Laurelwood Pizza Co.

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Laurelwood Pizza Co.Laurelwood Pizza Co.
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Laurelwood Pizza Co.Laurelwood Pizza Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1728 NE 40th Ave
Portland, Oregon, 97212
United States

(503) 282-0622

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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped by today... the first time since it morphed into the pizza company.

To be honest, other then the additional pizza selections on the menu, I really don't see a whole lot of difference between the current spot and the original brewpub. As before, this is moderate size pub/restaurant, with a good size bar area off to the left when you first walk in. As before, this is a very family oriented restauarant, with a couple of TV's, toys and coloring books for the kids, and an informal, relaxed vibe and lay out. Quality of the beers here is so good it's really kind of ridiculous. On this particular day, I opted for the wet hop IPA when the waitress told me it was hoppier then the workhorse IPA, and so a bit more then she could take. To no great surprise, the harvest ale was just stunning, and at least to my mind, much better then the workhouse IPA (no small feat). It's the sort of IPA that most breweries can only dream of making, but I'm guessing at Laurelwood, it's considered no particular big deal.

In addition to the harvest ale, this particular day Laurelwood also happend to have on cask a keg of deranger. To my mind this fabulous imperial red is the best imperial red on the planet, with no one close in second. To see this rare beer on cask.... well, suffice it to say I was just a bit impressed.

As for the food, I've been coming here for many years and have yet to have anything I thought was any better then just OK. The chicken ceaser salad I had tonight was in the same vein. A good enough salad, but certainly nothing to go out of your way for. It was a smallish happy hour ceaser, and frankly, in my opinion it's debatable as to whether or not it was even deserving of the $4 I paid for it.

As for value... what can I say? I was here during happy hour, and my salad, pint of fresh harvest organic goodness, and glass of cask deranger came to exactly $10. Need I say more?

Obviously, this is an exceptional brewpub.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

On my recent whirlwind trip to Portland, the Laurelwood Pizza Company was the only place that I visited twice. And I should note that I also visited the other Laurelwood, but I found the Pizza Company store more comfortable for some reason, and... they have pizza!

But it was really four things that brought me back for a second time instead of going out and checking out some new place that I'd never been to before:
1) The pizza is REALLY good. As in REALLY, REALLY good!
2) Although I had been warned that the "kid friendly" atmosphere could be distracting (and even maddening), I found sitting at the bar to be nicely removed from all of that, and I actually enjoyed the chatter from behind. AND, I found the chatter at the bar to be quite nice, meaning that Portlanders are very friendly, and in this particular atmosphere I had a great time talking with the other patrons.
3) The beer is REALLY good. As in REALLY, REALLY good.
4) The service was really good as well.

So, what can I say that I haven't already said? I guess I found it amusing that when I walked into the bathroom and there was a child's step-stool in front of the sink. I thought it was cute. Other, more burly and serious beer guys might find that off-putting, but not me. So two thumbs up!!!

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Photo of jkdrummer
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Looked for a place for the family to eat and for Mom and Dad to enjoy a beer. This place is very family friendly, they even had a special place for the pre-schoolers complete with toys. Wonderful atmosphere. The food was exceptional! I had a focaccia club sandwich and the family had calzones -- all really hearty and tasty. The beer was worth writing home about as well. I had the Free Range Red and it was the best red ale I've ever had before. Very balanced and well hopped. The Workhorse IPA was sweet and oh so good as well. The usually have a firken there but not when I visited. Highly recommened.

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Photo of 86sportster883
4/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Hug Your Organic Brew

I had a long layover in Portland and decided to leave the airport for lunch and a beer. The Laurelwood Brewing Co. was only a few miles away in Hollywood, so I jumped on the light rail and was soon looking over the brewpub’s impressive menu.

The Laurelwood is a large well lit restaurant with a moderately small bar on one side and brewery equipment submerged on the other, behind the glass panes of the Brew House. Table seating is plentiful with small booths lining the walls and an outdoor seating area too. Bass fishing on FSN was quickly replaced with Atlanta Braves baseball (TBS) on the single TV in the far corner of the bar. Music was a mellow mix playing just loudly enough to overshadow the conversations of the local lunch crowd. Multiple WBC, GABF and other accolades can be found on the walls throughout the brewpub.

