Tasting Full Sail

13 11 2011

Autumn Ale, so yummy I couldn't get a picture before sneaking a sip

I’ve been quite busy the past few months working on my house, and well, not posting anything because of that.  So this weekend I decided that I needed to get out, and not just out of my house but Portland too.  After a brief thought of visiting Astoria, I remembered that Full Sail was in Hood River and, I’ve not been there, it’s closer than Astoria, and the leaves were changing in the Gorge.  So after a quick hike on the Washington side (see bottom picture), I crossed the Bridge of the Gods and rolled down to Hood River.

I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’ve had a few different beers from Full Sail, and they were pretty good but I always ended up walking out of the store with a Deschutes or Widmer brew.  Well, I can happily say that I really enjoyed the place, for the 3 reasons you would expect.

1) The Pub

Great views of the Columbia Gorge, all while nice people bring you food and beer.

I loved the views, wasn’t expecting them as I walked down the hall to the Pub.  You can’t see from the photo but the trees were all sorts of yellows and browns, November is a really good time to go.  And as far as the staff goes, very attentive and friendly.

2) The Beer
Like I mentioned, I like the beer, but had previously not gotten overly excited by it.  However, I got their Autumn Ale (a Pub exclusive, pictured above) and loved it.  It’s “a strong English-style bitter to help warm the changing of the season.”  It did help that “changing of the season” thingy.  I also tried their Amber Ale, quite good too.

3) The Food

Cheesy (3 kinds) goodness.

Started with the artichoke dip, which admittedly has been done to death, but most don’t usually contain Rogue Creamery bleu cheese.  That combined with the pepperjack and sharp cheddar with panko on top really made this stand out from all others I’ve had.

For my main course I ordered the Tempeh Veggie Burger.  I like tempeh when I don’t try and make it, because I’m terrible at it.  This tempeh is made right next to Full Sail at Turtle Island Foods… who also make Tofurky… which I’ve decided that after eating them for 7 straight Thanksgivings are actually quite unappetizing.  But I went for it anyway, and it was great!… it was topped with Full Sail’s edamame pesto and Asian slaw which made it even better.  To be sure, that’s a lot of different flavors and textures, but they all work together to make it fresh, flavorful and fulfilling.

There's a lot going on here, but it all combined for some tasty tempeh.

The others in my party ordered the buffalo hot wings which were spicy, juicy and delicious – and the turkey & brie sandwich which was good, but nothing too special.  We spent the last 15 minutes in the dark because the power went out due to the high winds that were in the area, which was fun, but a bit of a bummer because I wanted to take the brewery tour.  Oh well, next time.  Another bummer is the fact that I wanted to explore more shops and such in Hood River, however all of downtown was also without power.  But I’ll go back again soon, and I’ll go to Full Sail again because of the combination of good views, beer and food.  I’ll also hike again 1st, because the views from the Washington side are quite purdy…

The pre-Full Sail hike.

Full Sail Brewing Company on Urbanspoon