Saturday, August 27, 2011

Found: A Piece of Beervana History

We used to be big garage sale fans. Dave would scour the paper early Saturday morning, circling his picks in the classifieds, with those offering tools or, especially old woodworking planes, in bright red ink. After a cup of coffee I'd take a crack at the ads and we'd map our route to get to as many of our best picks within the couple of hours of precious weekend time we could devote to the hunt.

In the last few years we've slacked off, realizing that at this point we need to get rid of stuff rather than accumulate it. Though once in a great while we'll come across a treasure that just can't be passed up.

This morning Dave came home from running errands with a real find. Stopping at a sale in the Hollywood area, he noticed some brewpub growlers sitting on a table. One in particular stopped him dead in his tracks. On the front was a sticker announcing it was from Old World Pub & Brewery, an early but short-lived brewery and café that was taken over by Mike DeKalb's nascent Laurelwood Brewing.

We'd gone to Old World to check it out and, while the food was uneven, its beers were spectacular, the work of a young and then-unknown brewer by the name of Christian Ettinger. When Old World morphed into Laurelwood, Ettinger stayed with the company, developing an award-winning array of hop-forward beers that would help define the Northwest style of brewing. As most beer fans know, he left Laurelwood after several years to start his own Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB), an all-organic brewpub and café on SE Powell, opening the Hopworks BikeBar on North Williams this summer.

The woman who was giving the garage sale rolled her eyes when Dave handed over his money and, pointing at the growler, said, "Portland brewing history!" But, needless to say, he's beside himself with excitement over his treasure, and can't wait to take it to Hopworks and get it filled. The question is, will they notice?

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