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Laurelwood Workhorse (bottled)?

Discussion in 'US - Northwest' started by draheim, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    I remember seeing something a while back that they were no longer bottling this - had some a little more than a year ago and remember thinking it was a straight-up good, solid brew. Two-pronged question:
    1. Is it true this is no longer available anywhere in bottles, or is it at least seasonal?
    2. If they are no longer bottling it at all, why the %&* not? It's one of their best-reviewed beers and I gots to have another taste.
    Cheers!
     
  2. guajolote

    guajolote Savant (415) Oregon Sep 12, 2008

  3. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Savant (450) Oregon Aug 17, 2005

    You can get growlers at their pubs, but otherwise no bottles.
     
  4. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    So did Laurelwood contract significantly or refocus distribution only locally or something? I remember late 2010, early 2011 there were cases of their beer (including Workhorse) all over Seattle; now I think I generally only ever see Free Range Red and/or the Espresso Stout, maybe occasionally Gearhead... Can't recall seeing much of anything on tap either.

    EDIT: Or maybe they expanded too fast, thus the hop shortage and inability to sustain supply?
     
  5. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (620) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    Laurelwood does some strange things. They opened up a pub in Battleground but shut down the public house and pizza place in PDX which leads me to guess they're playing a game of "Go where we're wanted." Thus, if they weren't getting much a reception up north, they retreated to safer confines.
     
  6. They closed their place on NW 23 in Portland and it was always packed. I thought Gearhead was a temporary filler till they got the hops in for Workhorse.
     
  7. Loved Workhorse, miss it dearly. Don't really care for Gearhead.
     
    ellswrth likes this.
  8. I don't want to be "conspiracy guy" but all this hop shortage/gearhead/workhorse only at pub stuff happened right after Chad Kennedy left. If the OP starts a petition I will sign it. They also won't fill a corny of it for those that want a constant fix. I am lucky enough to live close to the pub so I can swing over for a pint or growler. It is weird though since Workhorse was their, well...workhorse.
     
  9. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Sure, I'll start a petition but I don't know what good it'll do. I kind of wondered about that "hop shortage" explanation too, I mean what kind of hops were they using? Plenty of other beer has come out over the past year containing every variety of hops under the sun...
     
  10. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Savant (450) Oregon Aug 17, 2005

    Per their website: Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, Columbus, and Nugget.
     
  11. I see Gearhead all over Seattle. Hell, the Fred Meyer in Auburn always has it.

    With that said, I miss Workhorse so much. It's one of my favorite IPAs of all time.
     
    hopburster likes this.
  12. ramnuts

    ramnuts Aficionado (235) Oregon Feb 16, 2009

    The only thing better than Workhorse was Imperial Workhorse! With Green Mammoth out this year, I doubt we'll see Impy WH in 2012. I'm anxious to see what Chad is cooking up with his new brewing operation in Bend....
     
    hopburster likes this.
  13. Docer

    Docer Savant (415) Washington Nov 20, 2008

    There was going to be a lot of sewer work done on 23rd, which would have dramatically dropped the amount of revenue to the pub, so they made a business decision to close it down. I thought it was odd too since they just had remodeled the place. But it was looking to be a great loss soon after. The Battleground spot is nice, and I think it was a good move. Plus I think it was fairly reasonable to open up shop there unlike many spots in Oregon. With Chad leaving, that made more room for loss of revenue. They want to focus on distribution and expansion, but at a more safe and conservative rate due to the economy and saturation of the market currently. One must look at how they can continue to satisfy their local base, as well as make it the slightest bit profitable to bottle and distribute.. which is quite hard and expensive for many. Either way, it has all been a set back for them and us. But a business must play it safe, and I understand that.
     
    hopburster likes this.
  14. I rated the Workhorse really highly and now it isn't bottled I realise how I took it for granted. Gearhead is ok, but doesn't hold a torch to it.

    No workhorse at the airport either is annoying.
     
