The Columbia River Gorge is the perfect agricultural area. Beautiful sunny days, plenty of moisture and rain from winter and rich fertile soil make for the ideal place to grow the citrusy, bitter hop flowers we know and love. With the take-off in IPA beers over the last few years, hops have made their way into the spotlight as the missing ingredient to brew the most refreshing of beers.
The Pacific Northwest region including Oregon, Washington, and Northern Idaho produce 97% of the hops in the United States, making it the Hop Capital of America. Hood River, centrally located and geographically stunning, is the best location for producers, local brewing companies, and hop enthusiasts to gather and celebrate this tasty little flower at the annual Hood River Hop Fest.
Alright, 60+ hop-forward beers, local food vendors and live music!? Who wouldn’t want to attend this awesome event? So mark your calendars for September 21st and head on down to the Columbia Lot in Hood River from 12-8 pm for the best event of the year! We love this event and have put together our guide to make sure everyone has a blast at this great festival.
If you purchase your ticket beforehand (which can be found on their website), you could get into the event for $15 with a commemorative glass mug and 5 tasting tokens. But don’t worry if you didn’t reserve your ticket. Day-of tickets will still be given out for $20 and you’ll still get your commemorative mug!
Parking next to the event may be difficult, but definitely not impossible. If you want to explore a little of Hood River before and after the event, park a little further away and ride the famous Pink Trolley and tour the town.
Beer is good, but once hunger hits, you’re going to want some wholesome food worth eating. There are several vendors on site serving up hot food that will blow your taste buds away, but if you want a sit-down restaurant, head over to one of the tasty restaurants on the waterfront before the event.
Under the Radar Breweries
You’ve probably tasted Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Squeezed IPA or Ninkasi Brewings’s Total Domination IPA, or at least seen them in the stores.
While these bigger breweries still make a great brew, the point of the Hood River Hops Fest is to explore new breweries and taste beers that you can’t find at home.
Here are our favorite under the radar breweries that just might steal the show.
Everybody’s Brewing Company
If you take a sip of the beer from Everybody’s Brewing Company and instantly fall in love, you’re not alone. Luckily, this great brewery located in White Salmon, WA is just close enough to invite you to dinner at their pub after the festival. Sample more of their signature brews and dine on their amazing pub menu.
Lucky Labrador Brewing Company
This Portland-based Brewery is growing in popularity. Partly because of their amazing beer, partly their homegrown story, partly the catchy name. Want to know the real secret to their great tasting beer? Solar power. The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company is investing heavily in solar-powered hot water systems to add to their brewing process. Does this really make their beer taste better? Well, maybe not. But there is something that they’re doing to make their beer taste so great!
Beers from Three Creeks Brewing was designed to be enjoyed outside. On a mountain top, after a long bike ride, or on a patio with friends, Three Creeks Brewing produces some simply delicious brews. This humble brewery in Sisters, OR is just barely gaining speed in the craft brewing scene after winning multiple awards for their small-batch brews.
The Hood River Hop Fest is one of the most enjoyable events of the year. With the beautiful gorge weather, delicious new breweries, and live music, this event is not one to miss. Taste all the different breweries and come tell us which one is your favorite!
Planning a trip to the Columbia River Gorge? Book a stay at the Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, our upscale B&B in Carson, Washington offering romantic cabins and gorgeous mountain views to make your getaway an unforgettable experience.