Hood River's craft beer boom

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013

BY MATT WERBACH

0213 Brewing 01
Above: David Logsdon of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales spent over 20 years studying yeast and fermentation.
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn

In the 25 years since Full Sail Brewing Company crafted its first beers, the quaint mountain town of Hood River has amassed an impressive array of high-quality breweries and brewpubs. Hood River is home to fewer than 8,000 residents, but within the city, five breweries thrive, and just outside the city ,the towns of White Salmon, Wash., and Parkdale each have a sought-after brewery born from Hood River’s brewing tradition. Full Sail’s success laid the groundwork for a large piece of Hood River’s future as a craft-beer-producing mecca.

Last winter, when Darrek Smith became the brewer at Big Horse Brew Pub in downtown Hood River, he also became the first and only of the area’s seven head brewers to come from outside the Full Sail system. Full Sail and Big Horse opened in the same year with far different intentions. Brewing was not in the original plans for Big Horse, which was set up as a restaurant. The Full Sail founders were focused on becoming a major player in the beer world, and that meant converting consumers of fizzy, yellow American beers like Budweiser to craft beers with more robust tastes and a higher price.

Today the vast majority of beer drinkers are still not craft-beer drinkers, even in Oregon, but Full Sail has largely succeeded in its task, even if the battle is ongoing. In its first year of production, Full Sail brewed 287 barrels of beer. “I remember each one,” jokes Irene Firmat, the company’s CEO and founder. Last year,Full Sail brewed 150,000 barrels as it watched former employees prepare to open three new breweries in the area.

 



 

More Articles

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

Imperial Palate

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Power Lunch at the Imperial.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS