From the outside, Big Horse is very clean and sharp 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 my 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 strong legs carrying it all up to the next floor. Bar is at the top of some rattly carpeted stairs; hard left, and there's the top floor view of the Columbia Gorge. Get there early (filled fast for lunch on a Sunday) to get window seat.
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. spice and subtle 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.