Weekend Getaway: Hood River, Oregon – Part 1

June 4th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Beer Travels, Oregon Breweries, Washington Breweries

I’ve said it before: Living in Seattle rocks when it comes to having choices for weekend getaways. This past holiday weekend found a few friends and I taking the trip down to Hood River, Oregon, for a few days of whitewater rafting, hiking, and beer drinking, of course. The laid-back vibe and great beer of the town made this trip one of the best yet, and I’ll look forward to going back.

I had been to the Hood River area previously for brief stints and visited some of the breweries, but on this trip we spent 3 nights within walking distance of the core downtown area (thank you VRBO.com) and really got to soak up the town and get a good feel for it. In addition to a short, but beautiful, hike up to the top of Multnomah Falls, we also decided to work in half a day of rafting on the White Salmon River, with the help of River Drifters, and it proved to be a pretty kick-ass (but COLD) rafting trip. Once evening rolled around each day, though, we were off to explore the local breweries to see what they had to offer.

First up was a trip to Walking Man Brewing as we rolled into the area. Just 20 minutes west of Hood River, this is a must-hit brewpub for any beer-lover coming through this way. This is one of my favorite Washington breweries, and I first visited just a few months ago when Jeanne and I stopped in on our way to Bend. If you’re an IPA fan, their Walking Man IPA and the stronger Homo Erectus Imperial IPA are not to be missed. They serve a varied lineup that includes several rotating seasonals, and the pizza is a good bet for lunch. Check out my last write up on Walking Man to hear more of me gushing about them.

After settling in at our home base for the weekend, it was off to walk the town a little and then find some beers for the evening. Hood River has 3 breweries within the city limits, and another a short drive across the river in White Salmon. Full Sail Brewing is easily the largest and most well-known of the area, and not surprisingly all 3 of the other breweries were started by former employees of Full Sail. Double Mountain Brewery was our first visit in town, and on this Friday night it was packed with locals and rocking with a live band. This place is perfect for hanging out and throwing back a few pints, and it seems like the obvious hot spot in the small town of Hood River. The Double Mountain Hop Lava is a

Thanks to Rozanne on Flickr

damn good IPA, but on this visit they were also pouring the Molten Lava, which is their version of an imperial IPA. IPA lovers beware; this is one ass-kicking, amazing IPA. Their site advertises it at 9% ABV, but two different employees at the bar told me this batch was closer to 8% ABV. It had a bright citrus hop flavor, and it wasn’t resiny or oily like many imperial IPAs can get. It was very balanced and drinkable, and we filled a couple growlers of it later in the weekend for a BBQ back at our place. I can’t say enough about the stuff. I can easily say it is instantly one of my favorite imperial IPAs anywhere. For the sour freaks out there, they were also pouring their Devil’s Kriek, which is a Belgian-style ale aged with cherries. It was a solid attempt, but not mind-blowing by any means. The menu slanted toward the hoppy and session beer side of the house, and my malt-freak of a friend, Dean, bemoaned the lack of anything dark and relatively strong. He settled with the Black Irish Stout and didn’t complain too much, though. I really enjoyed the atmosphere (except for that one uber-annoying guy…) and the beers, and we’d be back all 3 days we were in town.

Make sure to check out Part 2 on Monday, with visits to Everybody’s Brewing, Big Horse Brewing, and Full Sail.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • Dean Ruffner

    Anytime you can get through a drinking session without me complaining too much, you’re ahead of the game.

    It looks like Double Mountain does some seasonal/speciality brews that would appeal to the “big, dark, smoky, syrupy” crowd, like their porter, a dark Abbey and something called the Ultra-Stout.


  • Justin

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say many more times, I freaking love Double Mountain… it was awesome to be able to live just up the hill from them for a little bit…

  • DraughtE

    Hood River Rocks! I’m bummed we didn’t run in to you.

  • Kyle

    I’m glad you had a good time at Double Mountain, it always makes me feel good when folks from my home town enjoy the beers we make. Can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip.

    Kyle Larsen
    Double Mountain Brewery

    P.S. June 17th at the Parkway Tavern in Tacoma – Double Mountain, Walking Man, Everybody’s, and Full Sail – taking up 16 of the 32 taps… Brewer’s of the Gorge partying in Tacoma.

  • Weekend Getaway: Hood River, Oregon – Part 2

    […] If you missed Part 1 of our Hood River trip from Memorial Day weekend, make sure to check it out. […]

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