Renewable resources and bio-based feedstocks may present a sustainable alternative to petrochemical sources to satisfy modern society's ever-increasing demand for energy and chemicals. However, the conversion processes needed for these future bio-refineries will likely differ from those currently used in the petrochemical industry. Biotechnology and chemocatalysis offer routes for converting biomass into a variety of molecules that can serve as platform chemicals. While a host of technologies can be leveraged for biomass upgrading, condensation reactions are significant because they have the potential to upgrade these bio-derived feedstocks while minimizing the loss of carbon and the generation of by-products. This review surveys both the biological and chemical catalytic routes to producing platform chemicals from renewable sources and describes advances in condensation chemistry and strategies for the conversion of these platform chemicals into fuels and high-value chemicals.