Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale

Well, I'm back from my trip to the Northwest. I hung out at the wedding, had an awesome time at a wedding party my parents threw for me, and caught up with old friends. I also brought back a few choice Northwest brews from a couple of stores around the area. I bought a MacTarnahan's Amber Ale, a Hale's Ales Red Menace Amber Ale, a Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale, and a Hair of the Dog "Ruth" All-American Ale. Basically I picked up a bunch of ales, all of which I plan to enjoy. Here's the line-up.

I decided to start off the Northwest Beer review with the first one I got: the Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale. The brewery/brewpub was started in 2001 by Mike and Cathy DeKalb in the Hollywood District of Portland on 40th and Sandy, brewing the Mother Lode as part of their initial line-up. In 2002, two of their beers, the Free Range Red and the Tree Hugger Porter, were certified organic by Oregon Tilth, "a nonprofit research and education membership organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture," the first Oregon beers to be given this distinction. Their second brewpub opened on NW Kearney St. in Portland, and their new brewery is located at 51st and Sandy in Portland with a brewpub on the way. The original location is going to become the Laurelwood Pizza Co., because as you know, pizza goes very well with beer.

Here are the stats:

Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale
BREWERY: Laurelwood Brewing Co., Portland, OR, USA
CALORIES/SERVING: Never been tested
ABV: 5.1%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 12° Plato (1048.58)
MALTS: 2-Row, Acidulated
HOPS: Northern Brewer, Cascade
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Bisque, green salad, grilled fish
AWARDS: 2002 World Beer Cup Gold Medal (Golden-Blonde Ale category), 2003 GABF Bronze Medal (Golden or Blonde Ale category), 2004 GABF Silver Medal (Golden or Blonde Ale category)

I procured this information from Laurelwood's Mother Lode page, Laurelwood's Awards page, and responses to a couple of e-mails I sent them. Thanks Chad and Desi!

The beer poured very nicely, giving a nice white head that lingered. The ale had a nice light wheaty scent that wasn't too strong. I have to admit that I felt that the first taste was a little too bitter for my palette, but after the initial, the beer was very enjoyable, with the flavor building upon itself after every sip. It finished clean with a slight wheaty aftertaste that you know I love. Unlike some beers, this one kept its flavor after sitting for awhile, making it a good beer to nurse on or sip occasionally.

Overall, I enjoyed its flavor after that first sip. It's nothing against the beer; I really just don't like bitterness, which is why I favor the lighter beers and don't drink a lot of IPAs. If you enjoy beers with a little bit of bite to them, this is your beer. If you travel through Portland, you can pick one up at Portland International Airport, where I grabbed this one; Laurelwood has a café in Concourses A and E. It'll make your trip that much more enjoyable.


Update: I got some information from their website and blog (the latter being more up-to-date).

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