerry Finsand at my first Beer & Blog, which quickly led to my involvement in Taplister as the resident iPhone app developer.

  6. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky says:

    1. Yes, I’ve been to #thinkndrink. Aside from the fact that it moves around every week, it’s fine. I prefer to stay at @pdxgreendragon.

    2. Yeah, whatever happened to Lunch 2.0? ;-)

    People, it’s like this: communities and economies change over time. And sponsors have needs to show a return on their sponsorships – new hires, for example, other business contacts, and so on. In short, you always have to be asking for the sale. And we weren’t.

  7. melissalion says:

    That’s so sad! Is there going to be a last hurrah?

    Beer and Blog was the launching point for a few cool things in my life, the main one being my marriage.

    Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

  8. AdamD says:

    I’d echo Diggles’ point about event organizing. It’s tiring to keep it up for prolonged periods, even for events that appear to organize themselves.

    That said, I welcome a new take on Beer and Blog.

  9. Robert Wagner says:

    “…events like this and Lunch 2.0. They have been very important for me as an independent contractor, and their absence has been having a financial impact on me.”

    Feeling entitled much? While I understand the need for networking opportunities as much as the next person, isn’t whining about your needs as it relates to the efforts of others just a wee bit selfish?

    Cry me a river. Anyone, even freelancers, can put on events like these. If your business is lacking maybe quit sobbing about it and do something.

  10. faddah says:

    beer and blog is dead, long live beer and blog. {sigh} thanks to all who made it happen and made it great. the mayor even came and spoke once.

  11. Mark Joseph says:

    Well cheers to Beer & Blog (raise a pint)!

    I’m honored to have been a part of the thriving social “tech” scene of Portland. It does seem like it is shrinking lately (the social part at least).

  12. Steven Miller says:

    I felt sorry for the poor guy with the beer & blog sign sitting all by himself waiting for anyone else to show up.

    Perhaps move to new format using http://www.meetup.com/ to organize?

  13. Jmartens says:

    @Mark Joseph- The social part may be shrinking because companies are being formed and are growing at rates not scene in decades. This is a good thing!

  14. Kram Namloc says:

    Sad to hear. Even though I’m not a techie I was warmly accepted and met a lot of great people through Beer & Blog. Thanks everyone for being so awesome.

  15. [...] Last call: Beer and Blog Portland quaffs its last pint « Silicon Florist5 days ago … Last call: Beer and Blog Portland quaffs its last pint. It is with a tinge of sadness that I have to report that Beer and Blog Portland—arguably one … [...]

  16. Bram Pitoyo says:

    Beer and Blog had done so many good things for Portland’s tech community. Personally, I probably won’t be where I am today if not for the lifelong friends I’ve found and made every Friday at four (and so much more).

    So long, and thanks for all the pints!

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