Mt. Hood Meadows celebrates start of expanded operations with frothy brews, fresh cuisine

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: CHRIS KEIZUR - Phil Moulton, Double Mountain Brewing's taproom manager, pours a beer during the Mt. Hood Meadows Brew Fest, which celebrated the resort's expanded days of operation this summer. Hundreds spent a Saturday afternoon enjoying the sun at Mt. Hood Meadows to celebrate the resort's newly expanded summer operations while tasting offerings from local breweries.

Summer Brew Fest, which ran all day Saturday, July 14, was filled with fun activities. There was the beer tasting from local breweries — Widmer Brothers, Pfriem, Backwoods Brewing Company, Full Sail, Everybody's Brewing, and Double Mountain, whose beers were later paired with a five-course meal during the Brewer's Dinner.

"Since we have been distributing, Meadows has carried our beers, so we have always had a great relationship with them," said Phil Moulton, Double Mountain's taproom manager at the Hood River location. "On a sunny day like this, it's perfect to enjoy some beers."

Those who partook in the festival got to try their beers in commemorative mugs, which they took home, honoring Meadows' 50th anniversary. There were games for children, scenic chairlift rides and a stargazing party in the evening.

The highlight of the night was the Brewer's Dinner, which featured Mt. Hood Meadows Executive Chef Daniel DeHay pairing fresh ingredients with Double Mountain's beers for a palate-pleasing five-course meal. Some of the dishes included Pacific Northwest Oysters accompanied by a Vaporizer Pale, Pea Tendrils and Squash Blossoms alongside a Dry Cider, and Black Irish Braised Lamb with both a Heather Canyon Double Black and Hop Lion IPA.

"As a chef using fresh food is the best thing possible, and this is a great time of year to bring together all the unique ingredients found here in Oregon," DeHay said after the dinner.

The weekend marked the opening for Meadows' expanded summer operations.

"We are going from only being open a handful of weekends to operating 37 days this summer," said Dave Tragethon, vice president of sales and marketing. "Everyone is excited because visitors can come up here, kick back and have fun after a day of hiking."

On days without special events, there is still plenty to do at Meadows — which is open Thursdays through Sundays through Labor Day weekend. Take in the sights on the scenic chair lift, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until dusk on Saturdays, or join in on a guided hike.

"We have gone the route of really highlighting the beauty and nature of this region," Tragethon said.

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