Just an hour outside of Portland, Oregon, where the Columbia River and the Hood River meet, is the small, but brewery-dense town of Hood River.
Heather Vandenengel 3 years ago
Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, with Mount Hood looming over, it’s among the most scenic destinations for a pint in the state. There’s also no shortage of great beer in and around town, so I spent a recent afternoon trying to taste what’s brewing in Hood River.
Full Sail Brewing Co.
As the 27-year-old veteran of the bunch, Full Sail should be the starting point for a Hood River journey. The downtown pub is bustling at noon on a Friday, both inside the cozy bar and on the outdoor deck overlooking the Gorge, and they’re pouring a selection of Full Sail favorites, such as their Session Lagers, and pub exclusives, such as the Passport Lager, a Dortmunder Export style. I try the crisp and snappy Cascade Pilsner, which they originally released for their 26th anniversary last year. It quickly became the best-selling beer on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. Now it’s out in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles for longer drinking sessions.
506 Columbia St. Open daily 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tours daily on the hour, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pfriem Family Brewers
Located in a commercial space along the waterfront, the 2-year-old Pfriem Family Brewers has made a name for itself in Hood River and beyond with their Belgian-inspired, Northwest hops-infused ales. The juicy 7.2% IPA seems to be the favorite, but they execute a range of styles, from the Schwarzbier to a Wit. Take a pint to the outdoor area, which features a fire pit for lounging and a view of the Gorge.
707 Portway Ave., Suite 101. Open 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sun - Thu, 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Fri - Sat.
Double Mountain Brewery
Double Mountain is fresh-hops heaven during the harvest season, between returning favorites Killer Green, brewed with Brewer’s Gold hops variety from Sodbuster Farms, and Killer Red, featuring Perle and Sterling hops also from Sodbuster, and fresh hops one-offs such Mörder Weizen, brewed with wheat and fresh Magnum hops and fermented with a Kolsch yeast. Their 16-inch New Haven-style pizza pies pair perfectly with a fresh-hops ale and you can get bottles and growlers to go.
8 Fourth St. Open daily at 11:00 a.m.
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
After a meandering journey along vineyard- and orchard-lined roads outside Hood River, I arrived at the bucolic bliss of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, where you can enjoy earthy, rustic ales, such as their Seizoen and Seizoen Brett, in a true farmhouse setting. Funky and sour offerings, such as the Far West Vlaming, a Flanders Red Style Ale, and Half Naked Spring Break, a collaboration with nearby Solera Brewery, are also a treat. Sip samples in the rustic tasting room (pictured at top) while overlooking the horses drinking from a pond and a stellar view of Mount Hood.
4785 Booth Hill Rd. Open Thu - Sat noon- 4:00 p.m.
Maplewood Brewery and Distillery: Telling Stories Through Beer
Chicago’s Maplewood Brewery & Distillery can tell a lot of stories. There’s the tale of being the only brewery/distillery in Illinois. The legal thriller of losing their original name. But the best story of Maplewood is the sagas its telling with beer.