  15. Hi, don't mean to intrude, but for those of you still on this thread, wanted to straighten out the facts and why we did what we did. My name is Vasili, or notChad, whichever you like.
    When I took over at LW, last July,we had about a month of hops left to make WH at the current production levels. Had a few choices, stop all distribution immediately and maybe have enough in the pubs until new hop crop came in, change the hops and call it Workhorse, which is a terrible idea, or keep producing that month, use the time to make a different IPA with the hops we did have in large supply (Gearhead), and get the story out there about what was up. We did the latter, and I could have the best reasons in the world for why we couldn't make WH, it doesn't make any difference to the WH faithful. We PO'd lots of people. I don't wish that scorn on my worst enemy.
    Anyway, new crop came in and contracts were filled. We immediately made WH again. We had a few choices, make WH for distribution and run out again in August, go through all that again, meanwhile not making anything else with Simcoe/amarillo all year, or produce enough for the pub, so there is somewhere where you can always find it and meanwhile use the excess sim/AMA for beers like Organic Green Mammoth, which we are bottling, or Organic Deranger whic we will be bottling later this year, as well as some of the seasonals. We chose the latter.
    Our contracts dramatically increase next year on these hops, so I see no issues distributing it in 2012. While Gearhead is a solid IPA, it isn't and was never trying to be WH. I was trying for a more British (caramel malt) interpretation as well as being lower ABV. I want to thank you for drinking our beers and for whatever is left of your patience, and hopefully in the meantime we will make some imperials, seasonals, as well as our core beers that you will enjoy for what they are rather then not like them for what they are not. Wait, that's a double negative. Anyway, feel free to write me at the brewery if you have any questions about what we are up to. Love talking beer! All the best [email protected]
     
  16. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Thanks Vasili for all the info. Obviously there's a lot of love for Workhorse so we sure hope you can get it back out in wider distribution soon. Cheers!
     
  17. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    Good to hear, Vasili! I was wondering why you guys concentrated on making shittier beer for an extended period of time.
     
  18. morimech

    morimech Advocate (710) Minnesota Nov 6, 2006

    Sorry for the slight derail. But what does the date on the bottle mean? Is it a bottle on date or a best by date? I emailed the brewery a couple weeks ago and never got a response.
     
  19. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (620) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    You probably shouldn't drunk post.
     
    msubulldog25, djbreezy and Mahlik like this.
  20. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (510) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    If they have haters they must be doing something right.


    I *think* it's the bottled on date because the brewery typically has super recent ones and my local Fred Meyer in Vancouver usually has 4 month olds ones. ;)
     
  21. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    I'm surprised it takes a guy from outside of the area to express some outrage over Workhorse being shelved. Workhorse won a national competition for a reason. Do you actually think Gearhead is even close to WH?

    No.
     
    largadeer and ramnuts like this.
  22. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    See the OP (I'm from the area): "If they are no longer bottling it at all, why the %&* not? It's one of their best-reviewed beers and I gots to have another taste."
    This is about as outraged as we polite Northwesterners ever get.

    I thought your post was funny as hell, by the way.
     
  23. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (510) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    Outrage over beer? Are the stresses of a first world country getting you down? At least Vasili was nice enough to post and explain his position.
     
  24. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Outrage over the absence of a specific, widely loved beer, to be precise. But you're right, it was good of Vasili to chime in.
     
  25. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    Are you so dull that the moment anyone discusses anything other than genocide in Rwanda or KONY 2012, you must chime in with this overused meme? Yes, on a beer website, my outrages, joys, and opinions will be confined to beer. Congratulations on finding the pattern.
     
  26. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,110) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    Outrage is completely understandable, but I confess I was a bit puzzled by the "concentrating on making shittier beer" comment. What brought that on?

    The brewer explained the situation (why Laurelwood was temporarily unable to make and bottle WH), and while I can understand an extreme level of disappointment over that arrangement, telling the brewer his other beer is shitty because it doesnt measure up to your impression of WH seems a bit strong (not to mention unfair).

    The brewer acknowledged that he wasn't trying to make an IPA that would take the place of WH, and given that he was a new brewer at Laurelwood, I think it's understandable that he would want to try to make something that was distinctly his own. I'm not a big fan of "English style" IPA's, so it sounds like I probably wouldn't much care for Gearhead (havent' had it), but my lack of fondness for a particular beer or beers, that doesn't indicate (at least in my mind) a focus on making shitty beer.

