What Does Being in a Community Mean to You?

The power of a community is like that of a leader — service, sacrifice for others, and a willingness to learn draw people in. Humility and adaptation are welcoming qualities to newcomers/outsiders.

But this power turned toward uplifting itself, making self-serving demands, and excluding willing participants will destroy the culture of the community from the inside.

To me, community means:

  • A group that gathers around common ideas or interests
  • A group in which conversation and communication are open to all from all
  • A place where it’s safe to fail, look dumb, or ask any question
  • A place where people see other’s interests and opinions as important as their own
  • An environment in which people can learn, grow, and change
  • An environment in which people are better off than if they were separated

Two years ago I founded the Seattle Whiskey Collective with three friends to create a community of people who wanted to taste and learn about American whiskey is a non-pretentious environment at a low monthly cost.

Today, we have nearly 50 paying members, new relationships and friends, ranging from the novices to experienced collectors. We’ve tasted over 100 whiskeys, shared insights, met industry leaders, learned a ton, and hosted events in Seattle we never would have dreamed of.

Seattle Whiskey Collective is as much about people as whiskey, and I hope that ethos lasts as long as this community exists.