Cape Horn Lookout off Scenic Route 14
However, since we were on a budget and time restriction, one day was all we had to work with. And let me tell you, it was still awesome. At each brewery, we split a tasting flight to get a good sense of the beers offered. Below is my own personal report of all five breweries ranked from least favorite to the very best.
#5 Big Horse Brew Pub
To be fair, this brewery isn’t bad by any means. Sitting on the hill looking out over the river town, it was the most affordable place of the day with a tasting flight of seven beers for a mere seven dollars. In addition, the beertenders were the friendliest of the day. Big Horse is a family owned brewery that has been in operation for over 20 years and you can definitely feel it walking into the building. Where they fell short, however, was the beer itself. Again, their beer was good, it just didn’t hold a candle to the rest of the beer we drank that day.
#4 Full Sail Brewing
Ah, the crowned jewel of Hood River. First, we need to acknowledged the fact that Full Sail took up an entire city block. Given how incredibly small the town is, a full block is pretty significant. My feelings for Full Sail were kind of all over the place. I’ll list the cons first. They have set tasting flights so you can’t pick and choose your beer. If you want a taster of a beer that isn’t on either of the two pre-set tasting flights, you have to pay an additional three dollars. And as for their beer, it was all right. Nothing blew me away. In fact, my favorite beer sampled was their Imperial Coffee Stout which was one of the tasters that didn’t come with their flight. However, I will say that Full Sail is an awesome place to visit if you’re a beer lover. They offer free tours every hour and I have to admit, it’s pretty damn impressive. Mountains of beer, massive fermenting barrels, and two-story canning system. Not to mention, the tour provided a history lesson that gave me a whole new respect for Full Sail. For such a large craft brewery distributing to over 30 states, they’re sustainable, local when they can be, and work with a smaller, passionate staff. Plus, they give you a free pint glass on the tour so… yeah. They won some extra points.
#3 Logsdon Farm Brewery
As the name suggests, Logsdon’s brewery is actually on a farm a ways away, however their tasting room is smack downtown. While Logsdon had the worst service of the day, their ales were so damn tasty. All their ales are farmhouse style, so their menu consists of a lot saisons, bretts, etc. and they all had an interesting funk to them. My favorite was their oak barrel-aged peach brett ale. Although like I said, while their beer was fantastic, the service wasn’t. It took about 20 minutes to get our beer when there was only three other people in the taproom, and the beertender committed one of the greatest beer sins: she didn’t settle out the foam. When you’re paying 12 bucks for a tasting flight and already are getting small portions, it’s frustrating when a beertender doesn’t know how to pour a glass so that the taster isn’t half head. But still, their beer outweighed the experience.