I had the pleasure of visiting Pfriem Family Brewers in Hood River a while back. I think it’s one of the Northwest’s best breweries to visit, both for the beer, which is excellent, and also the atmosphere. The tasting room is filled with reclaimed wood warmly embracing a collection of large gleaming stainless fermenters. It’s a comfortably elegant mash up of modern and rustic with a front row seat to the brewery.
It’s evident the beer is part of the inspiration for the décor. They brew fantastic traditional Belgian beers solidly rooted in the Northwest. It’s a delicious blend of old world style and contemporary flavors. My favorite of their beers is the Belgian Strong Blonde. I first found it served on draft at Tasty and Alder in Portland and loved it. It’s malty but crisp, with pear and spice flavors that beg for another pint despite the 7.5% ABV.
I was happy to try their IPA on tap at my local Fred Meyer where it’s available by the growler. I spoke with the guy working the bar and asked if he knew whether or not Pfriem had any bottled selections. He wasn’t sure. Then a couple days later, to my delight, I went to Zupans on Burnside and saw 4 different Pfriem beers! They currently have a pilsner and IPA in sleek 500 ml bottles, and a Belgian dark strong and a saison both corked in 375 ml bottles.
Although I love making the trip and spending time in Hood River, I’m glad to see Pfriem Family Brewers reaching out to their fans outside their local market. If you have never tried their beers, you should. They are among some of the most artfully made beers in the Northwest. Keep your eyes open for them and check out their website to read their story and to find out where their beers are available.