west on WA14 along the Columbia River with an ultimate destination of Hood River, Oregon. And let’s say that The Lady Who Lives in Your Dashboard tells you to cross the Columbia River via the Bridge to the Gods into Cascade Locks. LISTEN TO HER. We didn’t and instead crossed the river using the Hood River Bridge.
“The bridge is currently the second oldest road bridge across the Columbia between Washington and Oregon. It was built by the Oregon-Washington Bridge Company and opened on December 9, 1924….(wikipedia.org) This was the most narrow, most creaky, and most rickety bridge I have crossed. And they have the nerve to charge a toll for crossing.
Hood River was the mid-point in our trip. We were going to stop for lunch and then head back west using Route 30 on the Oregon side of the river. Hood River looked like a fun little town but we didn’t have time to explore since we only had one day to see both sides of the Gorge. Have I mentioned recently how much rain...oh, never mind.
“Double Mountain Brewery embodies the culture of Hood River—a small recreation town located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The product of one of three breweries located in the downtown area, Double Mountain beer, is beyond exceptional. Locals frequent the pub, which has a lively atmosphere, to listen to music, catch up with friends and family, and talk about their day on the river or up at the mountain…” (thecentralcascades.com).
“The vast majority of our hops are grown within a two-hour drive from the brewery, in the Yakima Valley of central Washington and the Willamette Valley just south of Portland here in Oregon. Our location affords us the opportunity for regular contact with the hop growers, and we make a point of traveling to the central storehouses in Yakima at harvest time (usually September) to ‘rub’ hop flowers from different field lots in search of the best aromas. We use lots of hops in our beers, so this is important!” (doublemountainbrewery.com).
So the image of a hop can be found on the back of the brewery’s delivery truck,
The one exception to the sampler rule is something called the Lyle Rider. With this beer you are either all in or you’re out. I went all in. “In collaboration with our friends at Lyle Style, in Lyle, WA, we have combined elements of Lyle Style Spicy Bloody Mary Mix and our White Rider of Conquest Belgian Blonde Ale. Pours a beautiful tomato red foam head, with abundant tastes of hot peppers, garlic, salt, black pepper and paprika…Exactly 15 potential mixes of the concept were created by our brew staff, this one is the conquest!” (ratebeer.com).
After I had taken a few swallows, our server approached our table with some unease and asked me how I liked it. Like it? I loved it.!
But enough about hops and beer. It’s time for pizza which receives almost as many accolades as Double Mountain’s beers. The menu reads: “A few words about our pizza. We like to call it a ‘bar version’ of the great thin-crust, coal-oven pies that rule the roost back in New York City and especially in New Haven, Connecticut, just up the road from where Charlie grew up. Our dough is made in-house with Shepherd's Grain flour and is slow-fermented to develop flavor and texture. Ingredients are kept simple, and the pies are light, yet intensely flavored. The perfect complement to a fine craft beer. We use a brick-lined oven to cook the pies at 650-700 degrees F, which makes them crisp and adds a superficial ‘char’ that's reminiscent of the marks created when grilling meats or vegetables. It's all part of the flavor…, but if you think you’d like less char, please inform us ahead of time.”
Both the sauce and cheese had been lightly applied. The basil and arugula were added after firing. And the salami. Oh, to find some of this salami. It had just a bit of peppery bite. I can see why one blogger considers this pizza to be among the Top Five in Oregon.