Birds and Beers at Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis. Photo by Curt Rawn.

Birds and Beers at Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis. Photo by Curt Rawn.

The Next Birds and Beers events will be:

December 28 at the Black Forest Inn from 6pm - 9pm. 

Are you bird curious? Then this event is for you!

Birds and Beers is an informal gathering of birders of all abilities–if you’re interested in birds, you’re invited. I started the first Birds and Beers and it has become so big, that I have a co-host in the form of Curt Rawn from National Camera Exchange! Not only that, Birds and Beers happens in several states. Google your state's name and "Birds and Beers" and see what comes up. If one hasn't been started, consider founding your own Birds and Beers. 

In Minneapolis, Birds and Beers is a social gathering of birders of all abilities to get away from our computers and meet face to face. You can meet other bird minded people–maybe find a carpool buddy, ask about where to find target birds, share cool research projects you might be working on, ask a bird feeding question, share life lists, share some digiscoping tips, promote your bird related website, book, tour company–the sky is the limit. It’s low key and it’s fun.

To get the most timely updates on when the next Birds and Beers will be, become a fan of Birds and Beers on Facebook and when a new event it planned, you’ll get a notification.  Or check back here.

Birds and Beers co-hosts: Sharon Stiteler and Curt Rawn. It's important to have hosts who can help fill gaps in conversation and make announcements. Photo by Michelle Kalantari.

Birds and Beers co-hosts: Sharon Stiteler and Curt Rawn. It's important to have hosts who can help fill gaps in conversation and make announcements. Photo by Michelle Kalantari.

Birders can share photos or their favorite birding apps at a Birds and Beers.  Photo by Curt Rawn.

Birders can share photos or their favorite birding apps at a Birds and Beers.  Photo by Curt Rawn.

As stated earlier, I started Birds and Beers here in Minneapolis and sometimes I host them when I visit other bird festivals around the country. However, I neither have the time nor the liver strength to do them everywhere. If you love the concept of a Birds and Beers but not the location, consider starting your own--I'm really ok with that. (I am not ok with birding tour companies using the name to sell their tours.) All you need is a bar/pub that isn't too loud (no tvs blaring sports, no bands), a host who is good at noticing when people are not talking and connecting them with the talkers in the group and a means of alerting local birders: ask the area birding listserv or Facebook page if it's ok to post an invite. Always contact the bar ahead of time to give them a heads up and maybe reserve a few tables. And always ask the bar what night is their slow night--they will welcome the business, basically avoid doing a Friday or Saturday night. Remember that a big group descending on a server is a challenge, remind guests to tip them well. 

Birds and Beers folks looking over old soda box bird cards. You can share anything bird related at a Birds and Beers. Photo by Curt Rawn. 

Birds and Beers folks looking over old soda box bird cards. You can share anything bird related at a Birds and Beers. Photo by Curt Rawn.