DC Beer
Chris Van Orden
Uncategorized

We Lost One of the Best Ones

In my five year association with DCBeer, I've had the pleasure of working with a lot of people. Beer directors, brewery sales and media folks, brewers, bartenders and all manner of other industry professionals are certainly the most numerous, but I've had the most sustained interactions with those who find themselves, in some way or another, writing for the site. There aren't a ton of benefits over here, except for all of the snark you can handle and maybe some Twitter praise and getting a comp here and there to a beer dinner. This fact, combined with the fact that being a bloggity blog blogger isn't as glamorous as it might initially seem (if you have skewed perceptions of reality), means that we've had a fair amount of writer turnover in the past five years. Which is cool, whether someone is contributing one article or one hundred, it all moves this site forward in some way, shape, or form.

But there are some contributions, and contributors, to the site that are substantially and significantly different than others. With that in mind, I'm sorry to say that an era ended here at DCBeer on Friday. I don't intend to make this sound like a eulogy. Chris Van Orden, as far as I know, is in perfect health and going on to an opportunity that I am confident will be professionally and personally rewarding for him, but I couldn't let Chris's three year tenure as co-editor pass without some recognition of what he has meant to this website.

Recall that CVO took the editor reins over when his predecessor Andrew Nations left the site to open Great Raft Brewing Company in Shreveport, Louisiana. Andy was the person who brought me on to the site, and his departure made me question what the future of the site would look like. When we approached our relatively new contributor, Chris, to gauge his interest in being an editor, I'm not sure either of us knew how smart a move that was (or how fortunate we were that he said yes). Chris has always been a top-notch writer here; he has made every piece he's ever touched better for his incisive and witty style. He's brought readers interesting dispatches from GABF, beer weeks, and the left coast. He's brought you interviews with up-and-coming endeavors in the area. And he's the voice behind our biggest announcements. I was proud to co-chair DC Beer Week 2015 by his side. More than that, he has been a levelheaded advisor, a relentless worker (bringing you thousands of calendar listings in the past three years), and, on a personal note, someone who has demonstrated the very best virtues in a friend since pretty much day one.

It's likely you'll still see Chris in our missives here, though his appearances will now likely be in press releases rather than bylines. You'll still see him weighing in on Twitter, and you'll probably see him at even more beer events going forward. I couldn't be happier for CVO, and I simultaneously couldn't be more bummed. To pretend that his moving to editor emeritus isn't a significant blow to the site would be farcical, but our loss is decidedly a gain for both Port City and the scene. The energy and enthusiasm he's brought, on a part-time basis, to our scene will surely only grow as he dedicates both full-time to a brewery I respect immensely. I can hoist a pint way up to that. Cheers and thanks for everything, Chris.

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