Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Peaks and Pints: Double Mountain Molten Lava and Beacon Rock

Ron Swarner

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Peaks and Pints: Double Mountain Molten Lava and Beacon Rock

Double Mountain Brewery Molten Lava IIPA was nominated as a 14th seed in the Northern Oregon Region of the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs, which will begin April 2, 2021. The tournament bracket will be released soon. Since we’re not touring breweries to preview the tournament this year, we suggest you enjoy the beer as a Peaks and Pints: Double Mountain Molten Lava and Beacon Rock pairing.

Hops: Double Mountain Brewery Molten Lava

Molten Lava IIPA is Double Mountain’s most aggressive IPA, yet it somehow manages a considerable balance. Orange, pineapple, and fruited pine trip over themselves trying to push their way through the lava tube. Out in the open, the assertiveness evens out into juicy citrus and remains light on the tongue.

Let’s Break It Down: 9.4% ABV • 90+ IBU • Molten Lava is dry-hopped with enormous bagfuls of whole hop flowers, which provide added aroma and flavor without harsh bitterness • Matt Swihart and Charlie Devereux opened Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River, Oregon, on St. Patrick’s Day 2007. Devereux moved on to open Wayfinder Beer.

Hike: Beacon Rock Trail

Climbed year-round, Beacon Rock, named for its brilliant, prominent stature, jets up nearly 1,000 feet. The monolith, which sits right on the Columbia, was originally named by Lewis and Clark and can be climbed in less than 30 minutes. In 1915, Henry Biddle bought the volcanic plug for $1 and spent the next few years creating the hiking trail that consists of 17 bridges and 54 switchbacks. Once at the top, you’ll have brilliant views of the Columbia and the mountains that make up Oregon’s side of the gorge.

Let’s Break It Down: 1.8-mile round trip • elevation gain 680 feet • rated easy • One of the tallest monoliths in North America • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Haps: Post-hike Celebration

Sadly, the Beacon Rock Trail is currently closed due to social distancing issues. Peaks & Pints has hiked the trail many a time, including one outing when we enjoyed a post Beacon Rock hike Molten Lava pint at Double Mountain to say we drank lava after hiking the core of an ancient volcano. Over thousands of years, hundreds of massive floods careened through the Columbia River Gorge and carved away the volcano’s main structure, leaving only the Beacon Rock lava core. Of course, every Double Mountain visit isn’t complete without a slice of their truffle pizza.

Highway: Getting There

From I-205 in Vancouver, drive east on State Highway 14 for 34 miles. The Rock is located on the south side of the highway.

Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs

OK, Covid, we’ll just take the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer into the woods. …

The public nominated 64 Northwest double IPAs for the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs in February. Beginning April 2, through online voting on this website, Washington and Oregon double IPA drinkers will pick daily winners until the best double IPA in the Northwest is crowned April 24.

Our pre-Tournament hype will be different this year. No brewery research tour. No candid photos of bartenders pouring double IPAs for review. No hotel parties.

Instead, Peaks & Pints will preview the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs by taking the 64 nominated double IPAs on hikes relatively close to where they were brewed. After all, a post-hike double IPA can quench your thirst and begin to rehydrate you, lubricate your senses and, like the act of hiking, help maintain sanity, balance and perspective. Oh, believe us when we say the hike is still paramount to the experience. If it wasn’t, we’d skip the hike and just head to the taproom. Rather, Peaks & Pints is a big believer in hanging at the trailhead with our fellow hikers, divvying up a beer and discussing the hike, or whatever subjects, as we store away our gear.

Join us. Take the nominated double IPAs on hikes. Then, look for the first round of Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs voting April 2 at tournamentofbeer.com or this website.