Columbia Gorge & Hood River Breweries

Columbia Gorge & Hood River Breweries
Like it? Pin it on Pinterest!

If you’ve never been to Portland, Oregon, then you probably haven’t heard of the Columbia Gorge or the Hood River breweries, for that matter. But that must change!

Not only is Portland a fantastic city to visit, the area along the top of Oregon, which follows the Columbia Gorge, is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there are a dozen or so breweries that have set up shop in and around the town of Hood River.

The Columbia Gorge is an incredibly fertile agriculture area, producing grapes for the area’s premium wine, apples, peaches and all of your favorite farmer’s market produce.

The gorge extends for about 160 miles from Portland to Boardman, Oregon. Along the way, you can stop off at the magnificent Multnomah Falls, take the 30-mile Fruit Loop that begins and ends in Hood River, Oregon, and visit dozens of wineries and breweries along the way.

Ten of these breweries can be found in Hood River, so if you’re a beer fan, this is the place to be!

Oregon is well known for its microbreweries. There are 10 in and around Hood River. The city of Bend, Oregon, boasts the Bend Ale Trail, which is the largest beer trail in the west. Portland is home to 60+ breweries. Drinking beer is a way of life in Oregon, but Oregonians don’t drink mass produced beer. They drink handcrafted microbrews that have been brewed with local ingredients by local craftsman.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Breweries in the Gorge Passport

Breweries of the Gorge game board
Breweries of the Gorge game board

That is the type of beer you’ll find at the Hood River breweries. The local brewers came together as they say on the website, “bonded by respect and our mutual commitments to producing exceptional beer”, and formed the Breweries in the Gorge Passport. Since Nick & I are always up for a weekend of brewery hopping – beer is one of our favorite things in life, after all – we gladly accepted the challenge.

First, you have to pick up a game board, either from one of the breweries, a local business, or by printing it from the Internet. Then you must visit at least 8 of the 10 breweries on the list, gathering stamps at each location. When finished, you turn the game board in to the final Hood River brewery and collect your prize – a very nice collector beer glass with the Breweries of the Gorge logo.

Breweries to Visit in Hood River

As mentioned, there are 10 Hood River breweries to choose from. We only had time to make it to 8 of them, but if you can make it to all 10, I’m sure you’ll appreciate them all. Here’s a rundown of each brewery to make your decision easier.

Full Sail Brew Pub

Full Sail Brew Pub tasting sampler
Full Sail Brew Pub tasting sampler

Full Sail is one of the most popular Hood River breweries, so you can assume the Brew Pub will be packed almost all year round. There’s a large dining space, with both inside and outside seating, but there’s also usually a big line of people waiting to enjoy one of the juicy hamburgers or Salmon Fish & Chips. They also give brewery tours up to 4 times a day. And the view is stellar! For beer, try the Session or Session Black, Amber, IPA or one of the specialty series beers.

Backwoods Brewing

backwoods-brewing-pizza
Backwoods Brewing is located in the small town of Carson, WA, and is a fairly small operation, though they have 10 beers on tap and a great food menu to go with it. You can take it from us that their pizza is incredible. They focus on NW Style Ales and have a very Northwest feel in the taproom, almost like a log cabin inside a warehouse! For beer, if you like hops, try the Loghouse IPA or Clear Cub Pale, otherwise, try the Winchester Brown or Bourbon Barrel Ridge Run Stout.

pFriem Family Brewers

Located in a prime spot along the waterfront, pFriem is a busy place due in large part to their great beer and really tasty food. On our recent visit, we had a cheeseburger and mac-n-cheese. Both are things we order often, and both exceeded our expectations for pub food. The Mac-n-Cheese is insanely good. Be prepared for a wait if you want to sit down to eat. They also offer taster sizes of their beers so you can try out a bunch and see what you like. Try the IPA, the Belgium Strong Dark, or Flanders Blond.

Big Horse Brew Pub

Big Horse Brew Pub
Big Horse Brew Pub

Hood River’s oldest brewpub, Big Horse has been serving small batch brews using regional ingredients for a long time. They have a large space inside and a very nice sunny patio in the back. The menu is extensive and has more options than just the usual pub fare. You’ll find seasonal, locally sourced food where everything is made from scratch. For beer, try the Hefeweizen, the IPA or any of the current seasonal offerings.

Double Mountain Brewery

Yes, it’s a theme in Hood River – all of the breweries offer food. And Double Mountain is no exception. They serve really good pizza to go along with your beer. The only thing missing from this downtown pub is the view. Once you’ve found a seat, order a few tasters of their unfiltered and long-aged beers like the Hop Lava, IRA, The Vaporizer or the sour ale, Peche Mode.

Everybody’s Brewing

Everybody’s Brewing focuses on brewing approachable beers with all the flavor. This family friendly pub features a locally sourced menu in a beautiful wood filled atmosphere. They have outdoor seating for 100 people with stunning views of Mt. Hood.

