Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

PNW Beercation 2012 (part 1) September 21, 2012

Since I began my beer journey 18 years ago, I have made it a mission to visit every brewery I can. A few weeks ago I embarked on another “beercation” in the gorgeous state of Oregon. Now I have visited Portland many times and enjoyed the breweries and brew pubs in that beautiful and amazing city. But this time I decided to travel to some of the other lesser known cities and see what Oregon had in store for this beer chick.

First leg of my trip started off 20 minutes outside of Portland in the sleepy town of Troutdale. What’s in Troutdale you ask? Well, many a beer drinker knows of just one place…the Edgefield  Resort. Owned by McMenamins this gorgeous resort is surrounded by vineyards, gardens, mature trees, and lovely old buildings dating back to 1911. Set on 74 acres, the resort served as the Multnomah County Poor farm from 1911 until 1982 and housed farmers that needed a little support in times of need. The grounds are beautiful, quiet, and relaxing. There are a few McMenamins restaurants to choose from, a pool hall, 3-par golf course, and heated soaking pool. Oh, and there just happens to be a nice sized outdoor pavilion that hosts live acts by some little entertainers you may have heard of such as Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Foster the People, Florence + the Machine, Gotye, Bonnie Raitt, Train…you get the idea.

The rooms are spacious and decorated not only with antiques, but the walls tell stories of the resorts former residents and the history of the grounds. As for the beer, it was great as always. Try a Ruby Ale if you are looking for a crisp, subtle raspberry ale. For those hop heads out there I would recommend the Copper Moon Pale Ale. Nice and bitey, with a sweet caramel note. Do you like art? Edgefield has plenty of it! In fact, the walls are covered with local artist pieces paying homage to the history of the resort and the state of Oregon. What a great way to spend a weekend!

The next couple of days were spent on the Columbia River in the historic town of Hood River. A charming, Victorian town, Hood River has a lot to offer for the weary traveler/beer enthusiast. But before settling into my hotel, I took a quick trip across the bridge into White Salmon, WA and stopped at a little brewery called Everybody’s Brewing.  With an amazing view of Mt. Hood, I sat on Everybody’s patio and enjoyed their taster tray. For the sake of time I will narrow it down to a couple of my fave’s. Goodwill IPA was my favorite from Everybody’s. Very well-balanced, hoppy and malty with a caramel character and a hoppy, floral finish. For a lighter choice I enjoyed the seasonal Summer Lovin’. This light, crisp ale is sweet and very easy to drink. Hints of orange and honey are present in the aroma and flavor and the finish is pleasantly soft.

Back across the bridge into Hood River. There are four breweries in Hood River: Big Horse Brew Pub, Full Sail Brewing Company, Double Mountain Brewery, and pFriem Family brewers. Unfortunately, pFriem was closed during our stay in Hood River but we had a great time visiting the other three.

Big Horse Brew Pub is truly a gem! Housed in a large Victorian home that was built into the side of a hill and overlooking the town and the Columbia River, Big Horse has been brewing tasty beer for over twenty years. The food is wonderful and fresh. The atmosphere is very laid back and simple. The view of the town and river cannot be beat. And the beer? Fantastic. I started with the Easy Blonde. Light, sweet, and easy to drink, this beer had a honey and cereal aroma. Biscuity mouth feel and a nice vanilla finish. Wind Ripper was Big Horse’s summer ale. Medium body character and very effervescent. Crisp and refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. For the hop heads there is the Pale Rider IPA. Apricot color, citrus and flower aroma. Medium body with hard grapefruit finish. My favorite beer from Big Horse was A Night in Munich; Munich Helles style lager. Crisp and sweet, this lager tasted of Golden Grahams cereal. Malty and well-balanced this beer was an absolute delight. Don’t bother looking for Big Horse in any store. The beer never leaves the brewery so if you want to give this yummy stuff a try you will have to make the pilgrimage to Hood River.

Day one in Hood River came to a beautiful end. Full Sail Brewing and Double Mountain on day two…

Cheers!

Liz

www.mcmenamins.com/

Information for Big Horse Brew Pub can  be found on Facebook.

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