Full Sail

Top 10 Craft Beer Destinations: Hood River

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Full Sail Brewery, Hood River, Ore.
It's really tough to go wrong with a brewery tour in Oregon. A beer lover could spend a whole vacation taking a tour of the state's largest beer maker, Deschutes Brewery, and tasting its Inversion IPA at the brewpub in Bend; visiting Deschutes' Portland-based brewpub after checking out the facilities at the Craft Brewers Alliance's(HOOK) Widmer Brewing, nearby BridgePort Brewing or the MacTarnahan's Taproom; or knocking back some Dead Guy Ale at any of the Rogue Ales Brewery "meeting rooms."

If you really want to get a taste of Oregon while sampling some of its finest brews, there's no place like Full Sail Brewery. Within viewing distance of Mount Hood, where it gets its spring water, and located in an old Diamond Fruits cannery overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, the Full Sail Brewery tour is less about seeing how the beer is made and more about enjoying it in the environment that inspired it. The tasting room and pub is stocked with Full Sail's pale ales and seasonal lagers, but also has a large deck looking out on the gorge. Out there are the sailboarders and kiteboarders that gave the brewery its name, catching a ride on the breezes whipping through it.

"Many of my faves are those that are almost anywhere in Portland, Ore. -- but especially Full Sail, just outside it, in Hood River," says Matt Simpson, owner of The Beer Sommelier and TheBeerExpert.com. "On a pretty summer day, it's gorgeous -- great beer and an amazing view."