I think the folks who have frequented #thinkndrink over the past year would agree that this casual, organic, nomadic Friday happy hour is to blame for the start of some kick-ass relationships, both personal and professional.

It all started with a Tweet, on November 6, 2009:

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle (not really...I’ve just always wanted to say that). This unsuspecting happy hour meetup between two friends/colleagues turned into a chance Tweetup with a group of folks who, up until this day, had only known each other by a 50x50 pixel avatar — @jeremypair@DaveAtNORTH@billyhuys@samlaroe@swestbrook...I even think @unflatpdx and @brontestreet made an appearance at the Doug Fir Lounge that day. And so it began...

Since then #thinkndrink has carried on each Friday. The location changes weekly and is disclosed by a #thinkndrink Tweet Thursday or Friday morning, usually authored by a frequent flyer. It’s a democracy.

So this vague meet-up about nothing...what’s it really about? Here’s what the usual suspects have to say:

  • #thinkndrink is all about serendipity. It's a moveable feast where the faces, places and vibe are different every week.

  • I appreciate meeting all the awesome pdx peeps I've met at #thinkndrink who I likely would not have met otherwise.

  • #thinkndrink has connected me with some very fun, very smart people in the Portland graphic and web design, UX, and developer fields. The group is full of accomplished freelancers and employees of some of the biggest names in media. I am always thrilled to see my #thinkndrink friends because I know that I'll have great conversation, a good bite, and occasionally I'll pick up a referral for a freelance project.

  • For me, #thinkndrink is what turned my Twitter community into real life friends and colleagues. #thinkndrink is what gave me the exposure to the creative community I was looking for. I've made really great friends through it all and feel like I have a solid foundation of peer support. #thinkndrink is the people I wish I went to work with everyday. The folks that go there, while diverse in skills, values and interests, they all have a certain mindset about work and life that I connect with on a very deep level. #thinkndrink has been the conduit for my introduction into the Portland Creative Community.

  • For freelancers and those that work at home, it's great to have the Friday celebration like folks who work in office and got out together on Fridays.

  • I always find crazy support and true interest in what I'm doing in and ideas I have.

  • We’re all busy — meetings, deadlines, doctor’s appointments, kids’ soccer games. Most of us don’t need another ‘thing’ we have to go to. That’s what I really do appreciate about #thinkndrink. I don’t have to go, but I want to. These are people I would hang out with anyway, really.

We're often asked to explain the difference between #thinkndrink and one of the other Portland Friday meetups, Beer and Blog. Bret Bernhoft (@Bret_Bernhoft) did an audio interview about this very subject just recently...you can check it out here. If you’re curious about #thinkndrink and Beer and Blog, give them both a shot.

#thinkndrink regulars are also a handsome group. Seriously. I’ve got proof!

If you haven't checked us out (and you think we're your kind of people), feel free to stop by some Friday...we don’t bite. Although, we have had four #thinkndrink family babies all born within three months of each other. There’s obviously a whole lot a love goin’ around.

Thanks to all of you who've come out over the past year. I think I can speak for everyone who's attended when I say...it's been a pleasure.

Cheers to one year of thinking and drinking #thinkndrink!