Three Hoppy Days in Hood River
Beer is serious business in Hood River, Oregon. From downtown, you can walk to four Hood River breweries, where you can taste award-winning craft beer and enjoy great food that that goes well beyond your typical pub fare.
Come fall, brewers experiment with fresh hops and local produce (peaches, apricots and cherries, to name a few), releasing seasonal ales that seem to disappear as fast as they’re announced. They showcase their seasonal creations at Hood River Hops Fest, held annually in September in downtown Hood River. Nominated for Best Beer Fest in 2015 and 2016 by Willamette Week Oregon Beer Awards, Hood River Hops Fest is scheduled for September 23, 2017, noon – 8 p.m. More than 50 breweries will be sampling more than 65 fresh hop beers, making it one of the largest fresh-hop beer festivals in the nation.
While Hood River Hops Fest is a beer-lover’s dream, you’ll find plenty of ways to wet your whistle if you plan a multi-day stay in Hood River. Here’s a sampling of what three days of sipping and sauntering in Hood River might entail.
Day 1 – Hood River
Stop by the Hood River Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (720 East Port Marina) to pick up a Breweries in the Gorge (BIG) map and passport. If you visit 10 out of 11 local breweries, you can go home with a free, commemorative pint glass.
After getting settled into your accommodations, you might want to work up an appetite – and your thirst – by taking a walk along the Hood River Waterfront Trail. This approximately 2-mile trail along the Columbia River starts near the Hood River Marina and continues all the way to “The Hook.” Along your way, you’ll walk right by Pfriem Family Brewers, where you can sit inside or out while tasting a flight of these Belgian-style beers. Other downtown breweries include Double Mountain Brewery and Full Sail Brewery, which offers daily brewery tours. Or, saunter over to 64 Oz. Tap House & Growler Station, where you’ll find 30 craft beers on tap.
Day 2 – Cascade Locks
Just 30 miles west of Hood River, Cascade Locks is a welcoming town in all four seasons. It’s home to the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, an authentic triple-deck paddle wheeler, as well as the iconic Bridge of the Gods, a gorgeous waterfront park and great restaurants. After a day of exploring, stop by Thunder Island Brewing for a pint, some food and awesome views of the Columbia River.
Day 3 – The Hood River County Fruit Loop
The Hood River Valley’s 400 acres of fruit orchards will be busy harvesting in September. It’s a prime time to pick your own pears or apples, or purchase a mix of varieties to take home. Start by getting a map of the Hood River County Fruit Loop at the Hood River Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (720 East Port Marina). The map offers suggested stops at more than 30 farms, orchards, cideries and wineries. When you’re ready for lunch, stop by Apple Valley BBQ (open year-round), Sawtooth Roadhouse, Crooked Tree Tavern, or The Gorge White House, which has a food cart serving farm-fresh meals on weekends through October.
How do you like to spend three days in Hood River? Share your Hood River experience with others by tagging your Hood River County photos on social media #visithoodriver.
As always, never drink and drive/bike. Please designate a driver.