I ordered a beer sampler and a rock fish melt sandwich. The service was friendly and the food came out quickly. The food was tasty and most all the beer samples were good to very good:

XTRA Pale Ale (seasonal) – A really nice starter that was a little spicy, had a nice hop profile and a dry finish.
Amber (on cask) - A little thin, but a decent, easy drinking beer.
Amber Bier – This beer went well with my rock fish sandwich and salad.
Piston Pale – A crystal clear, golden beer that is nicely balanced.
Free Range Red - Not my favorite style, but this is one of the better Reds that I've had.
Boss IPA – Another crystal clear golden ale with a classic American NW hop taste that did not suffer from an overly citric bitter finish.
Tree Hugger Porter - I liked everything about it except for the finish.
Mother load - still fizzing, taste is... ugh - the only beer I didn't care for.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Laurelwood and look forward to the next time I get a chance to visit. Since I had the beer sampler (Eight 3 or 4oz pours), it was difficult to really get a good appreciation for the beers. There were many that I would have liked to try a full pint of, if I had the time. Back at the airport I picked up a bottle of the Organic TH Porter to take home with me.

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Photo of theautorestorer
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a nice brewery in the Hollywood district of Portland. The beer selection was very good. I had the stout and a seasonal rye beer both were excellent. I was on a beer tour of Portland so I had to get the gift pack. An excellent bargain. You get a T-Shirt, 2 pint glasses, and a filled growler for $32 or a long sleeved shirt of $34.The food was very good, the tomato basil soup was the best I've had. Parking is hard to find though in this area of town. But generally a excellent stop on a Portland beer tour

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Photo of Matthew
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a brewpub that is 8 blocks from me that I stop into once in a while.
The atmosphere is comfortable, laid back, and clean. There is a bar area off the right side of the restaurant with plenty of seating throughout the place. The feel of the place is simple but nice and there is always alot of people here, family's, groups of friends etc.
The service is always good. I've never had a problem, friendly, helpful, and polite.
The selection is always pretty solid. The staples are always on tap, boss ipa, porter, stout, red, etc and they usually have 1 or 2 seasonal choices on as well in addition to a cask conditioned choice. The food menu has something for everyone, from salads, to pasta, burgers, and also veg. friendly options as well.
Very fairly priced, good value. You usually will have enough money left over to stop in the moon and sixpence two blocks up for another pint.

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Photo of slander
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Breakfast, beer store and now it's time to pick up the girls and get a beer, and... that was them, right back there, you just passed them. This city is packed with brewpubs, it's absurd, they're plentiful and they're everywhere you turn. Wasn't initially sure if Jon planned this as a destination place or if he made a left turn and there it was, but it turns out that he has some like of this brewpub (he digs the beer and it's family friendly) so it's as good a place to start as any...

Big open room, somewhat split in two. To the right side is the main dining area holding a dozen and a half tables and a few booths on the far wall. They got a small kid zone in the corner where you'd park young children if you needed to take them to a place that serves alcohol (Oh, relax, I know papa needs grown up juice, I'm having some fun with you). To the rear of the dining area is a sunken glass front brew room with fermenters and a mash tun down below, and bottles from different breweries lining the walls above. On the other side of the room is a small seating area up front with 4 tables & 3 booths, somewhat penned off by a dessert case just inside the front door, and an "L" shaped wood bar seating a dozen+ to the rear. The dining area and bar side of the room are separated by a 7 stool bar counter. Slat wood floors, rafter ceilings, and beige painted walls decorated with black & white brew prints over wood lowers. Brewpub shirts & hats displayed on the back wall, a TV mounted above in the back corner of the bar and a few more here and there. Shelves on the bar back 3 deep full of booze, stained glass windows, tap selections on a blackboard, 2 towers and a hand pump on the bar back. We headed out the side door, put up at one of the 6 picnic tables hugging the building in the parking lot and took in a few samplers.

7 regular taps, 2 seasonals and a cask (Porter). The sampler of 8 gives you all 7 standards and your choice of a seasonal in 4 ounce pours. The Mother Lode Golden Ale was crisp & dry, very good; the Piston Pale Ale Cascade hopped, decent; the Ettinger Amber Ale fruity, malty, deep, a nice Alt; the Organic Free Range Red also Cascade, hoppy; the Organic Tree Hugger Porter chocolatey, roasty; the Boss IPA nicely hoppy, Fuggles, Centennial, Cascade, Ahtanum; the Space Stout thinner than the Porter, slightly inky, coffee, chocolate; the Sustenance Tripel (seasonal) was too sweet for my liking; the Green Mammoth Organic IPA (seasonal) was mad hoppy. The Golden Ale, Amber Ale and Porter were my faves (I'm just gearing up for what's going to be a very hoppy weekend).

