This past Saturday I had occasion to make a very quick trip up to Portland (actually only into Gresham), and on the way home we (my dad, my brother, and I) were passing through Government Camp and decided to stop for lunch at the Ice Axe Grill, which is also home to the Mt. Hood Brewing Company.
I ordered the sampler tray to go with lunch, which consisted of nine beers: six house beers and three seasonals. I snapped the photos but didn’t take any notes, but can tell you a little bit about them from memory.
In the order that I drank them:
Cascadian Pale Ale (bottom right): Not bad, but a little muddled and all over the place, grainy hops and a bit estery.
Highland Meadow Blonde Ale (bottom center): Not very “blonde” in color, light with caramel notes. At 3.7% abv a true session beer.
Rookie Rye (seasonal, middle left): Quite tasty, light and spicy from the rye, very drinkable.
Cloud Cap Amber (top left): Decent, malty with just a touch of roast, a little thin in the body.
Ice Axe IPA (top right): Their flagship, and a tasty beer overall. A little on the lighter end at 5.7% abv for an IPA.
Multorporter Smoked Porter (bottom left): Nicely drinkable porter, though I don’t remember getting much “smoke” from it.
Hogsback Oatmeal Stout (top center): Very roasty and coffee-like, and thinner that I’d expect for an oatmeal stout.
Throwin’ Smoke Pale (seasonal, middle right): I liked this one a lot, had some really nice smoke flavor married to the malt.
Pittock Wee Heavy (seasonal, middle center): Their strong seasonal at 8.5% abv, a nice sweet rendition of the style.
For lunch I’d ordered the fish tacos, made with Oregon rockfish, which came with tortilla chips and really good salsa on the side. They were pretty tasty and filling. My brother ordered the appetizer named something like “Three Little Piglets,” which were pulled-pork sandwich sliders that tasted pretty good (would be a contender for what I would order next time). My dad had a bowl of the navy bean soup and enjoyed it.
The restaurant itself is very ski-lodge-ish, which is fitting since the town is built around skiing on Mt. Hood.
Overall, I wouldn’t mind stopping in again and exploring their beer some more—usually we’re passing through Government Camp on our way to or from Portland, however, and it’s usually just not that convenient. But I’ll wager it’s one of the better meals you’ll find in Government Camp.
Mt. Hood Brewing
87304 E Government Camp Loop
Government Camp, OR 97028