Brewing beers that sing
After brewing his first batch of beer, Josh Pfriem (pronounced FREEm) knew he was destined to open a brewery one day. His dream came true in 2012 when pFriem Family Brewers launched in Hood River, Oregon. They focus on small-batch artisanal beers including Belgian-inspired, West Coast-hop forward, German-inspired and barrel-aged brews.
Using base malt from British Columbia, Pacific Northwest grain, Yakima Valley hops, water from Mt. Hood aquifers, and yeast propagated five miles from the brewery, pFriem beers are brewed to be elegant, balanced and flavorful. Enjoy them with good friends, family and food.
Q & A with brewmaster Josh Pfriem of pFriem Family Brewers
Q. What makes pFriem Family Brewers different than other Pacific NW craft brewers?
A. pFriem strives to make very high quality artisanal beers. We have a unique brewery that has the flexibility to brew small and experimental batches of beer while taking a high quality approach. Last year we brewed over 50 different styles of beer ranging from Belgian inspired, West Coast hop forward, German inspired, and barrel aged beers. Our beers are brewed to be elegant and balanced, but with powerful flavors. These beers sing with food. We love beer and people and everything in-between!
Q. What's your favorite part of the brewing process?
A. Design and execution. We love taking a full approach to making beer. Really taking the extra time to get into a beer, its history, its style, its realm, and its future. To take this approach and see it from start to finish allows you to turn imagination into reality.
Q. What kinds of ingredients do you use?
A. We use mostly high quality ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Our base malt is malted in British Columbia and it is all Southern BC, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho grain. Most of our hops come from Yakima Valley. Our yeast is propagated 5 miles from Hood River and our water comes off the aquifers of Mt. Hood.
Q. I understand that you create Belgium-style beers, correct? Tell me why – what has influenced you and drawn you to that particular style?
A. Not all of our beers our Belgian inspired, but we do have quite a few that are. The delicate nuances of the Belgian beers are beautiful. They strive for balance and complexity while achieving a wide range of flavors/styles. Their craft is rooted in a deep history and is passed on from generations to generations. Family, beer, and food are all very intertwined.
Q. pFriem is German, correct? Would you say that you have beer in your blood? Any family history of brewers?
A. Yes, Pfriem is German and yes I have beer in my blood. No direct linage to my family and brewing.
Q. How did you get into brewing?
A. I fell in love with Craft Beer when I was 20 years old while in college at Western Washington University. I started home brewing and knew after brewing my first batch of beer that I wanted to become a Brewmaster and open my own brewery someday. After I graduated I dove into brewing science and litter and landed my first brewing job in Salt Lake City brewing Squatters and Wasatch Beers.
Q. Are there any stand-out beers that you're particularly proud of and why?
A. I am very proud of our all our beers that we brew and bottle. I love the bright fruity hoppiness of our IPA, the fresh flower aroma and crispness of our Pilsner, the gentle pear and clove flavors of Belgian Strong Blonde, and the tropical effervesce of our Saison.