A new networking series intended to highlight issues important to Maine businesses will launch next month with the benefit of a popular Maine product – beer.

Inspired by its long-running Eggs and Issues breakfast series, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is launching an evening networking series called Kegs & Issues.

The first event takes place Sept. 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Portland House of Music and Events on Temple Street in Portland. The topic is “The Creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument” and will feature Lucas St. Clair, who has played a key role in the project’s development.

“For 32 years the Chamber has discussed the pressing issues of the city and the region at our Eggs and Issues breakfast series,” said Quincy Hentzel, chamber CEO, in a statement announcing the series. “We’re taking a familiar and successful formula and introducing it to a new audience, different time of day and pairing some of the best craft brews our region is becoming world famous for.”

The format for the evening events will be shorter than the chamber breakfasts and attendees will be served beer rather than eggs or yogurt.

Other differences include:

• A rotating venue to feature some of the region’s best spots.

• Short, Ted Talk-like presentations focused on topics not normally covered in Eggs and Issues.

• A later start and reduced price to allow a different demographic access to Chamber events.

• Some of the region’s best brews on tap.

• Four events per season.

The sponsors of the first event are cPort Credit Union and Wex.

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