Laurelwood Brewing Co. is proud to announce a major expansion into national markets. Contracting with Craft Brew Alliance, Laurelwood is set to increase its production by as many as 15,000 barrels a year, making it finally possible to realize a long held goal of owner Mike De Kalb –packaging Laurelwood beers in 12 ounce glass bottles. With the rise of production, there will be a few changes, but the quality and consistency that gained Laurelwood its reputation will stay the same.
“We were looking to expand on our terms,” says De Kalb. “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.”
By working with CBA, Laurelwood gains access to the kind of equipment that can ensure quality and consistency, as well as close oversight by Laurelwood’s team of brewmasters. By using their own yeast strain, as well as carefully sourcing their ingredients, Laurelwood’s beer will continue to be distinctive, delicious and daring.
While the brewery’s flagship, Free Range Red, will no longer be a certified organic beer, Laurelwood plans to continue offering 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 and his brewers decided to concentrate their organic program on beers such as Organic Tree Hugger Porter and a line of small batch specialty beers, allowing for greater creativity and innovation.
With their increased capacity, Laurelwood sees a bright future for Oregon brewing. The brewery that earned its reputation for being a neighborhood pub will be able to spread the Oregon brand while staying true to its values: community, taste, consistency, sustainability and keeping jobs in Portland. With its beers becoming increasingly accessible to more consumers, special beers like Megafauna Imperial IPA bringing home impressive awards and the continued loyalty and success of the local Laurelwood Pubs, there are more opportunities to raise a pint every day.