With summer in Hood River come tourists, and with tourists come lines. Flocks of adventure dads with 10 Barrel hats and Toyota FJ Cruisers filled with toddlers descend on the town, creating hour-long queues to snag outdoor tables at breweries like pFriem and Double Mountain.
What if we told you there's a better way? A way to make the whole town your bar patio and enjoy your beer in the sunshine without waiting in line? As it turns out, Hood River is one of a small handful of cities in the U.S. with no law prohibiting open containers.
The OLCC is still involved, which means caveats do apply, but the end result is the entire town functioning as your very own bar, with each stop serving as a filling station. It's not quite New Orleans, though legend has it a now-defunct shop once sold Mason jars of to-go beer from a window—a bartender and a taphouse nearby adopted the stern attitude of a parental unit while explaining how incredibly illegal this practice was.
Instead, you have to order your beer to go and then open it on the street. We snagged a crowler filled from 64 Taphouse & Growler Station (110 3rd St., Hood River, 541-436-4677, 64taphouse.com), which, despite the name, has 30 taps to fill your growler. Bizarrely, it's illegal to crack it on the premises and walk outside, but okay to crack it after crossing the threshold of their door. You can't cross the property lines of any licensed booze vendor with an open container, so you'll have to stash your cup in a bush before you re-up. We used an aluminum growler to avoid any issues involving glass in parks. You can also head straight to the source, and pop into pFriem to buy a growler of their Belgian Strong Blonde, then crack it on the nearby beach. That's totally legal—and totally awesome.