Weekend Getaway: Hood River, Oregon – Part 2

June 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Beer Travels, Oregon Breweries

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

Saturday morning started with a seriously impressive breakfast at Bette’s Place, and then we figured we should do something else other than just drink all day, so we headed out to Multnomah Falls just a short drive West on I-84. The falls are beautiful (but they got nothin’ on Snoqualmie Falls!) and it was a short but steep 2.5 mile round trip hike to the top of the falls. The view from the top is nice, and if you’re looking to earn some beer this will do the trick just fine. After the hike it was back to drinking as we headed to Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, WA, which is directly across the Columbia from Hood River. Everybody’s is the brainchild of Doug Ellenberger, formerly of Full Sail and before that he made his way from Lafayette Brewing Company in Indiana. Some of you might know that I’m from Indiana and went to Purdue, where Layfayette Brew Co. is located. It just so happens that Doug started brewing there in 1997 and left in 2001, which is exactly the time period I was going to school at Purdue. Lafayette Brew Co. was the first brewpub I ever visited, and many of the beers he made got me to where I am today. I spent many a night putting back pints at the pub, and hell…I may have even met Doug way back when. These days, he’s still churning out some fine brews. All of the beers were solid, but my sentimental favorite of the bunch is the Cash Stout, which Doug admitted is a tweaked version of the house-favorite Oatmeal Stout at Lafayette Brew Co. It’s smooth and lightly sweet with the right mix of depth and balance.

Doug Ellenberger

Another highlight was the Law of Nature Pale Ale, which weighs in at just 4.8% ABV. I’m always searching for hoppy beers under 5% ABV that are still balanced, and this fits the bill perfectly. If you’re headed to Hood River, make sure to stop in at Everybody’s. Their large patio has a fantastic view of Mt. Hood and gets plenty of sun, and don’t miss the XXX Burger on the menu. It’s modeled after a burger from a Purdue restaurant called the XXX Diner, and comes slathered with peanut butter and topped with sliced pickles. It might sound weird, but it’s awesome. Check out the video at the bottom to see the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives visit XXX and try the burgers.

After a break at the rental house, we took a walk up to the Big Horse Brewpub, which has a nice spot up on a hill when you come into Hood River. It’s a nice relaxed place to grab some beers, and having never tried anything from them I opted for a sampler tray. There were 8 beers on tap, and there was a little more variety here than at the other brewpubs around town. My favorite of the bunch was the ’09 Phat Dog Barleywine, which weighing in at 12.5% ABV I was glad to only have a sample of, but it was fantastic. As a fan of smoked beers, their Smoke of Helles was right up my alley, and the MacStallion Scotch Ale and Nightmare Stout were both fine examples of their style. Brother Pucker was a 4.8% tart farmhouse ale that was refreshing and very much reminded me of a radler. Sadly, the only two beers I really did not enjoy were the Pale Rider IPA and the Double Rider DIPA. We had a few hop-heads at our table, and no one finished their IPAs; not a good sign. But, overall I was impressed with the range and quality of the other beers, and I wouldn’t hesitate to tell someone to check this place out. For a more in-depth view of Big Horse, check out this post at Brewpublic from last year.

After finishing Saturday back at Double Mountain for a couple more pints of Molten Lava and then a good night’s sleep, we repeated breakfast back at Bette’s Place (seriously, it’s good) and then early afternoon it was off for a few hours on the White Salmon River. If you’ve never been rafting before, this is a good trip to start with. Plenty of excitement, but nothing too crazy. Next up on the list was a quick trip to the taproom at Full Sail Brewing for a beer and to fill a growler. Most people are familiar with Full Sail, and the brewery is by far the largest in town. In fact, it was ranked the 14th largest craft brewery in the US based on 2009 production. They have a solid lineup of year-round beers, and they do a good job rotating in special releases, such as the coveted Barrel-Aged Black Gold Imperial Stout that I wish I had dripping out of my faucet at home. The tasting room is very family friendly and offers a nice view of the surroundings. I enjoy several of their beers, but as a beer geek I was happy to see the Brewer’s Share Vendell Veizen, which is a 7.2% ABV Weizen Bock from packaging supervisor Wendell Bryant. It was a very enjoyable brew with some light fruitiness and sweet malt that was very sessionable, despite the higher ABV. After filling a growler with their always solid 8% ABV Imperial Stout, it was back to Double Mountain to grab a couple of growlers of the Molten Lava before throwing a bunch of meat and veggies on the grill back at the house. Not a bad way to end a fantastic weekend.

You can see the rest of my Hood River pictures from this trip here (there aren’t a ton).


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