Revisiting an event that laid the groundwork for the Portland startup community today

Community doesn’t just happen. Ecosystems aren’t just built. In fact, some might say that building community is artificial. It takes effort. And consistency. And communication. And collaboration.

The Portland startup community we have today is a result of the time and connections fostered by thousands of people over the course of the past decade or more — as well as the underpinnings of previous startup communities that connected and collaborated around here in previous generations and iterations.

One of the most prominent and important things that helped this community form and gather momentum has long since subsided. As has the activity that gave it a name. Long before many members of the current community had a chance to experience it. But that doesn’t mean that its impact — or its reverberations in the community — has lessened. And so it’s really nice, from time to time, to give into nostalgia and revisit it.

For those of you who’ve been here for a minute, you’ll of course recognize that I’m talking about Beer and Blog. That weekly happy hour that provided a platform for deepening connections, onboarding new residents, and introducing visitors to the Portland startup community. Back in a time when folks actually blogged. And the name made sense.

At its height, it was an event that would draw hundreds of folks to the Green Dragon (now Rogue Eastside Pub) on any given Friday. Enabling folks to catch up, share ideas, and meet other folks in the community. It was one of those “visit Portland on Friday and come to Beer and Blog so you can meet everyone” sorts of things.

Quintessential was an understatement.

But all good things come to an end. And so did Beer and Blog. As the community grew. As the companies grew from small teams to massive organizations with their own social calendars. And as bonds formed among community members. So did the necessity for a weekly happy hour start to fade away.

And while the event no longer exists in its previous form, Beer and Blog manages to resurface once a year or so. And this time it’s resurfacing so nice it’s happening twice.

Beer and Blog Reunion (Part I) takes place Friday, January 17, 2020. Beer and Blog Reunion (Part II) takes place Friday, January 24, 2020. Where? Where else but the physical location of its former glory. Which now happens to be a Rogue Brewery.

So if you’re in the mood for a happy hour or two. With a bunch of folks from the Portland startup and open source communities, please make plans to attend one or both of the upcoming events.