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Barrel House & Tap Room

Logsdon Tap Room tasting tray
Logsdon Tap Room tasting tray

Logsdon Farmhouse Ale used to be located 16 or so miles out of town at the bottom of the Fruit Loop, but has now moved to a more convenient location in the center of the downtown area, not far from many of the others. The Tap Room is bright and airy with plenty of pub tables and room at the bar. They also have some pretty cool gift boxes with a bottled beer and specialty glass.

For beer, you’ll find they do things a little differently than the others, which is always fun. They focus on Belgian-style brewing and produce saisons, alongside more classic styles. Try the Kili Wit (an unfiltered white), the Siezoen Bretta, which won Gold at the Great American Brewers Festival, and the Oak Aged Bretta.

Walking Man Brewing

Walking Man Brewing
Walking Man Brewing (Photo by Jennifer Pickens)

A pioneer brewery in the Columbia River Gorge, Walking Man Brewing has been crafting award-winning beer in Stevenson, WA since 2000. You can enjoy their spectacular dog-friendly beer garden or cozy up inside the brewpub and share a pint with friends old and new.

Solera Brewery

Solera Brewery
Solera Brewery

As you’re driving along the Fruit Loop just south of Hood River, you’ll come upon Solera Brewery in the small town of Parkdale. The tap room has an old tavern feeling to it, but once you walk through the building and come out the backdoor, you’ll find the real gem of the place – a fantastic view of Mount Hood towering above. There’s tons of space outside to sit and eat while enjoying a beer. They have classic styles like the Hedonist IPA and Planet Body Pale Ale, along with unique fruit-infused beers like the Apple Blossom, a French Saison with Apple Juice.

Thunder Island Brewing Co.

There’s no place like Thunder Island Brewing Co. on a sunny day. The outdoor patio sits right on the Columbia River, with a gorgeous view of the gorge and a fresh Evergreen scent to go along with it. Some pretty tasty food is cooked up in their tiny kitchen and delivered to your table, either inside or outside. For beer, try the Cairn Cream Ale, the Dry Creek IPA or one from their seasonal, every changing selection.

CONCLUSION

An afternoon hopping around to these Hood River Breweries is a great way to spend a day. Have you been to the Hood River Breweries in Oregon? Which one is your favorite?

Columbia Gorge & Hood River Breweries

18 thoughts on “Columbia Gorge & Hood River Breweries

  1. Allison (funfamily.vacations) says:

    I love brewery tours! Wow – beautiful views from many of these breweries. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Els Mahieu says:

    I love a good brewed craft beer! There certainly doesn’t seem to be shortage of them in the gorge! 🙂 Love the board game!

  3. Maria says:

    This looks like so much fun! I love that beer has been turned into a challenge! Beer and challenges are two of my favourite things! This is definitely being incorporated into my US road trip 🙂

    Great photos as well! Thanks for the info

  4. Jackie says:

    I must admit I don’t know all that much about the intricacies of beer and the brewing process. This looks like a great learning experience and a fun weekend for a novice like me. The pizza and bear combo at Backwoods Brewery looks absolutely mouth-watering!

  5. Anne | Girl Chasing Sunshine says:

    This is so cool! I must commend you for visiting 8/10 breweries in the area! Standing strong! 🙂 Which did you like best?

  6. Karilyn says:

    Thanks for just securing me a trip to Portlsnd 😉 my husband will be all over this. I’ve been dying to visit a friend in Portland and now I have my ammunition to convince the hubs! Awesome post.

  7. Connie Reed says:

    The Bend Ale Trail would make a fabulous road trip. I just wish I liked beer more than I do. I usually just take a few sips of my husband’s beer to taste it. But microbreweries often have great food, too, as you mentioned several on the trail have.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Yeah it’s definitely not as fun when you don’t care for beer very much. A lot of them are starting to have ciders now too. Maybe that would help.

  8. Lieurene Tran says:

    I have yet to visit Oregon but it is on top of my bucket list. I’ve heard so much about Oregon especially with all of their beautiful sceneries outdoors. I would love to try some of their breweries if I’m ever in Oregon. By the way, that mac and cheese looks so good!

  9. Cailin says:

    These all sound so great! I have been to Portland but I think I just ate VooDoo donuts the whole time, now I have to go back! 😉

  10. Mags says:

    I’ve never been to Portland, but I always love checking out new breweries! I may have to add this to the list.

  11. Jennifer @ Made all the Difference Travel Blog says:

    I love exploring breweries. They are all different and the beers are usually amazing. I have never visited any of these. It didn’t help I was under 21 last time I was in Washington.

  12. Lindsay Nieminen says:

    Ive heard Oregon is great for Breweries (apart from no-tax shopping! hahah) Im hoping we can see some of its beauty with the kids soon! (and i think we will seek in a brewery tour or two!)

  13. Uncover Your Caribbean says:

    Now, that’s a hop! We have good things about Portland, especially about the food and beverage. It all sounds like a great opportunity to spend a few days.

  14. Kristi Trimmer says:

    I am so glad that you got to enjoy all the breweries in Hood River! I love the craft beer there! Full Sail is one of my faves and it is awesome it is female-owned and brewed too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.