Service was good. She brought us all water and returned with another knowing that she'd shorted us one. Beers were solid, definitely an excellent place to start our day of drink.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Almost didn’t make it to this one on my last trip to Portland because of its location at a confounding intersection in the NE quadrant’s “Hollywood District.” Still, I coaxed my friend and gracious hostess to drive us over so I could experience something new on this, my third trip to the city in as many years.

We visited mid-day – a little later than lunchtime, but not as late as dinner. There were some children present, but the place was pretty quiet for the most part, making it easier to soak up the pleasant atmosphere.

One of the things I noticed as soon as we walked in was the delicious aroma of food wafting from the kitchen. I was craving a burger, and one look at the menu told me I’d come to the right place.

Of course, no matter how hungry I was, I’d come for the beer. The list was impressive, and of course, in true BA fashion, I peppered our gracious server with lots of questions, so much so that he went and fetched the man himself – (then) Head Brewer Christian Ettinger – from the tank room.

Not only did Ettinger - a 2004 World Beer Cup winner for the small brewpub and several other style categories - make recommendations, talk about his history and foray into brewing, but after sitting and chatting with us for quite a while, he took us on a tour of the brewery, and even indulged my dorky request for a photo – something I started doing on my 2004 trip up to Vancouver, BC to mark my travels.

All in all, more than pleasant – the food was as delicious as the beer! And the beer – as a major hophead, I’d have to say that the Boss IPA delivered the punch I expected and then some. “The Boss” is late-hopped with an awesome blend Fuggles, Centennial, Cascade, and Ahtanum hops, and is one of the most outstanding IPAs I’ve ever had the pleasure of savoring.

I’ve heard that Ettinger is no longer at the Laurelwood – in fact, a visit to their official site confirms it – but whatever the case, my visit was memorable, as was the food and the beer.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

***EDIT*** As of July 2007, this location is now the 'Laurelwood Pizza Co.' Main brewing operations were moved to a new location, 5115 NE Sandy.

Laurelwood is such a comfortable, likable fixture in NE Portland (Hollywood neighborhood)'s hard not to enjoy a visit here.

While I'm not a frequent visitor, I do make it here a few times a year (more recently of late). Excellent beer, good service and food and a laid-back neighborhood feel are all good reasons to drop in.

As others have mentioned, there is a "family-friendly" focus here which is pretty atypical of most brewpubs. here the kids actually get their own play area; I have no problems with well-behaved kids getting to go out with their families and have never really minded all the noise and such. To me, it just adds more life to the place.

Adding to the atmosphere is the sub-level brewery operation, surrounded by glass in the far right corner. It's a treat to see the working area where all this great beer is made.

Quality of beer is quite good, which is saying something in a beer city like Portland. Boss IPA and Free Range Red are a couple standouts in my opinion, though most every beer is very good. That Laurelwood won Brewery/Brewer of the Year awards in 2004 is testament to the quality of their work.

Service is solid and food is ample, tasty & reasonably priced.

The "original" Laurelwood is definitely worth a visit.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is famous for being a really "family friendly" place, and I've been both with and without the "screaming children." If you want minimal family impact you best come early, but if you or your friends have kids they have a play area, kids' menu and very polite and infinitely patient staff. And there's a sweet dessert cooler in front.

Interior is very straightforward pubrestaurant, with a cool windowed sunken "brew house". You'll note there are a lot of gold medals on the walls. This place kind of stays below the radar, but this is a really award-winning brewhouse that makes some outstanding beer.

No guest taps behind the big wooden bar, 9 beers on tap: golden, pale, amber, red, porter, IPA, stout, hefe and seasonal. Had the sampler - all were good, the stout and IPA were the best (fantastic) and the amber was probably my least favorite, but still pretty good.

They sell everything to go - growlers, kegs and even casks (?) Up to half BBL.

Chicken sandwich was great, solid pub food - service was friendly and helpful, atmosphere was fun. I always love to pay this place a visit when I'm in town.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is definity geared to be a family establishment, and its good at that. There were a lot of kids being fed by their parents, some were crying, but as unpleasant this sounds it actually made for quite a nice atmosphere. I was able to sit back and enjoy my ale and thank the lord that I dont have kids yet! Actually there is something different about drinking in the company of many children that makes it relaxing, perhaps because its not often done. The food was good and delivered in a timely mannor, with the waitresses always walking around and eager to help you get another beer!

