Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's Alive! Alive, I Tell You!

As mentioned below, our beloved Laurelwood Pub in Hollywood closed last week in order that it might rise from its ashes and be reborn as Laurelwood Pizza. We first went there when it was the Old World Pub with some amazingly stunning beers put out by a brewer who looked to be about 14 years old. This wunderkind brewmaster, Christian Ettinger, then proceeded to win nearly every award, both local and national, given in the microbrewing industry and put Laurelwood on the national brewing map.

He left about a year ago to open his own much-anticipated Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) on SE 30th and Powell, and Laurelwood has a new brewer, Chad Kennedy, who is developing his own brews to add to the lineup of house beers. With the success of the original pub and the beers Christian developed, they needed a much larger brewing facility to accomodate not only their own pubs but also their commercial customers in restaurants around the city and a desire to start bottling their beers. So now they've opened a little further up the street in a huge new brewing facility that includes a restaurant, not one but two play areas for tykes and a blessedly (so far) kid-free bar area for those who want to concentrate on their hops.

The menu remains unchanged, so you can still get their terrific fish and chips, and the taps have expanded to offer plentiful seasonals along with their usual brews. The one thing lacking is a cask tap, but we'll hope to see at least one in place very soon. An odd new development we noticed on our last visit is a glass-rinsing contraption at each tap. Since they store their glasses upside down at the bar and go through them like crazy, what's the point of this? The water from the rinsing puddles in the bottom of the glass, so you're getting water in your beer. So we're going to be requesting our glasses to be dry when they're filled, thanks very much.

Regardless, the new place has been slammed with people since they opened last Friday (how did people find out?), and it's kept the low-key atmo that made the original location a nice place to hang. There's plenty of parking to be had in the large lot behind the building, so head over, check it out and let us know what you think!

Details: Laurelwood Pub and Brewery, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd. Phone 503-282-0622.

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