On Friday, March 18th Laurelwood will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary from 5-11pm at their Sandy location. The party will feature Live Music, $2.50 Pints, and Family Fun. The party is sponsored by Taplister who just announced an In App upgrade that will allow users to view beer ratings and descriptions from RateBeer.com.
Laurelwood will also be releasing 2 new beers to the public: The "Big O" Organic Pale Ale and Imperial Workhorse IPA. I was fortunate to attend a preview of these beers and must say that Laurelwood is following their reputation of producing solid NW beers.
|"Big O" on the right, Hop Monkey on the left|
The Organic Pale Ale will be replacing the Hop Monkey in their year round lineup. I had a chance to try both of these beers side by side. They are nearly identical in appearance but the Organic Pale drinks smoother with less overpowering hops and seemed more attenuated. These factors create a better balance than the Hop Monkey and create a sort of Cascadian Session Ale. Laurelwood also brought 1 of the 3 experimental Pales that they brewed to develop the new recipe to last week's Meet the Distributor night at Bottles. That beer was again a little more assertive than the final product which features a mellow smoothness that is highly quaffable.
On another end of the spectrum is the Imperial Workhorse IPA. The original gravity was bumped up from 17º Plato to 19.5º Plato resulting in an ABV of about 9.5%. To balance this out, the hops were increased to contribute about 15 more IBUs over the standard Workhorse. This beer contains plenty of hops presenting a firm bitterness and a pleasant resinous character. The malts provide a good balance with some sweetness coming through. I overheard mention that no hop extract was used but that some hop pellets were ground up before use in hopes of better utilization. Not as cloying as this year's Green Mammoth but also lacking some of the over the top aromatics of that brew, this fits in nicely between that and their standard IPAs.
Laurelwood will also be bottling the Hooligan Brown Ale just in time for our local Football club's inaugural MLS season (that's the Portland Timbers in case you've been under a rock). Other new bottles to look for this coming year are the Organic Pale Ale and Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale.