Laurelwood NW Public House

very good

20 Ratings
Laurelwood NW Public HouseLaurelwood NW Public House

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

2327 NW Kearney St
Portland, Oregon, 97210
United States

(503) 228-5553

// CLOSED //

*** Closed on December 27, 2010 ***

Added by Thrasher

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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of slander
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Seen some stuff. Brewpubs and bars in all sizes and shapes. Stand alones and strip malls, too many cookie cutter prefabs, and then a good bunch built in old industrial & factory spaces, furniture & appliance stores, an old bank, an elementary school, a few train stations, a Victorian mansion, a movie theatre, a post office, a firehouse, even an old church. So a house in a residential neighborhood converted into a bar shouldn't surprise, right? Really nothing surprises anymore...

Feeling right at someone else's home here, I wandered around the house taking it all in. Downstairs, room to the rear, a small "L" shaped bar seating a half dozen or so. Shelves of booze over mirrored pieces on the bar back wall, above an 8 tap tower, and glassware cupboards down on the end. Drop cylinder lighting and track spots, a single TV in the corner, and the tap selections written on a mounted blackboard with ABV's & IBU's. A few raised bar tables and about a half dozen low ones forward the bar in the frontish room, a small fireplace there with a mirror above and malt in Lauelwood jars on the mantle. Slat wood floors, yellow, orange & beige painted walls over wood lower pieces. Big old windows open out onto the two tiered front porch; 8 small tables there. Chandeliers in the foyer at the foot of the stairway to somewhere, carpeted and railed, framed pics along the way and Laurelwood hats & shirts, too. Upstairs, a dozen and a half tables; 2 seaters some pushed together for 4's, and a small corner kids play place nook with dinosaurs in a bin. Grrrr!! Done up as below with yellow, orange & beige painted walls over wood lower pieces, with black & white beer prints and mounted lamps. 3 tables on the balcony with tree growth rolling over the sills, and a rear room holding a single table.

Split a sampler, which brought 7 regular taps and a seasonal. The Mother Lode Golden Ale was crisp, hoppy; the Piston Pale Ale, slightly hazy, floral, Cascade; the Amber Ale was actually an Alt and was somewhat buttery; the Organic Tree Hugger Porter, chocolatey, a bit of coffee; the Organic Free Range Red, medium bodied, nicely balanced, pleasant; the Boss IPA, fresh Yakima hops, good flavor; the Space Stout was black licorice, oatiness, a bit burnt, just beautiful; and the seasonal Hooligan Brown had a coffee oddness for a brown ale, and was hoppy on the end. Liked the Porter & Stout the most.

Wasn't looking to meal, but perhaps a snack. Laurelwood garlic fries madness, malt vinegar, chopped garlic, parmesan cheese & parsley. Did the trick and the beers were good overall, but we're going to move on now. I figure it'd be good to get out of the house for a while.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.01/5  rDev -24.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3

I feel like I’m at a barbeque at some distant cousin’s lake house when I walk in. The place is that homely. My girlfriend is still shopping on 23rd at this point so I casually stroll around and then head up to the tiny bar in the living room, carefully avoiding the strollers, car seats, and babbies scattered in the hall and around the tables.

A cocky little bastard behind the bar seems to take offense to fact that a young man has walked into his bar unaccompanied a wife or loud children. “Don’t you know this is family hour,” he is thinking as he spouts off orders to me, “Why don’t you just calm down and take a seat at a table. Some one will help you in a bit.”

Calm down? All I did was say hello, ask how your day was going, and question if you had a beer sampler. Calm down?

I take a seat in the corner as far from the little angry man as possible, which really isn’t that far because after all, I’m in someone’s living room. Ten minutes later the imp swaggers over. I order a sampler. His expression of annoyance terns to one of pure acrimony.

“Don’t you know it’s happy hour,” he ejects, spittle spraying over the table. “Pints are just $2.75. They’re a much better deal then the sampler.”

“Thanks for the tip but I’m only in town for a couple of days and am trying to taste as many brews as I can,” I reply. “I think I’ll stick with the sampler. Thank you.”

I order some chips and salsa. The puck grimaces and turns back to the bar. My girlfriend walks in and sits down. Five minutes pass and the gremlin returns, beer in tow. He sees that I have company and suddenly his mood swings 180.

Maybe it’s the fact that she’s wearing pastels or perhaps it’s that she has shopping bags from the surrounding boutiques with her, I can’t be sure, but something about the fact that I am now joined by a companion, that I now look like I fit there, leads our bartender to turn from arrogant Parisian into laid back surfer dude. His accent changes and he apologizes for making me wait. Suddenly, it’s all smiles. My annoyance vanishes and ease washes over me. I figure our barkeep is just manic.

The beers are nice. There are seven of them in all (though they did give me two samples of the APA for some reason) and for the most part they’re simple but spot on style wise and also quite drinkable and refreshing. The alt bier stands out well as does the Tree Hugger Porter. The Free Range Red that I’ve seen on tap all over the city comes in a close third. The remaining brews are a touch dull and all taste fairly similar to one another. I’m sad to learn that they don’t brew stouts during the summer but my sadness disappears once I try their salsa - thick, blended, spicy, yet balanced, and with a nice roasted pepper, poblano perhaps, roundedness. Yum! After finishing the sampler and ordering a couple pints with the GF we pay our tab to our now friendly barkeep and make our way north to yet another McMen location.

Side Note: I noticed that one of the other reviews says that this is a bar to bring your mom or even you grandma too. I completely agree. The vibe of this Victorian house is totally grandma knitting and as I think about this now I sure wish my grandma had been there with me last weekend. She would have smacked that little troll for spouting off at me and I would have laughed my ass off watching. Overall though, this is fine place with a great patio for people watching and I appreciate how family friendly it is. Maybe I’ll bring my kids here some day if I ever have any.

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Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This a great bar - not a brewpub though, they only sell Laurelwood brews, but not brewed at this site. It is an old house converted into a bar/restaurant. A nice outside seating area, with some tables covered with heat lamps, a small downstairs dining area and 8-10 stool bar, with a larger dining room upstairs. This is an atmosphere you'll either love or hate. I think it's cozy and comfortable, but others might find it to livingroomish an not enough bar. The upstairs is very kid/baby friendly, and any time I've been up there, it's backed with young families. So not great if babies get on your nerves, but if you have one, it's great to know that you have a nice place to take them and still get some great brew and grub.
The beers are all pretty good, some better then others of course, but overall, it's a highly regarded Portland brewer.
The service is friendly and low key.
The selection is good, 7-8 of their own beers, no one else's as far as I know, an what looks like a full bar, at least all the staples, and leaning towards the high end.
The food is really good. I've only had their nacho's, which I love, especially their salsa, their blue cheese bacon burger, which was great, pizza, quite nice, and bbq pork taco, super good.
They have great prices for happy hr, $3.95 food and 2something Imperial pints - 20 oz's baby! Located in the Knob Hill shopping district, lots of cool boutiques, the NW public house is a great place to chill out while your wife goes crazy with the shopping.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

First stop on my trip to Portland. Certainly doesn't look like a brewpub from the outside (is just built into a house) and seems to small. Nevertheless, they had about 7 or 8 of their own beers on draft including two seasonals. Unfortunately, I wasn't there long so I was only able to have 1 beer, but it was quite good. Food is average, although maybe I am just difficult to please when it comes to pulled pork (from the South). The onion rings, however, were FANTASTIC. the menu was actually pretty cool, had a number of good offerings and was very cheap. and they had a sandwich with a vegetable (jicama) that none of us had ever heard of.

In any case, was a great introduction to the world of portland beer.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A very agreeable staff. I liked the fact that it is for Beer Dogs like me, yet very family friendly. The beers were good, the red in particular stood out. My wife, a burger enthusiast, was very pleased with the hamburger. The building, and how they used it, is very inviting in a homey kind of way. Makes me want to check out their brewery location. They had a good berry wheat beer (not a category I normally find noteworthy), and an American Pale Ale, but I can't find my notes and thus can't comment sufficiently on the traits of the beers that I liked. Sorry, I can't remember the other beers that stood out. But, I will be back in the summer, and plan on revisiting. But it sure is nice to have a place that does so much with organic ingredients!!! Give the place a shot if you are in the Pearl District, it's worth it.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This Laurelwood location is close to the Portland Streetcar. It is unique in that is in an actual house, a small bar/dining area downstairs. (Did not check out the upstairs.) Though no brewing is done on the premises, it offers 8 “organic” drafts; during my visit, I had their Boss IPA (70 IBU) and the less hoppy (60 IBU) Free Range Red. An interesting place and a short stroll from McMenamin’s Blue Moon (see my review). Incidentally, this BP is in the Nob Hill area of Portland, an interesting neighborhood whose streets provided the names for several Simpson characters (i.e. Kearney), since creator Matt Groening hails from this city.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.86/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Have you ever wished that you could turn your home into a brewpub? Someone really did just that at Laurelwood NW Public House. Emphasis on the word HOUSE.

Laurelwood is a Victorian House that has a front porch, with plenty of tables, and a clean locale in a cozy neighborhood. Plus, it's easy to find which is rare in this area if you are an outsider like me. Inside is clean with bright polished wood, a fireplace, and a well lit bright room with a 10 seat L shaped bar and a few duece pub tables by the windows. There is hillarious sign in the bathroom that has been "altered" to read "Reduce the spread of disease. Wash your hands IN the toilet." Freakin' funny. Plus, this whole two story joint is No Smoking.


My 'tender was quite attentive and suggested some brews and food. I just had a sampler while chit-chatting with a friendly local who lamented that the bridge and tunnel people are infiltrating his home town.

Selection is basic almost to a fault, but the quality well made up for the limited selection of Mother Lode Golden, Piston Pale, Ettinger Amber, Organic Tree Hugger Porter, Organic Free Range Red, Boss IPA, Space Stout, and Organic seasonal Green Elephant IPA.

Basic was menu of happy go lucky items...nothing fancy. Besides, who cares about food when they have good beer!

Last call: Beers are spot on basic style. Looks like someone has a good handle on good beers. Sure to please even the most discerning beer geek with one or two. Boss IPA was great and the Golden was clean and drinkable. Eight samplers came to $8 smackers with a brief explaination of each on the tray ordered properly except the IPA and the Porter shold be switched. This place not only passes the "Could you bring Mom here, but it's so clean and proper that Grand'ma could swig a mixed drink or brew too!" Thanks to BA Beerfly for helping me find this joint.

Beer is good. Happy bering.

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Photo of freed
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We stopped here for a late lunch on a cool, cloudy afternoon. Too cool for the patio that overlooks part of the busy, trendy street below. The building itself is a lovely old home that has been converted to accommodate maybe two dozen tops. The interior is keenly decorated with nice photos of brewing equipment and the walls and details are bright and somewhat calming. The building is split into two floors and I'm told upstairs is where parents and their youngins are sequestered. This seems to be a wonderful idea, and maybe they can send the guys quoting star wars and monty python lines down into the basement.

The beer menu is nearly identical to the main brewpub with about 8 standard brews but with only one seasonal. There are also cocktails available for the more cosmo crowd that wanders in. The beer is fantastic, and the service and advice is top notch. The food was quite good as well, especially the fries.

Probably not of that much interest, but the pub sits about one block from the northern terminus of the street car. The same street car that goes by a handful of great pubs. Excellent siting.

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Photo of weefisheads
4.22/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Even from the outside it's obvious that this Laurelwood is nothing like their main pub. Located in an older, renovated house, it's just a block from 23rd street, a very trendy, happening neighborhood. Location, location, location is everything and Laurelwood NW could not have it any better.

Whereas their main pub is very obviously a restaurant, the setting of Laurelwood NW is very quaint and homey. Walking up the steps to the front door is like walking up to someone's house, only with a few tables set up for outdoor seating. The first floor is divided between the foyer area and the bar area to the right. Aside from the bar, seating is as sparse as the space with only two or three tables. There is also seating upstairs for maybe 20 or so, but despite the kids area (for the toddler not interested in beer!), it lacks a lot of the charm the downstairs area has.

The beer is just what you'd expect from Laurelwood - in my opinion, some of the best beer around. As usual I got the sampler and didn't find a single beer that could be described anywhere near average. I also enjoyed the Vinter Varmer so much I had to get me another pint (or three...). With the wide range of beers Laurelwood brews, there's a beer for all tastes.

Service was ho hum, but the waitress was pleasant and helpful.

And while the food wasn't as outstanding as the beer, I thought what I had was quite good. I also think there was loads on the menu that looked good, so there's something for everyone.

Though I'm not in the area very often, this is definitly a place I'll come to again and again. All the fantastic Laurelwood beers in a charming and comfortable setting. Brilliant!


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Photo of NVbeer
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by this establishment on Sunday afternoon for lunch. The bar seatin area was 90% full. There was an upstairs seating area, but we never ventured upstairs. The public house sits in a remodeled home, situated in the NW part of Portland. The place was clean and well lit and had a home kind of feeling.
The service was okay considering there were only 2 people working out front, with a third arriving half-way through our lunch.
The beer offered a nice selection of beers from the Laurelwood brewery. We opted for the sampler to try a wide range of their brews. most were well done, with only the Amber ale not being very enjoyable. They also had growlers for sale as well as pint glasses.
The food was quite good and made for an enjoyable, filling lunch. If you are staying in the NW part of Portland, plan this place for a nice lunch stop.

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Laurelwood NW Public House in Portland, OR
3.98 out of 5 based on 20 ratings.
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