Sour beers are entering the craft beer mainstream, appealing to enthusiasts who are on the lookout for anything complex, wild, funky and distinctive. “There is a lot more interest in sours,” says Matt Kotwasinski, who carries the title of “Farmer” at pFriem Family Brewers but has his hands in many aspects at the Hood River, Oregon, brewery. “[Sours] aren’t overtaking IPAs and hoppy beers, but drinkers look for them.” Peaks and Pints always has at least one sour on our western red cedar tap log. Thursday, Dec. 1, we’ll have one of the best sours on tap — pFriem Flanders Blonde —when Peaks and Pints hosts “We’re pFrieming of a Craft Christmas” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1.
Kotwasinski — an energetic, interesting conversationalist — elevates his enthusiasm a notch higher when pFriem’s Flanders Blonde hits the subject line. The elegant craft beer is brewed and aged in the same tradition as Flanders Red and Oud Bruin, brewed with Pilsner malt and highlights delicate flavors of French Oak after 18 months in twice-used Pinot Noir barrels.
“At last year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Portland I stood up and applauded when a fellow brewer interrupted a conversation on kettle souring and pronounced that they’re not flandering anything unless it’s aged on wood,” says Kotwasinski. “He told the crowd of brewers that if they’re not aging their sours on wood then they’re not making true sours.”
Kotwasinski is proud of pFriem’s “scholarly beauty” Flanders Blonde, a well-rounded, bright, tart and delicate craft beer aged on wood.
“Every time our Flanders Blonde hits my lips I’m transported to a dark-wood parlor, sunk into a leather chair with a good book, my Old world smoking jacket moving to-and-fro with every reach toward the beautiful sour,” pictures Kotwasinski.
The pFriem Flanders Blonde is here to stay, as well at the brewery’s farmhouse ales. In fact, next year seven of 11 of pFriem’s aged beers will be fruit based.
Not only will the Flanders Blonde flow during the “We’re pFrieming of a Craft Christmas” night Dec. 1 at Peaks and Pints so will the Hood River brewery’s Kumquat Farmhouse Ale, Belgian Xmas Strong Ale, Dry Irish Stout and Cognac Barrel Aged Belgian Dark. Read up on the Cognac Barrel Aged Belgian Dark here.
Be sure to “holidize” your smoking jacket that night as Peaks and Pints will be decked out for the holidays, with pFriem gifts under the tree.
WE’RE PFRIEMING OF A CRAFT CHRISTMAS, 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, Peaks and Pints, 3816 N. 26th St., Basecamp Proctor, Tacoma, no cover