Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
5115 Northeast Sandy Boulevard
Visited on February 15, 2010
I have just discovered an awful, alarming truth – all of the reviews I wrote from my second long weekend excursion to Portland when I lived in Idaho have magically disappeared. Oh sure, the rankings are still there on my list that I keep on my computer, but the actual text reviews are gone. That’s a shame, as I actually wrote them as I was there at the breweries. So unfortunately, I’m going to just have to go off of what I can remember.
Starting with Laurelwood Public House, which was my last stop out of Portland after a successful weekend of hiking and drinking. I showed up early on a Sunday (before noon) in preparation for my long drive home, so the place was deserted. The location itself is a large, beautiful building on the western outskirts of the city. They do all their brewing there – you can tell by the smell and the brewers coming in and out for a break/drink. It is a gigantic, beautiful building with a solid interior decorator – classy, understated, solid colors, but gorgeous all the same.
I know I had lunch, but what I had is escaping me now that I’ve lost the original review. I remember that it was good, but not outstanding. The onion rings, I believe, were the best part of the meal. I’m relatively certain I had fried fish, which takes a lot to impress me with that dish because I love it so much. That being said, I remember everything being local, organic and by no means anything that anyone in their right minds would ever turn down.
The beer was exceptional. There was a lot to choose from that day I remember, because I had to go through the sampler slow and hang out for a bit before heading back to Idaho. I seem to recall the pales and ambers as being especially prevalent and interesting. I took home bombers of Free Range Red and their Winter Seasonal Christmas Ale at the time and greatly enjoyed them at a later date.
Of course, the issue with Portland is that you are constantly bombarded by outstanding beer everywhere you go, so it is easy to underscore a place after becoming somewhat used to it. But looking back, this was a top-tier place, no doubt. I’ll make sure the numbers add up to its original score of 95, which I gave right after visiting.