Full Sail Brewing
It's now owned by a San Francisco private equity firm and not its 47 employee-founders, but the hillside pub of Hood River's first big-name craft brewery remains a classic among locals and tourists alike. The brand that built its popularity on an outstanding late-'80s amber ale now offers a vast assortment of beers hoppy and otherwise inside its large open-floor space, with striking patio views that complement the refreshing quaffability of its best-selling Session line on warm summer days. And in winter, there's no better place to bundle up with a pour of the company's whiskey-soaked imperial porter, a classic annual offering with sharp overtones of vanilla and oak that also serves as a protective blanket from the blistering cold. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: From wings ($14) to blackened tater tots ($7) and sweet potato fries ($8), we like Full Sail best for its assortment of fried shareables. That said, it does have a fantastic pub burger ($14), big salads ($5-15) and even fish and chips ($16), should you come for a full meal.
Double Mountain Brewery
8 4th St., Hood River, 541-387-0042, doublemountainbrewery.com.
11 am-10 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-11 pm Thursday-Saturday. 4336
SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
For more than a decade, ravenous ski bums and child-toting locals have found communal peace inside this warm pizza pub in the heart of Hood River's quaint downtown, knocking back classically bitter IPAs and crunching through perfectly charred crust. But what started as a singular experience in outdoor country has transformed into something of a throwback with the founding of cutting-edge apothecaries like pFriem and Ferment on the riverside, and yet that makes Double Mountain feel even more special. The mod squad might be less enthused by the somewhat vintage craft beer flavors on offer, but most can't help but relive happy memories or make fun new ones at Double Mountain's cozy wooden tables, with classic beers like the sticky red Fa La La La La winter ale and Vaporizer pale remaining staunchly sharp and piny, even in the hazy stone fruit era. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: Order any of the housemade pizzas ($8-$22), which emerge from a 700-degree brick oven with delicious doughy texture and come topped with everything from plain cheese to truffle oil-marinated portobello mushrooms.
A jagged multistory spaceship on the banks of the Columbia, Ferment Brewing's spotless second-story brewpub could (and probably should) grace the pages of Architectural Digest. Designed by acclaimed firm Skylab Architecture, huge panes surround the brewery in the center of the building, allowing you to gaze down on Ferment's shimmering stainless heart between glimpses of the river through floor-to-ceiling windows on its outer walls. As far as both flavor and literal location, ex-pFriem brewer Dan Peterson didn't move far from his past home (Ferment is located just up the street from pFriem's pub, your next stop on this route), with elegantly balanced takes on classics like a local yeast-driven saison—the strains are captured in the wind on Mount Hood's slopes—and a fresh, zesty IPA with hints of peach skin, alongside a crisp and floral Czech Pilsner—the Hood River yin to pFriem Pils' yang. Both inside and out, Ferment is one of the most exciting new spots in Oregon, and in fact, few breweries are anywhere near as beautiful as this one. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: There's a wide variety of modern pub fare, from rotisserie lamb available in pita, salad or platter form ($14-$15.50) to a classic Reuben ($14), and those interested in a quick snack with their pint will enjoy a fantastic array of seasoned nuts and olives ($4-$10).
pFriem Family Brewers
707 Portway Ave., Suite 101, Hood River, 541-321-0490, pfriembeer.com. 11:30 am-9 pm daily.
If Josh and Annie Pfriem's beautiful riverside pub ever did something poorly, it would be hard for anyone who's been there to believe it. Even the sometimes lengthy wait for weekend lunch is a blessing, excusing you and your fellow travelers for a pint-length chat around the brewery's elegant outdoor fire pit, or a brief stroll through the well-appointed park across the street. Once at your table in the shadow of the large stainless-steel tanks, order a tasting flight of some of the most nuanced and intricately crafted beers anywhere, from a floral, German-style Pilsner that many call Oregon's best, to an increasing assortment of wild and sour ales, each with varying (but razor-balanced) levels of fruit, funk and oak. Even when you expect to be wide-eyed from first sip to last, the pFriem team still manages to surprise you. On a recent visit, that special something was a coconut stout so delicate and delightful in its warm roast and tropical finish that it seemed to have fallen from a recently disturbed tree in heaven. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: From crispy rockfish ($15) to made-to-order burgers ($13-$16) and an assortment of seasonal options, don't doubt you'll have one of the best beer-soaked meals there is to be had.
Dwinell Country Ales
\Dwinell's brewery and small taproom are in Goldendale's little downtown strip, the exterior decorated prominently with the brewery's logo overlooking the beer patio. The 7-barrel brewery also holds a collection of barrels for aging. You're here for the beer, though, where influences from Belgian farmhouse brewing rule. If the Witchcraft Farmhouse Pale or Mind Grapes Muscat Wheat Ale (but really, let's just call that one a gose) are on, order them. There is a section on the menu for hoppy beers, but expect atypical offerings. For instance, the Shapeshift IPA has bitterness, but yeasty-fruity aromas and flavors much more typical of a farmhouse ale. As for the somewhat remote location, owners Justin and Jocelyn Leigh chose the town for its affordability and proximity to major highways. It's just a couple of hours away from bright lights and the big city. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: There's space for food trucks to park outside, though they don't seem to make a regular appearance. Before heading to Dwinell, stop at Pete's Pizza (340 E Collins St., Goldendale, Wash., 509-772-2772, petespizzapub.com) for a personal pie ($6.50) to go.
Across the Columbia from Hood River in downtown White Salmon, Everybody's roomy interior (a new location in 2018 near the original) offers plenty of space for drinkers and diners, with concrete floors and wooden tables. Eighteen taps dispense a wide variety of beers, including as many as three IPAs and other styles common to a standard portfolio: a lager or two, a porter, an amber and a stout. There's also a robust small-batch program, with barrel-aged and sour beauties. Don't forget to look up from your pint every once in a while to gaze out the back windows. There's a peekaboo view of the Gorge hills. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: You'll find better-than-average gastropub fare at Everybody's served in generous quantities and specials that might include a delightfully spicy curry ($12.50) like that served in the pubs of Merrie Olde.
1162 B Wind River Highway, Carson, Wash., 509-427-3412, backwoodsbrewingcompany.com. 11:30 am–9 pm daily. 231 NW 11th Ave., 503-327-8588. 11:30 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
Just up the road from Highway 14 in Carson, a hamlet nestled in lumber country at the southern edge of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Backwoods Brewing is a nondescript, cinder-block building with a patio around back. Inside, it's a warm and simple brewpub, with 14 draft beers, like Pecan Pie Porter for the sweet tooth (taste it with a house cupcake); hop-lovers' beers like the flagship Logyard IPA or Double Cutt Imperial IPA; and Spruce Springsteen, a strong winter warmer brewed with spruce tips for a touch of evergreen aroma and flavor. A pizza kitchen takes care of the food, with some sandwich and salad options. Urbanites also now have the brewery's Portland Pearl District location, which took over former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington's closed sports bar space. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: Pub pizzas ($8-$28) here are popular. When in Carson?