A toast to you all, it has been a great run!

It has been a couple of years now since I have been host of Beer and Blog. Michelle Anderson has been rocking the job as I passed the stein to her shortly after I stepped down. She has done so pretty much without any help from yours truly, rather getting help from the other amazing attendees like Robin Catesby. I would like to rise my glass and toast her for the tireless effort she has put into the Portland chapter. Alas, like all good things, her availability to continue hosting Beer and Blog has come to an end. I extend my most sincere gratitude for the time she has continued the good work of getting Portland’s bloggers together to help each other over beers.

I am writing this now from San Francisco, where Christine and I have been living for the past 6 months. That means I am not in the best position to continue finding new hosts or to have enough time to be a good support either. So, it is time to admit that last call has been made for Beer and Blog.

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!

Bon Voyage Justin Kistner

It was the first Friday in May of 2008 that I met Justin Kistner. I’d heard about Beer and Blog on Twitter, was intrigue by its slogan Bloggers Helping Bloggers Over Beer, and so I went to the Green Dragon that day to check it out. I arrived to find 10 or so men sitting at tables in the back, all of them intensely clicking keys—blogging, maybe coding—on their laptops. All, except one guy: Justin. He was drinking a beer, taking it easy, talking in low tones to someone. I think. I can’t remember who it was.

I sat down and introduced myself, and then more people started to arrive. The laptops closed, and voices streaked with laughter began to fill the small, tall space. I started asking questions. I found out that Beer and Blog had started a few months earlier, in January. I learned that there were people there who would answer my questions about developing websites, designing apps, and getting gigs. I heard there were no stupid questions. And I left that night empowered by the support of a group of strangers that came together and helped each other out, just because.

A few Beer and Blogs later I wrote a blog post about my appreciation for the gathering that Justin Kistner saw. He invited me to be Beer and Blog’s Provost (which is kind of like being The Love Boat’s Julie McCoy) to which I said “Hell YEAH.” I’ve been a part of Beer and Blog ever since. About a year ago I was promoted to fill in for Justin, as Beer and Blog’s Person in Charge. It’s the most rewarding volunteer gig I’ve ever had.

Beer and Blog is, by design, a community fueled by social capital. Justin and I have had several long conversations about this core idea, of the wealth that can be distributed in a diverse group of people willing to share their expertise. About how having no rules and no expectations—just a regular time and place for question to be answered in a relaxing, friendly atmosphere—enriches both the person seeking answers and the person answering. Beer and blog is a community that runs itself, and it’s the community that makes Beer and Blog special and rewarding.

Today, almost four years since that first gathering in Portland, Oregon, Beer and Blog has chapters all over the world, each with their own schedule and diverse group of Beer and Bloggers. Our weekly gatherings attract between 5 and 200 people, depending on the weather, the event, and the business of life. And now our founder, Mr. Justin Kistner, is moving to San Francisco next month. In his honor, next Friday’s Beer and Blog is dedicated to him and his movement to help empower bloggers with a little help from their friends.

Please join us September 30th from 4-6pm at the Green Dragon to say Bon Voyage to our friend and founder. There will be cake, and a tequila shot special, and lots of chances to make his face turn red from the heat of our admiration for all he’s done for the Beer and Blog community. Hope to see you there!

RSVP on Upcoming or get your deets on Calagator.

Our Founder, Justin Kistner

You’re not too Bizzy for FREE beer, are you?

Tomorrow (which is Monday, September 12th) you’re invited to Bailey’s Taproom in downtown Portland for FREE draft beers from 8-9pm, thanks to the peeps behind the new check-in iPhone and Android app Bizzy.

What the heck is Bizzy? I’ll let Lea, Bizzy’s community manager, explain:

Bizzy is an iPhone and Android app that lets you “Check Out” from the places you go. When you check out, you share your experiences and photos with a community of people that are interested in discussing and discovering local places. Follow your friends and other super cool folks to see their check outs. When you see something awesome, one tap adds it to your “Try List” for easy recall.

We’re coming to Portland to celebrate our new app features and chat with locals in the food, tech, social media, startup and blogging scenes…our aim is to get as many awesome locals in the room as possible. Our founder and VP of Marketing will be in town for the event and we’ll be having a draft beer open bar from 8-9PMish for downloading the app (www.bizzy.com/getapps).

Oh, and here’s a cute cartoon that explains Bizzy as well:

You’re not too Bizzy for FREE beer, are you? I think not…so get thee to Bailey’s Taproom from 8-9pm tomorrow, download the app, and get yourself a cold, refreshing beer. See you there!

Come Say Farewell to Our Fearless Co-Captain Robin

Last February I asked my friend Robin Cangie to join me as Co-Captain of Portland’s Beer and Blog. After much begging and threats of extortion, she ceded with a smile and for six magical months she was our beer loving, philosophy debating, friendly leader and my partner.

That all changes this weekend when she moves to San Ramon to work for a startup that was smart enough to realize she’s an amazing person and invaluable employee.

That sucks for us Beer and Blog-gers, but we have chance to tell her just how much it sucks at her last Beer and Blog. We can tell her that we’ll miss her terribly and that we wish her all the luck in her new adventure which unfortunately takes her far, far away from us. SOB.

Please join me Friday, August 19th, at the Green Dragon from 4-6pm on the patio for your last chance to see Robin before she moves from Portland, Oregon to the Land of Startups. We can send her on her way knowing we appreciate her contribution to the Beer and Blog community.

Free beer and blog traffic? Thanks, Oregonian News Network!

