Seattle native Josh Pfriem began homebrewing while at Western Washington University in his early 20s then moved to Utah as a ski bum. He worked at Utah Brewers Cooperative for a few years before moving back to his old college town of Bellingham to brew at Chuckanut Brewery, where he helped win the Great American Beer Festival Small Brewpub of the Year in 2009. He moved to Hood River, Oregon to work at Full Sail but left in December 2011 to open pFriem Family Brewers — across the highway from Full Sail along the banks of the Columbia River — in August 2012. The brewery prides itself on its strong family focus and community involvement, as well as its ingredients — while many craft brewery websites list the notable spices and hops used in their brews, none we’ve encountered boast the encyclopedic cataloging of every ingredient the way pFriem does. Peaks and Pints presents a flight of pFriem that we call Craft Beer Crosscut 7.5.17: A Flight of pFriem.
4.9% ABV, 38 IBU
Visually, the pFriem Pilsner may be the lightest beer we’ve ever seen. It pours with a delicate green tint, a fluffy white head, and a crystal-clear complexion. Pastoral aromas of flowers and meadow grains combined nicely with a typical maltiness pilsner scent. The taste is the best part, though, with a deep dryness at the back of the mouth and the faint minerality that’s so crucial to a pilsner. Though it’s a term with varying meaning, pFriem Pilsner highly “drinkable,” and perhaps dangerously so — with its lovely front end and low carbonation, pFriem’s Pilsner goes down easy as a breeze.
pFriem Summer Pale
5% ABV, 40 IBU
Brewed with Chinook, Cascade, Mosaic, Oregon Amarillo and Citra hops it’s not shocking pFriem’s Summer Pale sports intense aromas of citrus, peach, grapefruit and floral notes. The flavor begins with pale malt, nectarine and grapefruit followed by herbs and grassiness. Finishes crisp and dry, leaving you desiring more.
pFriem Family Brewers grabbed the American Revelation – Fermentis Trophy for their Super Saison at the international 2016 Brussels Beer Challenge. “As brewers, we have a deep love and affinity for the beers of Belgium, they inspire us and challenge us. It is an incredible honor to be awarded this American Revelation award for our Super Saison in the Brussels Beer Challenge. For pFriem to be awarded best of show for American entries with a Belgian inspired beer is a humbling achievement,” co-founder/brewmaster Josh Pfriem told Beer Connoisseur magazine. pFriem’s Super Saison sports a thick, meringue-like foamy head atop big aromas of pineapple and papaya. Big, full flavored and bittersweet, it hits the tongue with abundant fruit and even a good bit of ethanol. The mid palate is sweet and dry and the finish is long, peachy and somewhat gripping.
6.25% ABV, 50 IBU
pFriem’s Blonde IPA is a hybrid between a West Coast IPA and a German pilsner. Showcasing the dank hoppiness of an IPA, while being bright, blonde and crisp like a pilsner. Brewed with Equinox, Chinook, Cascade and Simcoe hops, this IPA hits the noise with mango, tangerine, and lime zest. Flavors of mild candied fruit, light sweetened grapefruit and mellow toasted malts hit the tongue in almost a creamy fashion. Finishes crisp, clean, with a touch of grapefruit rind.
7.2% ABV, 65 IBU
pFriem’s IPA is more of a Northwest IPA than West Coast IPA meaning its hazy and aromatic with assertive bitterness rather than lighter in body and brighter that is typically associated with West Coast style. pfriem’s IPA is brewed with Gambrinus Canadian Pilsner, Simpsons Caramalt, Simpsons Crystal Light and Simpsons Crystal Dark grains with Chinook, Mosaic, Citra, and Warrior hops before it ferments with American ale yeast for strong citrus character along with some tropical fruit aroma. Grapefruit and passion fruit dominate with a slight pithy/woody quality too. The malt aromas are heavily masked by the hops, but grainy sweetness and a touch of caramel come through. It’s a big, hoppy delight.