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Big Horse Brew Pub / Horse Feathers & Co.

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BA SCORE
89
very good

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.18%
Active Beers: 20
Beer Ratings: 43
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 9
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

115 State St.
Hood River, Oregon, 97031
United States
phone: (503) 386-4411

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atpca
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

atpca, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of PretzelCity
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

PretzelCity, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of tylerstravis
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

tylerstravis, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Pearlstreetbrewingco, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of BarbieWanders
4/5  rDev +1.8%

BarbieWanders, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of elcrawl
3.26/5  rDev -17%

i've been here a couple times, and the one word i would use to describe it is, "weird." first off, i do have to say that the beers are really good, they do a nice job with those. the food is good but spendy for a pub. but the last time i was there...our table had a mirror on the ceiling above it, which felt strange; the waiter scratched his balls#ck while taking our order; a waitress came over to retake our order; we felt kind of ignored for quite some time while the waitress carried on personal conversations with a couple of friends who had stopped in, which would be fine except that there was only us and another group in there. just felt...weird. and the first time we went there just for drinks, it was weird then too. strange atmosphere. everyone has given this place pretty high ratings though, so maybe i just have bad luck here?

elcrawl, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev 0%

This was a very nice venue. You have to climb a bunch of stairs to get to the place, but it's worth it, and you work off some beer calories while you're at it. Set in a large prospector-type house, the bar has a sort of mountain lodge atmosphere. Not as dark and intimate as I prefer my bars to be, but I certainly felt right at home here. The bar itself is small, with seats for maybe 8 people or so, but there are plenty of tables and booths, as well as outside seating and a very nice downstairs billiards room. Great panoramic view of the city and mountains. It wasn't too busy when I visited, so the service was laid back but generally on the ball. I believe there were 9 house beers to choose from, with a good spread of options from APAs to a Scotch ale to stouts. Didn't try any food, as we had just eaten at Double Mountain (easily within walking distance, FYI), though I was tempted by the big chocolate chip cookie I saw someone order. Overall a very nice place, with good beer and decent prices. Worth a visit for sure, and this would probably be my bar of choice if I lived in the area.

Rifugium, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

With the lurking beast that Portland is still awaiting my arrival, I decide to stop here after Double Mountain and Full Sail visits on a Friday night. My lucky day, all you can eat fish fry like back home... oh to see how the westerners do it.

They do it very well. The fish was not overly greasy and tasted very fresh and filling (as well as the other portions). The beers were good like the selection was but not great, lacking in adventure and boldness... not deviating too much from the norm for pub fare in the area. I did get the best table in the place, a window seat with a view spilling down a street through the center of town... a people watcher's delight. I am very happy I stopped here and would definitely stop here again, even if only for a bite to eat.

MilwaukeeCrusher, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%

Was in town for the hood river wet hop festival, and thought I'd stop by for a bite after sampling a number of different beers.

Big Horse brewpub is shaped like a good size A frame home, with the pub area upstairs and some pool tables and a few more tables downstairs. I think they also have an outside patio area, though I don't think it was open the day I visited. Atmosphere and vibe were laid back and informal, as were the staff working here today. Everyone seemed pretty excited about the festival, and were making plans and looking forward to walking over after getting off shift.

As for the beer, they had 8 different house beers, as well as one guest tap (a wheat beer from walking man). I don't think they bottle anything, and I was told that nothing is distributed outside the brewpub (too much demand and too little beer). In terms of the quality here, it's difficult to rate. The wet hop beers (2 of them) were superb, especially the DIPA version (vernon the rabbit slayer). On the other hand, I tried their sour and it was flat out weird. The stuff smelled and tasted as if someone had dumpted a bunch of heinz 57 sauce into it, and it was as vinegary and sour as just about any beer I've tasted. Otherwise, they had a stout, pilsner and blonde, none of which I sampled (after the sour, I kind of lost interest in trying anything else on the menu).

