In the collaborative fashion that makes Oregon brewing so darn friendly, Laurelwood Brewing Co. in Portland has contracted with Craft Brew Alliance, borrowing the larger company’s local equipment to expand by as many as 15,000 barrels per year. Laurelwood owner Mike De Kalb said the company now is able to produce its beer in 12-ounce glass bottles, which will now be available nationally.
Craft Brew Alliance, the parent company to Widmer Brothers, Red Hook and Kona, has made possible the expansion “on our terms,” De Kalb said.
“We didn’t want to change our line-up or the fact we are a Portland business by selling shares to outside interests. Instead we found a way to increase our production and keep Laurelwood a locally owned independent company.”
Laurelwood’s brewmasters will continue to oversee quality and consistency, using the company’s own yeast strain and sources of ingredients. “Laurelwood’s beer will continue to be distinctive, delicious and daring,” DeKalb said.
Some changes are in the offing, although not entirely because of the expansion: Free Range Red will no longer be a certified organic beer, although Laurelwood will offer organic beers at its public houses. With regional organic hops in tight supply, as well as 2013 changes in the Certified Organic standards, De Kalb said he and his brewers will concentrate their organic program on Organic Tree Hugger Porter and a line of small batch specialty beers.
Laurelwood’s owners De Kalb and Cathy Woo-De Kalb first began producing certified organic beer in 2001. After many national and international beer awards, Laurelwood’s handcrafted beers can on draft and in bottles throughout Oregon and Washigton. Laurelwood’s handcrafted beers can be found on draft, in bottles and at its five pubs in Oregon and Washington. For more information about Laurelwood, visit www.laurelwoodbrewpub.com.