Double Mountain Brewery, in Hood River, Oregon, is located literally just around the corner from Full Sail Brewing, on the corner of 4th and Columbia. That’s not the only connection; brewmaster Matt Swihart was former head brewer at Full Sail for a good number of years before opening Double Mountain with partner Charlie Devereux.
Open for two years now, it was my first visit though I’ve been hearing about them for some time now. In particular, they just released their vaunted Devil’s Kriek something like a week before we visited Hood River, so I knew if we stopped that I’d be trying both varieties.
Double Mountain is a true brewpub in the Northwest style; it has a funky hipster coffee shop kind of atmosphere, with a red concrete floor, real plants (some of which looked sparse or even sickly), and paintings by local artists decorating the walls. There are exposed rafters, naturally, and an old Lucky Lager compass-shaped sign on the wall.
There’s not a lot of room inside, frankly; you can see the small-ish bar seats about seven people, and I counted seven tables (not counting two or three outside on the sidewalk) and one corner has a pair of older leather couches. But that lends intimacy to the funky atmosphere and it’s definitely very comfortable. I liked it quite a bit.
We arrived at 11:30, right as they opened (summer weekend hours), and the bartender was very friendly and accommodating. I ordered up a taster tray (select which beers you want, $1.50 per taster for regular beers, $3.50 for the special “big” ones) while we looked at menus.
Here’s what I had along with my notes, starting with the yellow beer in the upper left (directly behind the left center) (you can find the descriptions on their beers page):
- Pilsner: Very tasty, crisp and hoppy. Nice light color and very clear. Very clean and well done.
- Little Red Pils: [Just in front of the Pilsner, left center] Like the Pils with a caramel character… also nicely clear with deeper copper color. A tad nutty and still very clean.
- India Red Ale: [Top center] Not very “IPA”-ish but very “Red” in the NW style. It’s roasty and a bit different, a hint of a fruity character.
- Hop Lava: [Just to the right of the IRA] More of an IPA [than previous], not overly hoppy like I was thinking (like a Double IPA) but it does have a “hot” hop quality—is that based on the perception playing off the name? Nice and rich.
- Devil’s Kriek: [Right center, the bright red one] Nice red color, beautiful nose full of sweet cherries. Not overly sour, and a nice undercurrent of the cherry… there’s a woody/bitter notes (from the pits?). A touch of funk, and finishes dry.
- Rainier Kriek: [Bottom right] Yellow and hazy. Noticeably more sour and more funk. Horsey, some kind of “wet straw” note. Good, definitely a sipper.
The menu is fairly basic, with four sandwiches, five salads/appetizers, and a selection of gourmet pizzas. It’s enough, though; the turkey sandwich was really good, on soft and fresh bread, and the Caesar salad was generous and homemade.
They’re also currently selling Bing and Rainier cherries by the pint and flat, presumably from brewer Matt Swihart’s orchard (the cherries from which he brewed the Krieks with). Hey, it’s Hood River, there’s seasonal fruit for sale wherever you go.
Overall, thumbs up to Double Mountain. I really like the funky, intimate atmosphere (I hear it gets really busy on afternoons and weekends), the service was really good, and the beers are too. Definitely makes Hood River a beer destination for beer geeks.
Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
8 4th Street
Hood River, OR 97031