In terms of food, I got the calamari and it was excellent. It was spicey and sizeable, and I'd definitely order it again any time I stopped by (unlike the crappy stuff at Pelican). Prices were OK I thought. My calamari was around $11.50 and my 10 ounce glass of vernon was $5.50 (and worth every penny). As for service, I sat at the bar and chatted with the knowledgeable bartender about beer in general (he's a big Bells and two hearted ale fan), the stuff made at Big Horse, and the beers on offer over at the festival.

A couple of thoughts... for such a small town, Hood River certainly has more than it's fair share of places to grab good beer. Big Horse is certainly one more, but based on what I sampled today, I'm not sure how often I'd stop by if it wasn't fresh hop season. The beer here was decent, but I wouldn't call it better than what's on offer at Full Sail and Double Mountain, and for that matter I'd probably prefer to stop off at Walking Man if I happened to be in the area. Still, they must be doing something right, as they've been in operation for some time now and seem to have fairly loyal clientele. I wouldn't call it a beer destination, but I'd stop here for lunch again, especially if it was during wet hop season (the vernon is THAT good).

John_M, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of AugiePrimrose
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%

One of the most unique brewpubs I think I'll ever set foot into. An English-style pub on the third floor of an old house? going up the hill of Hood River. The views down to the Columbia & it's windsurfers are amazing. I think even nondrinkers would appreciate a lunch here. We would always stop here for meals on our way from Bend to Portland/Seattle.

One of those brewpubs that pays attention to both the food and beer. Everything here was always well thoughtout and quality.

The kind of place were everyone always seemed happy to be working there. The bartenders always knew what was up with the beer too. It's tiny, so it's hard to be ignored:)

For such a small operation, they have a decent number of brews(6-8). Also, it always seemed to be more than just the usual PNW styles. They must have a brewer that knows more than the average, because the beer is above average.

Not that the menu is groundbreaking or anything, but this place has better takes on pub fare than alot of other brewpubs. I never had a bad meal, and my wife never had a problem finding veggie options.

AugiePrimrose, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of Elimination
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

This was such a treat for us after visiting full sail and double mountain. I will put it simply, food is great-try the regular burger with just blue cheese, you will be happy even with that! Beer is very good, had a common, esb, and a porter all very good. Service is actually happy to see you, very friendly and willing to give samples. Atmosphere feels like hanging out at a family members house, just enjoying the day.

If you go there in summer, sit out on the deck, have a very good beer smelling new brews being made right below you, and have a burger. Trust me you will like it!

Elimination, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of squaremile
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

After a lackluster visit to Double Mountain we made our way to Big Horse. What a difference! Big Horse is in a giant 3 storey building, has a big patio on the back, and a wonderful view of the gorge. Beer selection for being a 4 tank system was good, and the quality of said brews was VERY strong. None of their harder core brews were on but the pils and the IPA were great, as was the oatmeal stout. Food was good quality for a pub, server was super attentive and kind. Will come back each time I'm at Hood River.

squaremile, May 11, 2010
Photo of chwilliams
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%

To be honest, if you want a good pint and some Monday Night Football in Hood River, Big Horse is the place to go. The beer selection is really good, with a range of in-house brews plus a few guest taps. On nice summer nights the patio behind the pub is the place to be, with tables and music playing you can watch the sunset and the stars come out.

Brews to have: Chocodog (brown porter), Vernon the Rabbit Slayer (seasonal freshop hop Simcoe DIPA), Russian Redneck (imperial stout), and their schwartzbier whose name I can't recall.

Food is a bit on the spicy side, which may be good for you, so check with your date first!

chwilliams, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%

Perched at almost the highest point in town (just across the street/uphill from City Hall), the view from the front windows can be either beautiful or a bit dizzying. And considering that the musicians (when they have them) sit atop a little shelf above THAT, that must be a little unsettling!!!

It's a very nice, casual and laid-back place. The servers are friendly, and everyone seems to have a good time. It's just got that vibe. There's lots of pale wood, a wooden floor, a wood bar, etc. It's almost like a little roadside bar tucked away on the side of a cliff. It reminded me a little bit of Telluride.

Most importantly, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the beers were good. They have a little bit of an English bent to them, and they're apparently using good ingredients (as in English malts, and not American two-row).

I didn't have much food, so I won't comment on that, but the snacks I had were as you'd expect; and overall, I thought the prices were reasonable.

