5115 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-282-0622, laurelwoodbrewpub.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday, 10 am-11 pm Saturday, 10 am-10 pm Sunday.
Since this big ol' roof-decked, hop-happy brewery opened up on Northeast Sandy Boulevard about 16 years back, Portland has settled into Laurelwood like it's the family-room couch. You order the burger and then you send the kids off to play in the weirdly extravagant kids' play area—seriously, it's like an entire house built for tiny children, with a plastic range and dump trucks—while downing classic hoppy beers like Workhorse IPA that simply refuse to stay merely classic.
You see, Laurelwood is always quietly tweaking its recipes—updating the hop and malt bill without making a big deal about it so as to maintain branding. Even head brewer Shane Watterson recently swapped out for former Widmer brewer Ben Dobler, but the spirit of the place remains somehow unruffled: The stout is a roasty classic, the red is balanced, and the fresh-hop season next year will remain, we are confident, totally batshit. Next year and then the next year it'll also be different, but it will feel the same.
Drink this: If you can still get your hands on it, get ahold of that pinot-barrel-aged Moose and Squirrel Russian Imperial Stout. Hooooooo!
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