In November 2009, we were in a bottle shop in Vancouver, WA (By the Bottle) talking to the shop’s owner about our current beer adventure—a trip up the Columbia River to visit breweries in the greater Hood River area. He gave us two important pieces of advice about our visit to the Gorge: “First, Double Mountain is going to be your new favorite brewpub. Second, Don’t be afraid to order the XXX Burger at Everybody’s Brewing–it just might be the best burger in the world.”
He seemed quite certain about both of these remarkably bold assertions. Over the course of the next couple days, we came to realize that he was pretty much spot on.
Hood River. It’s Just Barely Oregon
Hood River, you are one of our favorite things. We’re buying what you’re selling. You are hip, young and adventurous. You are sleepy, cute and homespun. You are the place where Walmart meets Wilco and Carhartt meets Patagonia. You rage hard on Saturday night, but go to bed by midnight because the morning promises adventure. You whisper in church on Sunday morning and then scream down the mountainside on Sunday afternoon.
The amazing XXX Burger at Everybody’s Brewing (with Muenster cheese, bacon, peanut butter and pickles) seems to be a perfect culinary expression of the adventurous nature of life in the Gorge. The warm and friendly vibe at Double Mountain’s brew pub—like you are putting on your favorite wool sweater for the first time—is a testament to the overall quality of life in Hood River.
There’s so much more to adore about Hood River and the Gorge. We love the brewpub and beer garden at Walking Man Brewing in nearby Stevenson. You cannot beat the incredible view looking across the river at Mount Hood from the brew deck at Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, which is just across the river. Take a short drive up the river to Maryhill and visit that Stone Henge thing, which is really, really weird in a cool sort of way.
Go For It
When in this part of the world, you have to stretch your legs a bit. We recommend the crazy catwalk hike up Eagle Creek to the waterfalls, which should not be attempted when beer is directly involved. There are many, many things to do around Hood River. Ski, slide, sail, hike, climb, too many to mention. And then of course there’s the beer. Lots and lots of really good beer.
If you know only one thing about Hood River, you should know that it is home to so much more than Full Sail Brewing, though no trip to this part of the world would be complete without at least stopping in to see if anything special is on tap at Full Sail. Great breweries, great people and untold adventure await you at the Gorge. Don’t be afraid. Go for it. Order the hamburger with pickles and peanut butter.
You can read all about our adventures in and around Hood River, including our visits to the breweries of the area, by checking out the series of posts we wrote about our Hood River Getaway.