Review Laurelwood Brewing Free Range Red Ale

Author: Jason Harris
September 19, 2010

We’re beginning a new series this week, featuring a fantastic smaller brewery in Portland called Laurelwood Brewing, in NE Portland.

Laurelwood is a Pub on NE Sandy Blvd and is a hotspot for any Portland based beer lover.

We who our outside of the Portland area are lucky that Laurelwood also bottles a few select beers, including today’s highlighted beer, Laurelwood Free Range Red Ale.

Free Range Red Ale is a very colorful ale what has a really well ballanced hoppy beer.  I think Free Range Red is Laurelwood’s ‘signature’ brew and it is a good beer to carry that honor.  When you see Free Range Red, it’s rich copper-coloring stands out.  According to their website, this beer is made from organically grown malts.

At first sip, Free Range Red has a medium body and is very drinkable.  It has a nice hoppy start and a smooth malty finish, making this a perfect all-around beer to have around for any occasion.  At 5.9% and 60 IBUs, this brew will make anyone who likes a good beer happy.

The beer is so good, it won the Gold Medal at the 2004 World Beer Cup, which is a very high honor for any brewer.

My feeling on Free Range Red: I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes an Amber, Pale Ale, Bitter or anything in between.  It is so versitile and refreshing, yet flavorful authentic.

Free Range Red is a perfect way to start out my series on Laurelwood.

Quail Springs IPA From Deschutes Brewery

Author: Jason Harris
March 29, 2010

Jason at Deschutes!I’m at Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl District of Portland Oregon right now as I write this.  I just ordered a Quail Springs IPA.  Here’s a quick review:

This IPA is not very hoppy…rather it’s smooth.  More like a Pale Ale with a bit more hoppy-ness to it.  Fans of Widmer’s Broken Halo will find this beer to be wimpy in the hoppi-ness/bitter category.

However, if you’re an Ale lover who wants to get his/her feet wet with an IPA, this is a great ‘gateway beer’ that will expose you, lightly, to a taste of what an IPA can be.

Try it out…available at the Portland pub and your favorite beer store.

Upcoming BrewFest: Organic Brewer’s Festival

Author: Jason Harris
March 25, 2010

headerIn my inbox today, I received an announcement about an event I can get behind.

During June 25-27, 2009, at Portland’s Overlook Park at the intersection of N Fremont and Interstate Ave, there will be the North American Organic Brewer’s Festival.

This event will raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living.  If you’re into craft brewing and even care remotely about the environment, go check out the event and show some love to these small-time brewers who deserve to go big!  I’ll paste the event announcement below.

PORTLAND, Ore. – More than 15,000 beer lovers will converge upon Portland this summer to take part in the world’s largest all organic beer festival. The sixth annual North American Organic Brewers Festival (NAOBF) will take place June 25 through 27 in Portland’s Overlook Park at the intersection of N Fremont and Interstate Ave.

Event hours are Noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission into the event is free. The purchase of a $6 reusable, compostable cornstarch glass is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens (more for select beers), and a four-ounce taste costs one token. Patrons receive a $1 discount toward the tasting glass with a validated MAX ticket or three cans of food – preferably organic – for the Oregon Food Bank.

Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the NAOBF serves up more than 75 organic craft beers from around the country. From summery Saison and Kolsch styles to rich and hearty stouts, the festival offers beers to please every palate. There’s also live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits, and a children’s area.

The festival goes beyond beer tasting by striving to be the most earth-friendly beer festival in North America. Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch glasses made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste, and food vendors are required to use compostable cutlery and plates. Electricity needs are met with a combination of biodiesel and solar generators. Volunteers wear organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable.

The NAOBF was established in 2005 by Craig Nicholls, who also founded Oregon’s first certified all-organic brewery, Roots Brewing Co.

“A lot of the thought process that went into making this festival sustainable was due to my kids,” explained Nicholls. “They made me think about the future and what it may hold for them. I researched the effects of global warming, carbon footprints and genetically modified organisms on the planet, and I didn’t like what I learned.”

Added Nicholls, “I don’t want my kids to grow up in this ‘world of plenty’ and have nothing because we have done a big part in destroying the planet.”

Studies show that the world’s population currently consumes 30% more natural resources than the Earth’s ecosystems can replenish. The NAOBF aims to bring awareness of sustainable living to its participants and attendees by encouraging brewing and drinking organic beers, using local and sustainable energy, and purchasing locally grown foods and locally made products.

The NAOBF is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. The festival benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Oregon Food Bank. For more information, visit