That said, if you're in town you're probably going to visit Full Sail, but Big Horse is at least worth stopping into for a pint or two and bite to eat. Don't miss it.

NeroFiddled, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of philmont
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%

Went to Big Horse by default, I left Full Sail for Double Mt Brewery but must have driven by it a dozen times without seeing it. Finally gave up since Big Horse was right there at the top of the hill. Interesting place with three levels. The bar was at the top level with great views of the Hood River below. Had a sampler that consisted of a Russian Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubble, Wheat Ale, Scotch Ale, Blond Ale, and an IPA. All styles sampled were fine with the imperial stout being my favorite. After all, how can someone from Alabama turn down a beer called the Russian Redneck?! The scotch ale was a little heavy for the warm weather but for some reason the Imperial Stout was smooth without giving away it's 8.9% alcohol content. The Dubble was well spiced and the oatmeal stout smooth as expected for the style. Unfortunately, my time was limited and I had to leave after enjoying a pint of the Imperial Stout. The server, Holly was friendly and the bar itself was nice with an outside sitting area that offered nice views of their well landscaped hillside beside the bar. I hate the wife had to miss this one, she would have been tempted to steal some sprouts to plant back home. Didn't have time to try any food. But for a short visit, I would definately go back again.

philmont, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of dnichols
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%

In the summertime when I travel west on I-84 to Portland, Oregon from my home I enjoy timing my trip so I can spend time at the Big Horse. The atmosphere of the bar is outstanding. It has great views of the Columbia River. In the summertime you can enjoy a nice meal and a refreshing brew while watching windsurfers challenge the river. The bar is located on a steep hill. Window seats at the bar offer great vistas. Off of the second level of the bar is a pleasant garden.

The service at the bar is always top notch. I have never had a bad "serving" experience. The orders are taken crisply, accurately, and they are knowledgeable about the food and the brews.

The food is above average for a bar...burgers and veggies, great salads and a variety of seafood. There are typically 5
to 9 beers produced in the basement brewery are available depending on the time of year. They offer sampling trays, however, generally there brews are spot on style so it's hard to go wrong.

dnichols, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%

great place, up above downtown hood river, off the main avenue of restaurants. good selection of beer, and the staff was very nice.

offers a great view and is a nice smaller brewery to compliment Full Sail which is a short distance away.

The food was typical brewery fare, fried appetizers and really good burgers and some local northwest selections.

There was a great beer selection, you can get a variety on tap, growlers and I think they said you can get kegs, if needed.

we had a great time, the building and the surrounding gardens were great for enjoying a nice buzzed walk after lunch.

Hollenbeck2, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.4/5  rDev +12%

Best brewpub in Hood River. Building is a huge converted house teetering above the town on a steep hill. Views are great across town and the Columbia river.

Pool tables and such downstairs. Main dining and a bar upstairs.

Selection of beer was excellent. They had 8 of theirs on-tap. Sampler was great (see my reviews on the individual beers).

Food was amazing too! Had a Lamb Gyro, it was freakin' amazing. All the food is local and very fresh. My gyro had actual cuts of locally raised lamb (not that pre-formed processes gyro meat). The girlfriend had fish tacos that tasted straight from Cabo.

Service wasnt to speedy, but the atmosphere is nice (wood lodge) and our beer sampler was great.

Recommend this place over Full Sail. The beer, atmosphere, and food is much better.

SurlyDuff, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

From the outside, Big Horse is very clean and sharp, a converted house. Going up the stairs to the right of the pub is a small park and memorial with a flower garden that yielded some very nice pics for the wife. Walking in the pub, it looks a bit more like the old house it is. One small TV above the pool table, kitchen right there so the waitresses must have great legs carrying it all up to the next floor. Bar is at the top of some rattily covered carpet stairs, hard left, and there's the top floor view of the Columbia Gorge. Get there earlier (filled fast for lunch on a Sunday), and get window seat.

