This husband and wife team seemed to relish in their slow and methodical growth that’s allowed them to focus on brewing in an environmentally sound way. In fact, Laurelwood was Portland’s Original Certified Organic Brewery. This continues to be their focus today.
Laurelwood Brewing Company? Yep, I’ve never heard of ’em either. But that’s okay because, despite not being a household name here on the east coast, they are certainly familiar to those in the greater Portland area. Laurelwood has been perfecting their craft in Portland, Oregon since 2001 and, like many brewpub operations, have experienced many changes along the way. Their original brewhouse was just a small seven barrel system in northeast Portland. They now have multiple locations and even a small two barrel nano system that they use for research and development. This is a great setup that I’m sure most brewers would love to have available. This husband and wife team seemed to relish in their slow and methodical growth, which has allowed them to focus on brewing in an environmentally sound way. In fact, Laurelwood was Portland’s Original Certified Organic Brewery. This continues to be their focus today.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Available in DC Market: No
Workhorse IPA (American India Pale Ale – 7.5 % ABV)
Beer Advocate: A (71 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 98 Overall / 97 Style
Notes: This big and bold IPA tends to come in on the fruitier side with plenty of floral hops while packing…blah blah blah, let’s cut to the chase. Beer Advocate has this rated as one of the Top 25 IPAs in America. That speaks volumes given the super-completive nature of this category. In 2009, Workhorse IPA beat out over sixty other IPAs to win the National IPA Challenge. Its competitors included Avery IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted, and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon. This true west coast IPA is one that will be high on my list to try at this year’s event.
Organic Free Range Red (American Amber – 6.1 % ABV)
Beer Advocate: C (2Reviews)
Rate Beer: 88 Overall / 97 Style
Notes: A good representation of the style. Pours a nice dark red and finishes with bread-like notes. Not a ton of reviews out there on this one so it appears we are getting a fairly limited beer, even for those in Laurelwood’s distribution area.
What you need to know:
Laurelwood Brewing Company is great example of why the lottery system approach to selecting breweries works so well. I think it’s safe to say a significant number of attendees would not have ever heard of these guys if not for their SAVOR appearance. I personally can’t wait to see if Laurelwood leaves the crowd buzzing.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.