We’ve been treated to free beer by some really great, deep-pocket sponsors in the past *cough Google, Wieden + Kennedy, Groupon cough* and now we’re proudly adding another name to the list: The Oregonian News Network.

This Friday, citizen journalist advocate Cornelius Swart will pass out drink tickets, take swag raffle entries, and extol the finer points of the Oregonian News Network’s pilot project. He wants to meet Oregon-focused bloggers and independent news sites who want to see their stories promoted on the OregonLive platform via aggregated post excerpts and backlinks.

If selected to be a part of the ONN, bloggers get training, technical support and significant referral traffic (the OregonLive gets over 3 million unique visitors a month). In return, OregonLive and its subscribers get more news from a broader geographic spectrum.

In other words, Oregon bloggers get more eyeballs and OregonLive gets more content from all areas of our fair state.

So…want free beer, swag and more blog traffic? Join us on the patio of the Green Dragon this Friday, August 12, from 4-6pm. We’ll be the ones drinking the free beer and talking nerdy about blogs.

Come for the Beer, Stay for the Prizes: Groupon Sponsors Beer and Blog this Friday, June 24

Beer and Blog is on a roll with top-notch sponsors this year! We’re thrilled to announce that our latest high-profile sponsor is, drumroll please… Groupon! Yes, in addition to giving you steep discounts at cool local businesses, the daily deals giant wants to buy you a beer. And it all happens this Friday, June 24.

Former Beer and Blog captain Kerry Finsand will represent on behalf of Groupon Portland, so make sure to say hi and congratulate him on his new marketing role (where he gets to do this kind of thing all the time, maybe even at a future Beer and Blog? Hint, hint…). In addition to providing beer for all attendees, one very lucky person will win a $100 Groupon gift certificate! You must be present to win.

As always, your free pint or beverage of choice is first come first served. We’ll see you this Friday from 4-6pm at the Green Dragon!

Now that’s Bold! Bay Area Start-up Bolder Sponsors Beer and Blog this Friday

We’re pleased to announce a last-minute sponsor for this week’s Beer and Blog! San Francisco-based start-up Bolder just happened to be in town, and when they heard about Beer and Blog, they generously stepped up to sponsor. Bolder believes that everyone has the power to change the world through their actions, and they’ve built a platform where businesses and individuals can come together and do just that. It’s very simple: take a challenge, share your action, and get rewarded.

In return for buying you a beer, all Bolder asks is that you give the platform a try, take a challenge or two (and maybe even start one of your own?), and bring any feedback with you to Beer and Blog.

Drinks, as always, are first come first served, so arrive early to secure your free pint or other beverage of choice. See you at the Green Dragon!

Portland Seed Fund and Beer and Blog Present: Beers for a Pitch!

Have a great start-up idea? Need to refine your pitch? You’re in luck, because on June 3, Portland Seed Fund is coming to Beer and Blog.

The Portland Seed Fund seeks out exceptional entrepreneurs and offers them funding, mentoring and advising with the goal of creating jobs, driving economic activity and promoting entrepreneurship in the region. And this Friday only, they’ll buy a beer or other beverage of your choice for anyone who pitches an idea.

Shine your shoes, polish your language, and make sure you’re at the Green Dragon this Friday from 4-6pm. They might not fund your startup, but at least they’ll fund your drink!

Please RSVP here (only your name is required) so we can get a sense of who’ll be pitching. We’ll see you there!

Buy a Book, Get a Beer: A WebVisions Author Signing Party

You’re invited to a very special Beer and Blog this Wednesday, May 25th, at the Spirit of 77 bar, in conjunction with the popular robot-themed conference WebVisions.

Exploring the future of the web since 2001, the WebVisions conference is all about spotting the first glimmer of shiny baubles in web design, content creation, user experience, and business strategy trends, as told by the brightest web visionaries in the solar system. This year’s presentation line-up includes several Beer and Bloggers…including Mr. Beer and Blog himself, the founder of our community, Justin Kistner.

To celebrate, this Wednesday the WebVisions conference is having a few of their presenters who are authors sign their books from 5:15-6:15pm at Spirit 77, and they’re buying a beer (or drink) for anyone who buys a book. Here’s a list of the authors and their books:

Susan Beal, World of Geekcraft
Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks, Storytelling for UX
Jason Glaspey, From Idea to Startup in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com
Aaron Gustafson, Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences…
Jason Cranford Teague, CSS3: Visual Quickstart & Fluid Web Typography

I hope to see you at the book signing Wednesday and at WebVisions, which starts this week.

P.S. Today’s the last day to register for WebVisions online and enter to win an XBox 360, so if you’ve been planning on attending, you should probably get on that. The robots—and shiny web baubles—are waiting for you…

Beer+Blog+Bowling+FreshBooks = This Friday

No excuses, you’re coming to Beer and Blog this week. Because you love beer, and Saul Colt, the Smartest Man in the World and Head of Magic at FreshBooks, wants to buy you one. Yes, we are very stoked to announce that FreshBooks, the fastest way to track time, organize expenses and invoice your clients, is sponsoring this week’s Beer and Blog.

But wait! There’s more. After the usual Green Dragon festivities, FreshBooks has generously offered to throw an after party at Grand Central Bowl. Beer+Blog+Bowling = best Friday night ever.

But wait! There’s more. They also want to give you one month free of FreshBooks. Sign up for your free month here. Why, you ask, is FreshBooks being so wonderfully, fantastically magnanimous? Because we are just that awesome (not lying, that’s the response they gave us)! And because they’re pretty awesome, too.

We’ll see you Friday, as always, from 4-6pm at the Green Dragon. The beer is first come, first served, so get there early to secure your free pint!