I'm going to continue with high food ratings for exceptional veggie offerings. The Veggie Sub with fries was excellent. Vegan veggie burger , avocado, sauteed mushroom and onion, pepper jack cheese on a crusty bun. Fries good too. Waitress tried to sell the dinner as big, but actually well protioned. Enough so that we split the nachos afterwards, which were the most unique nachos ever. Light amount of cheese on top of six inch corn tortillas instead of chips with lots of black beans, jalapeno slices, green onions, sour cream, and a hot and spicy sauce that made the dish. Both very good and not McOversized.

The beer stop alone was a fun surprise. I hadn't scoped this place out, and literally saw the sign up the hill while going through the intersection to head up the Hood River valley for a morning of exploring. Damn glad we did. I reviewed the Russian Redneck, bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout that was very fantastic. But, all of the beers were very good across the board, not a stinker among them. And, fun names like Vernon the Rabbit Slayer IPA. Hoppy beers were their best, including Vernon, but the Jack Straw Harvest Ale was probably the most interesting. Had the Russian Redneck not been on tap, I would've gone for a Jack Straw. It's a pumpkin ale, and before groaning, add to it oats and raisins. Very unique seasonal that is easily the best pumpkin beer I've had because of it's complexity and spice and sublty of over pumpkin.

Service was good, attentive, mostly, though the waitresses worked really hard when the place got full and they were running up and down the stairs. I didn't get my second pint, but since I forgot my purchased pint glass on the table I'm not sure I needed it after the generous sampler tray and an imperial. The waitress did run out the front door to make sure I got my glass back. "A" for effort.

Head to Hood River, experience Mt Hood and the area (we drove the Fruit Loop through fruit farms and wineries), and head back to Big Horse for a great stop.

FightingEntropy, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of mashmstr2
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

This brew pub doesn't get much press and that's a shame.... The food menu is diverse and the food is about average to very good pub grub. I've been there about 5 times and the food is always good.

Great view of the Columbia river, but it's quite a trek up about 3 stories to the pub....

The beers are mark on the spot to style! I noticed in other reviews, not a lot of enthusiasm over the beers, which is a shame. The beers are all very well made and hit the mark every time. I think the critiques are lower because these beers are not over hopped as is typical in the Northwest. They're made to style and that's the mark of a great brewery... This said, their ESB was PERFECT, as was their IPA and the Scotch ale was beautifully smooth with the hint of peat..

I think it's a must stop for any beer snob..

mashmstr2, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of beercollector
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%

This is a place that could be great. The bar deck has great views of the Columbia. You really have to want to climb stair to get to the place. Climb up from the street and then up to the bar about four flights in all.

The beers vary. The food can be great one time and off the next. My local friends like to go to other places because the service at times can be slow.

I had a late dinner there the last time I was in Hood River. It was about an hour before closing and the service was better than usual. The burger was done well and the big fat fries were nice. The scottish ale really topped the evening off.

It is a place to go if you have a couple of hours to kill. I enjoy sampling the beers and always find one that is really good.

beercollector, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

It’s not handicapped accessible. Not a chance. I believe I counted 36 steps leading from State Ave. to the front door, 18 just to the “basement” where the brewery resides. The back door has just four steps but you’ll still need to walk down a dozen or more to reach the rear patio from Sherman Avenue. It’s an old building with a lot of charm, but if you’re walking on wheels or sticks you’ll need a parachute or a sturdy friend.

Hood River is a beautiful town and Big Horse reflects the local civic pride. A public fountain depicting sculpted salmon leaping upstream and a small rose garden adjoin the brewpub. Precinct globes and holiday lights create further ambiance. And when you finally make it inside the pub, the views of the Columbia and the hills of southern Washington are memorable. A beer on a Big Horse balcony is like a front row seat on Paradise.

The restaurant is actually called Horsefeathers. It features two floors of seating, two pool tables, a book nook, and a staff of spirited and friendly young people. When I approached the north balcony and found it locked, a server quickly appeared and unlocked it without being asked. That’s the kind of service that contributes longevity to any pub or restaurant and I appreciate it.

