About a year ago, I flew out to Portland, Oregon to visit BB. JPE came out a few days later, and the three of us drove around Oregon, sampled beer and seafood, and generally enjoyed the unique culture of the Northwest. Let me clarify that: BB drove JPE and me around and tried to keep his BAC below the legal limit, while we guzzled beer, gorged ourselves on whatever grub we could lay our mitts on, and generally made a nuisance of ourselves.
The Pacific Northwest (I am including Northern California) is the Bourdeaux region of American Brewing, and I would love to go back with more time and a bigger budget, and explore the region again. Every podunk town we stopped in had at least one outstanding craft brewer. Every dive bar we stumbled into had a tap selection that would be the envy of the Blind Tiger or d.b.a. I would describe myself in Oregon as being like a kid in a candy store if I was not trying to avoid cliches like the plague.
One morning, we made a trip out to Mount Hood, which is a must do trip for anyone who visits Portland. The only downside was that JPE could not get service on his iPhone, and the GPS on my phone was out of service, so we got a bit lost. We eventually found our bearings and made our way to the town of Hood River, which sits on the river at the end of a mountain passage, creating a natural wind tunnel, and which makes windsurfing in Hood River like climbing Mount Everest.
As none of us had thought to bring our wetsuits, we decided to grab some beer instead. The Full Sail Brewing Company was our first stop. The bar had a fantastic view of the river, and the beer and food was decent as well. As we were leaving, BB said “we need to head back to Portland now.” JPE and I agreed, but only after stopping for a quick three at the Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom, which was a few short blocks away. I was not taking notes, so this is strictly on memory, but the beer there was outstanding, with the India Red Ale being a particular favorite.
I came across a six pack of the Full Sail Pale Ale when I was visiting my sister in Texas, and having fond memories of the trip, grabbed it. It strikes the right balance between hops and malt, crisp and dry, and you could drink several of these without being overwhelmed. I have yet to see it ’round these parts, but I’d drink it regularly if I could. 7/10.