Laurelwood Portland Brewer in Food and Beverage Magazine
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aurelwood Public House & Brewery was started by Mike DeKalb and Cathy Woo-DeKalb in early 2001. Mike had worked in the corporate restaurant world and Cathy's family owns a restaurant in Eastern Washington. The kid-friendly brewpub was an original concept when they opened their doors eight years ago. And now with 5 Laurelwood restaurants, three in Portland-proper and two new pubs at Portland International Airport, they've seem to have proven that families and beer can go together.

Laurelwood, Laurelwood brre, Laurelwood brewery

The DeKalbs have also shown a knack for hiring great brewers. Head Brewer Chad Kennedy has been with Laurelwood since 2002, assuming the chief brewing role in 2006. All brewing at both the original location (1728 NE 40th Ave.) and the new brewery opened in 2007 (5115 NE Sandy Blvd.) is handled by Chad and three other brewers.

While still a small brewery, Laurelwood has grown to produce over 8000 kegs of beer in 2008- making them one of the larger brewpubs in the country. That's also great news for us environmentally-minded beer drinkers too. Laurelwood has been one of the country's leading Organic brewers, first certified as an organic brewer in 2002. Their Organic Free Range Red ale and Organic Tree Hugger Porter have been staples of the Organic beer scene ever since.

Their restaurants have also followed with the brewery's sustainable model. They do their best to source local, natural ingredients and also compost all the restaurants' food and paper waste. Though environmentally conscious, Laurelwood has never relied on their "green ways" to attract customers. The quality of their beer and food has always stood for themselves.

Laurelwood, Laurelwood brre, Laurelwood brewery

Laurelwood has always been known for their high quality brews that speak to the tastes of Oregon beer drinkers. Their beers have garnered many awards at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and World Beer Cup (WBC), culminating in a Small Brewpub of the Year award at the 2004 WBC. While this has always meant well-crafted, "to style" beers, Head Brewer Chad Kennedy has begun to push the envelope with Laurelwood's seasonal and year-round beer offerings. Chad's introduced an excellent 10% ABV barleywine, several bourbon barrel beers and an ever-fantastic and ever-popular Workhorse IPA.

Laurelwood should also be close to releasing some of it's first Belgian-style sour ales. Wild beer such as Laurelwood's Raspberry Lambic are refermented with all sorts of wild bacteria and yeast to create some of the most complex beers known to beer lovers.

They brewer began bottling year-round in 2007- first with their flagship Organic Free Range Red ale and seasonally adding such popular special offerings as Organic Green Elephant IPA and their winter ale Vinter Varmer. With the success of their restaurants and beer Laurelwood hopes to begin expanding beer sales outside of Oregon this year. With any luck, maybe you'll find one of these delicious, Oregon brews at store near you.

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