A chalkboard above the bar lists five regular and four seasonal beers along with their alcohol content (average 6.8%) and occasionally, their gravity. All have horse-themed names. By and large, they’re very good, strong and flavorful ales, often with a distinctive measure of peat. Big Horse serves variably sized sample trays holding three to nine beers. Standouts include the Macstallions Scotch Ale with its complex fruity / peaty interplay and the rust colored hop bomb Palerider IPA. Their overtures to Belgian or German styles are somewhat less inspiring, though the British ales, the relaxed ambiance, and compelling scenery make Big Horse a noteworthy place to explore.

RedDiamond, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of weefisheads
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Who'd've thought that a town of about 6,000 would need more than one brewery? And not just any brewery, but Hood River has long been known as the home of Full Sail (and, well, MILLIONS of windsurfers too), so I was somewhat astonished to come across this little gem right in the middle of down town.

Because it sits on the side of a hill it has a commanding view of the rest of town and the Columbia, but upon first look it doesn't look like the view could be all that great. I mean, it's only a few (15 - 20?), so how good could it be, right?

Wrong! The bar and restaurant area is located on the floor above the pool room area, and from the table I was at the view was as close to spectacular as can imagine from a bar. Wow. There was also some seating on the deck outside, as well as space to sit around in the back where there was a small and picturesque memorial garden. Pretty impressive.

I also really dug the overall feel of the bar as it made me think of being in a resort town somewhere in Colorado. Very cozy.

To try as many of their beers as possible I ordered the full sampler - all nine of their beers. Based on my first impressions of this place, my hopes were high on what I was going to taste, and overall I was not disappointed. While some of the beers were...ho hum...a few of them were fantastic - their Amber, the organic Bock, Mcstallions Scotch Ale, and their Horsethief ESB, possibly the best ESB I've ever had.

Alas, service was pretty dismal. Some consideration should be given because it was busy, but I stood at the bar nearly 5 minutes before I even got a hi from the bartender. And I was THE ONLY ONE at the bar! In fareness, though, I didn't rate the service worse because she seemed nice enough when I finally (and fleetingly) had her attention.

Overall I really enjoyed my trip to Big Horse. However, next time I go back it may very well be for the setting and the view rather than just for the beer, but I know I won't be dissappointed either way.

weefisheads, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of Thrasher
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

A brewpub/restaurant nestled on the side of a hill overlooking the Columbia River and the extreme-sports town of Hood River. There is an attractive fountain on the side of the road next to the building, with depictions of the salmon run. To reach the brewpub itself, you need to climb a few flights of stairs. Maybe leave Grandma at home. The brewpub itself is nice, nothing special to look at, with the very large exception of the wonderful view overlooking the town and river. They had about 8 or 10 beers on tap, but they were out of their most well-known beer, Pale Rider IPA, which was a disappointment. I got a sampler of 5 beers, all of which were good but none blew my socks off. They had a seasonal IPA (an imperial), as well as a hefe, an imperial stout, a summer ale that was surprisingly dark, and a scottish ale that I enjoyed. I would have liked to get to know their beers a little better, but I had only just popped in for lunch. Service was very attentive, and helpful about the beers, even if their friendliness seemed a little insincere. The food was good; I had a salmon cobb salad, which was immense and tasty, if a little pricey. Worth a visit if you're in Hood River, and more of a traditional brewpub than the one at Full Sail, which is scarcely more than a taproom.

Thrasher, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

I visited the Big Horse Brew Pub, and it's Horsefeathers restaurant after an enjoyable hike up Mt. Adams. After some time in the wilds, just about everything tastes great - so I may have been a bit biased as I sat on the elegant wooden stools overlooking the windsurfers darting about the Columbia River.

I ordered a sample tray, which offered 4 oz glasses of 9 brews. I can't remember what they all were - but they ranged from hefeviesen to porter with most of the spectrum on the darker side of a pale ale. I was most impressed by the summer beer, which was a pale ale with very aromatic hops and a surprisingly strong malt base.

The food was excellent, and quite unique. The apple and smoked salmon quesidilla was as delectable as it was surprising. I also had a smoked salmon pasta, an order which my waitress took but forget to place. It was pleasant, although it arrived remarkably late.

AllThingsNinja, Feb 05, 2004
Big Horse Brew Pub / Horse Feathers & Co. in Hood River, OR
89 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.