I don't think that there are any respectable beer drinkers in Portland that didn't know that Laurelwood Brewing Company is opening a third location in town. We have been waiting and there were a few setbacks, but luckily for Portland, that's all in the past.

Paul Bergeman readies the wort for the second of a double batch of their Organic Free Range Red.

Laurelwood Brewery, 40th Avenue

For years, the 40th Avenue location has brewed beer for it's sister location on NW 23rd as well as supplying kegs for other establishments throughout the city. That brewery is a 7 Barrel system which was always run at capacity to barely keep up with demand. The new location on Sandy is a 15 Barrel system, which now increases their total capacity at 22 Barrels, more than 3 times the original size!

What does this giant jump in capacity mean for us? Well, first of all, more beer. With an overall increase in production volume, it will be much easier for Laurelwood to distribute their beer, not only to saturate Portland, but also start pushing out more beer to surrounding areas. So relax, if you live in Portland, you'll probably never be far from some style of Laurelwood beer. Also, along with greater capacity, we will also be seeing more styles and seasonals. Now, for this brewery, this is no small task. Not because it is beyond the reach of the brewers, but rather because they already make so many damn seasonals! In about the span of a year, Laurelwood produces over 50 seasonal styles to compliment their 7 standard beer lineup. Yes, more than 50!

At it's grand opening yesterday, change was already evident. In addition to their old standards (Boss IPA, Mother Lode Golden Ale, Organic Free Range Red, Organic Tree Hugger Porter, Piston Pale Ale, Space Stout), they've also added a second IPA, Workhorse, and a year-round brown called Hooligan (which is the replacement for the Ettinger Amber that has been removed from the lineup). If that wasn't enough, they also featured three seasonals: Lucky 7 IPA, Imperial IPA #9, and Helgaweizen. Yep, 9 Laurelwood beers on tap for the grand opening.

Laurelwood Brewing Company, NE 40th Avenue
If you need more than a pint or a pitcher, grab a keg!
As for food and such, it's the same menu from the 40th Avenue location. In fact, they didn't just bring the menu, they brought the whole kitchen! The kitchen was pulled from the old location and moved to make room for the new equipment which will transform the old location into the Laurelwood Pizza Company, which is aimed at opening in mid July. Laurelwood is known for being a family friendly establishment--a strange thing for a brewery. The 40th Avenue location can get a bit cramped and loud from 6:00pm-9:00pm with all of the children running around and screaming. The new spot, while still family friendly with play areas, is much more segmented to keep this distraction to a minimum.

So, all is not just well in Portland, it's fantastic! Congratulations to the owners and staff for making this launch so successful. If you build it, they will come...=