    Personally, I appreciated the response from Mr. Vasili, and I'm looking forward to Laurelwood making WH again, along with their other beers (some of which I like better than others, naturally). Like boozecamel, I missed seeing WH at the airport when heading back out of town.
     
    black13 likes this.
  27. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (510) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    :rolleyes: I was simply poking fun...
     
  28. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (510) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    Arbitrator got temporarily banned from posting and sends his apologies for being "so harsh" in his response. I told him it's all good so we are all happy beer forum friends again. :D
     
    MADhombrewer likes this.
  29. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Well let's all have a Hopworks, RPM, or Watershed and make up since we can't have Workhorse.
     
    djbreezy likes this.
  30. ramnuts

    ramnuts Aficionado (235) Oregon Feb 16, 2009

    For the record, I don't believe it was this thread that got him banned. I think it was something completely different.
     
  31. Why don't we all just meet up at Laurelwood and have Workhorse?
     
  32. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,040) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Bit of a drive for me, and I think Vasili might bar Arbitrator at the door.
     
    Arbitrator and MADhombrewer like this.
  33. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (510) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    Correct, it wasn't this thread. He was wild'n out in another forum! I got a thread removed for referring to Coors Light Iced Tea as CLIT. The sheriff round these parts doesn't take crap from anyone.

    Watershed IPA is in a class of it's own (perhaps not in a good way)... o_O
     
    MADhombrewer likes this.
  34. ramnuts

    ramnuts Aficionado (235) Oregon Feb 16, 2009

    He's been banned at better places than LW....;)
     
    djbreezy likes this.
  35. Hi Folks, This thread is probably super cold, since it seems to have been several months since anyone has posted. We had a great spring, summer and fall, wons some medals and awards and kept cranking out the beer. I stopped paying attention after the "focus on shitty beer" comment, since frankly I've got better things to do then be insulted by anonymous folks, but understand the emotion involved, people love this beer. Atleast I hope it came out of that rather then just hating. Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that the new crop year has been pelletized and become available, meaning we have the hops needed to make Workhorse again, and we will be releasing Workhorse in draft and bottle this week. Including at the airport. Oh yeah, the dates on the bottles are bottled date.
     
  36. oregone

    oregone Savant (375) Oregon Jul 2, 2008

    I'm glad to hear that I'll be able to try this finally. Not sure how I missed it over the years (when it was available). Obviously a staple for many folks diet.
    And I have to say, as potentially rude, disrespectful, unnecessary, as Abitrators comment was, I laughed my ass off when I read it.
     
  37. Gobigvt7

    Gobigvt7 Savant (310) Oregon Mar 15, 2008

    excitement!
     
  38. I had a couple of Workhorses at the airport on the my way to lagerland (Australia). Was a nice bon voyage and great to see it back.

    Allagash Curieux in the LAX Qantas lounge was a pleasant surprise! I felt like I entered the twilight zone; actually wanting to spend more time in an airport lounge.
     
    guajolote likes this.
  39. Oregone, I agree with you, it is funny because it is true to all the frustrated Workhorse drinkers out there. Maybe just funny or entertaining objectively as one person hurting another.
    As the person who is responsible to get the beer people want to drink in their hands, it cut a little too close to the bone. As I said earlier:
    "I could have the best reasons in the world for why we couldn't make WH, it doesn't make any difference to the WH faithful. We PO'd lots of people. I don't wish that scorn on my worst enemy."
    When I can get some distance from this, I will laugh to, I am sure. I just don't have to go to forums or other exotic places to get this kind of abuse as there is a lot of local supply around this issue. I am sure it will hang over my head for a good while. It was just a sucky way to start a new job. Anyway, thank you all for thinking and talking about great beer. I like hearing what you all have to say, even the occasional slight.
     
    Lordkrystic likes this.
  40. oregone

    oregone Savant (375) Oregon Jul 2, 2008

    Please don't take it the wrong way.
    I respect the work you do, the beers you make, and certainly don't envy the position you were in regarding workhorse.
    I don't think a violence comparison to his comment is valid though. Despite knocking what you've been doing (his valid opinion), at least recognize that he's joking. No real harm.
    I, as I'm sure we all do, look forward to what you will bring to the table. Shrug of the rough start and keep doing what you do man. It's a great time to be in a great place.
     

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