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Photo of warmstorage
4.25/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is quite good, quite pleasant, and makes fairly good beer. It doesn't blow you away in any one category (besides maybe family friendliness) but does all areas very well.

Atmosphere: Okay, look: yes, the place is kid, and family, friendly. Yes, there are kids running around, having a good time, being kids. If you hate kids, or just don't care to deal with them while you have a beer, don't come: there are PLENTY of anti-kid brewpubs and beer joints in PDX. If, on the other hand, you want to benefit from one of the few completely smoke free brewpubs in the area, and like the open, friendly, airy atmosphere, definitely do come. I'll absolutely return here and laugh at kids and their kid-like antics before I'll go back and f*#%ing suffocate from rude, thick, nasty adult cigarette smoke at, e.g., Tugboat. And as others have noted, the small bar area is less crowded (with only one big table, and a half dozen or so small ones.) On a Saturday afternoon, the place was quite crowded, but the smaller bar area (to your left as you walk in) was no louder with kids than any average brewpub is with adults. And while I don't have kids, I'm really glad to know that places exist where I could still have a on-site brewed beer if I did.

The service was excellent: super friendly, and competent. Servers were dressed in halloween costumes, and my server had a (hysterically funny) horse jockey costume on, complete with a strapped-on horse (uhhh, guess you had to be there.) At one of his nearby tables, the kitchen took a quite long time on a woman's sandwich, and then messed it up, so he voluntarily, with being asked, took 50% off the entire bill, and comped two beers! Yowza! That kind of service, even though it wasn't to my benefit this time, will absolutely earn my loyalty, and will keep me coming back. SO many other brewpubs could take a hint from this kind of customer friendly service.

I didn't have much food, but the $5 bowl of veggie black bean chili and tortilla chips was tasty, pleasantly (surprisingly) spicy, and just right on a typcially rainy PDX day.

The value is interesting: $8 for a sampler tray of eight beers seemed high, but they were larger than normal sampler glasses (five or six ounces), and filled to the brim, so it was acceptable. It's normally seven standards, and one seasonal (three were on) but the server happily let me ditch the boring looking light/blonde ale in order to accommodate another seasonal.

The beer was overall quite good, and a few were some excellent. The lighter styles were mediocre and somewhat weak/thin even for style, while the organic beers (red, porter, and steam) were as tasty as any organic beers I've had. The darker styles were outstanding, including an excellent seasonal Scottish (maybe an 80 shilling) and the oustanding Space Stout. The Boss IPA was a BIG disappointment: very medioce, way too balanced with malt presence, and despite an alleged hop bill of Cascade, Ahtanum, Centennial, and Fuggles, was very limited in pronounced hop character in the aroma, body, or finish. Overall, though, I'd definitely go back to drink the organic red, stout, porter, and seasonals again (the organic Steamroller was excellent: full, spicy, and dunamic, and probably the best steam beer/California Common I've had.)

Overall, I'll definitely return, and VERY happily trade solid beer and kids being kids for other filthy, dank, foul smelling, smoky brewpubs.

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Photo of beercollector
4.25/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is the place in the Hollywood District. And now the world knows it. GABF 2004 Small Brewery award.

I like the store front style. A bid open room with views out the picture windows or into the brewhouse. And the place is kid friendly. My friends have a couple of little ones and I've met them there for lunch and brews. They have a kids play area and then they have a more adult space by the bar.

The dark beers have great malt and the IPA is excellant. There food is well prepared and served in good quanity.

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Photo of sinistersteve
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Came here by accident. Wanted to go to one place, hit the wrong exit on the freeway and decided to come here instead.

Service is wonderful. I was sitting at the bar for mere moments before I was asked what I wanted to drink. Service seemed almost too good. Patrons sitting next to me seemed to have been tag-teamed from the help on their food order.

Atmosphere is rated low for one reason...too many damn children. Mind you children are fine, it's the whining, crying and screaming that get to me. I asked the bartender what the family hours were and was told that ALL hours are family hours and they are known as one of the most family-friendly brewpubs around. The only good thing about this is that the entire establishment is smoke-free.

The beer was wonderful. I had their Imperial IPA (a.k.a. the Hop Juice) and a normal strength IPA. Growlers are filled (8 bucks) and sold (12 bucks with fill).
It looks as if they only sell their own beer, so no guest beer taps. They do sell wine and spirits.

