A few weeks ago it was my husband’s birthday. We didn’t have anything exciting planned so I proposed a beer tour, working our way east from Portland toward the Columbia River Gorge. (So, yes, if you’re keeping score, I chose my favorite activity for my husband’s birthday and then made him drive so I could imbibe the lion’s share of beer. I know, I know, I am a terrible wife. But he still loves me, so it’s all good!)
Anyways…Usually when we drive to the gorge, we drive on the Oregon side of the river out of convenience sake. To try something different, I suggested this time we take Highway 14, on the Washington side, instead. It was a surprisingly good choice.
Even though we were headed in the same direction, being on the other side of the river made for a completely different view. In fact there was a moment when I almost felt disloyal to Oregon, thinking, “Wow, the Washington side is a much prettier drive!” But then my husband reminded me the reason for that is because we were looking at Oregon from across the river. I felt much better (though a little slow!) after he said that.
At any rate, the scenery was so gorgeous that we pulled over near Cape Horn so I could take some pictures.
After an hour or so, we hit Stevenson, WA and pulled over again for our first brewery of the day, Walking Man. I’ve had their IPA quite a few times but just recently learned the brewery is in Washington — for some reason I always thought it was in California. It was a cute space with lots of outdoor seating so we could enjoy the sun. They also pour a pretty mean sampler, 40 oz total!
My favorite of the bunch was the cherry stout which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’m not really big on stouts or porters in general, but this one was well-balanced and flavorful. The cherry profile was prominent but not sweet, cloying or fake tasting, which can be the downfall of many fruit beers. The Golden Gait, a Belgium style ale, was also delicious — delightfully refreshing on a hot summer day.
After polishing off our beers plus a basket of garlic fries, we called the first stop a success and moved on toward White Salmon, WA.
In White Salmon, we drove straight to Everybody’s Brewing, one of our favorite local breweries. Since we’re familiar with their beers, we opted for a couple of pints instead of a sampler.
Then it was across the bridge to Hood River…
Our last stop of the day was Pfriem Brewing, which we discovered quite by accident last year in July. My husband and I had enjoyed their beers in bars throughout Portland but had no idea the brewery was located in Hood River until we walked right by it. Since then, we’ve been meaning to get back to drink more of their beers. I would say we accomplished that mission.
We had dinner at the brewery before heading down to the waterfront for a walk, meandering around until the day turned to dusk.
Then, sadly, it was back to Portland. This time we took our usual route on Oregon’s I-84, catching the last bits of the sunset before darkness settled in.