Wednesday nights have pounders for a great price of $2.50

There is an observation deck for the brewery in the restaurant area.

Aside from the children, this place was nice, clean and somewhat enjoyable. I’ll definitely give this place a second chance. Maybe the fact that I came out on a Saturday evening was the reason for so many children.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Laurelwood is a family place. They go out of their way here to make kids feel at home with a play area, toys, crayons, etc. I've never failed to see children in the house, even fairly late on weeknights. They love it.

Grownups will appreciate the array of fine-drinking ales, the friendly (flirtatious?) staff, the exhaustive menu offerings, and the mouthwatering desserts. The bar is egalitarian and full of locals. There's four TVs in the house but none of the trappings of a tavern. This is a neighborhood restaurant. A glass wall allows an entertaining peak into the basement brewery. Indoors is smoke-free but a covered patio provides shelter for people pursuing cancer.

If anything, the menu is too vast with literally scores of offerings. I tend to get lost in a menu of such proportions and prefer a smaller roster of focused specialties. I recommend beer and dessert at the Laurelwood above all. The desserts sit seductively in a prominent glass display case and are a frequent topic of conversation at the bar.

Laurelwood boasts a vast litany of brewing awards including champion small brewpub brewery and champion small brewpub brewmaster among other honors from the 2004 World Beer Cup. Their beer is often good and occasionally excellent with an incessant infusion of rotational and seasonal offerings. Their red ales are particularly noteworthy. Notably, the Free Range Red is lush and hoppy and one of several ales brewed with organic malts. It's particularly popular among local brewers. The bar also serves mixed drinks though one night I noted both the manager and two bartenders didn't know how to prepare a Rusty Nail. They had to look it up in a bartender's guidebook.

Laurelwood claims to be "Oregon's only certified organic brewery." That's a good call though the claim is now dated. They also operate a pub across town on NW Kearny St. just off 23rd Ave. Their NW Public House occupies an old two-story home and has a lot of charm along with duplicate beer and food menus. The waitstaff seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs - a healthy sign in my view.

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Photo of Elemental
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been wanting to go here for qutie awhile anfter hearing a bunch of wonderful stuff. It is a great place with a nice wait staff and really good food (I suggest the mediteranian chicken sandwich). There is a huge glass window where you can look downstairs and see the brewery (very nice looking brewery). And then there is the beer: I have only had the chance to try a couple of their beers but they were excellent. They have a good selection of beers on tap and 1 on cask. My one and only issue with this place was all the kids. There were a few families that brought their kids that were loud. I love kids but not at a brewpub. Definately a must try place if visiting Portland.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Exemplary brewpub that has everything done just about right. Named after the 2 neighborhoods it adjoins - Laurelhurst and Hollywood - although the owners might be surprised to know that there is a Laurelwood Rd in SW Portland! Beers are generally good, although nothing jumped out at me as really outstanding. The organic beers have caused a big splash too (the Red's available at a bunch of other Portland bars) but I have to say the organic porter was a disappointment. Service is as good and friendly as it gets. The blackboard behind the bar that lists the beers is artistic and easy to read. One of the best blackboards I've seen - hey man, I appreciate these things. Happy hour pints are $2.50 from 3-6 and 9-close with some good, cheap eats for $3 a pop - including a burger, buffalo chicken strips, a chicken caesar, and a bratwurst which is my personal recommendation. The proper menu is very good too. Mondays: every pint is bumped up to 20 ounces (even during happy hour), Wednesdays: pints are $2.50 all day, whether it's happy hour or not. 10 beers available on last visit (1/04) including a Belgian special and a double red. Plus they now have a handpump! This is a really nice place to be and seems especially good for families. Bonus: The Moon and Sixpence is a couple blocks away - within pubcrawling distance.

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Photo of freed
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Decided to hit this place up soley on the recommendation of the gardenburgers. Its a cool location, with a very attractive building. The inside is decorated in woody-post warehouse fashions, like many brewpubs. The bar and tables are of nice quality, and really attractive. The brewery is visible from the dining area, and was probably the cleanest, most organized brewery I've seen. A dream.

The beers were very good, and the food was excellent as well. The bartender was very quick with a pour, a joke, and quite friendly. The wait staff was equally friendly. Really worth the trip across the river.

addendum: the last two visits have been a challenge because of the swarms of children. I'm sure its a nice option for parents, but conversation gets drown out from the screeches.

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Laurelwood Pizza Co. in Portland, OR
Brewery rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 0 ratings