The Pfriem Family is Coming to Seattle

Update (Friday, Feb 15) – We have learned the release schedule. Basically, a week of events introducing Pfriem Family beers. Tuesday, March 12 at Brouwer’s Cafe; Wednesday, March 13 at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse; Thursday, March 14 at the Pine Box; Friday, March 15 at Beveridge Place Pub (blog sponsor). Other events will follow.

Original Post:

The red and orange sail ripples and blazes in the September sun, in stark contrast to the black and white backdrop of the rolling Columbia River. The surfer’s arms flex against the driving wind. His white knuckles clinch the boom as he goes bouncing over the whitecaps. “He must be going 30 miles per hour,” I say to myself, “maybe even faster.”

He attempts a tight turn to starboard, the board catches too much of the wind, lifting the surfer and his board high in the air. The board flips and he hits the water with a glorious splash.

I am watching from the shore as he struggles to remount his board and pull the rig up from the water. Though I am only watching, I find his efforts exhausting. The intensity of his exertion makes me thirsty. Lucky for me, there is a brewery right over there: Pfriem Family Brewers.

[singlepic id=592 w=320 h=240 float=right]Sharing that memory with you is my way of introducing you to Pfriem Family Brewers and welcoming them to Washington.

A Brewery at the River

Last September we visited Hood River, Oregon. We were excited to check out the Hood River Hops Fest, but we were even more excited to check out Pfriem Family Brewers, a new brewery and pub along the banks of the Columbia River that opened back in July of 2012 (read about it). It’s pronounced freem, by the way.

If you recognize the name, it is probably because Josh Pfriem was the brewer at Chuckanut Brewery back when they opened in 2008. Along with Chuckanut Brewmaster, Will Kemper, Josh Pfriem brought home four medals from the Great American Beer Festival in 2009, just one year after the brewery opened. Impressive, to say the least.

Pictured below, the Pfriem family: Sahale, Josh, Annie and Watou. Yes, like the town of Watou in Belgium: the home of St. Bernardus and Van Eecke breweries. I guess you could say that little Watou Pfriem, like much of his daddy’s beer, was Belgian-inspired. Yes, you could say that.

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Josh later moved his family to Hood River, where he took a job at Full Sail Brewing. It was a job at a brewery. Not necessarily glorious, but it was a job in a beautiful part of the world–Hood River, where he imagined raising his family and dreamt of opening his own brewery. In July of 2012 Josh’s dream became reality when Pfriem Family Brewers opened for business.

Simply put, Josh Pfriem’s beers are amazing. He produces Belgian-inspired ales that are creative, uncommon and, well, inspired. I selected the word inspired quite intentionally. His beers are literally inspired by Belgian tradition and the country of Belgium itself. The countryside, the villages, and the time he has spent there all helped form his personal brewing philosophy. Josh puts his own unique Northwest twist on traditional styles, creating something that is entirely his own.

The beer is fantastic, the new brewery and pub along the river is beautiful, the food is delicious, but until now, telling you about Pfriem Family Brewers seemed braggadocios since the beers are not yet available in Washington. That’s about to change.

Pfriem Family Brewers is now on the list – that State of Washington’s list of breweries holding a Beer Certificate of Approval. That means they can now sell beer in Washington. And they will. Exactly how much beer will make it to the thirsty hordes of Seattle beer drinkers remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, those of us who know about Pfriem Family Brewers are clamoring for the beer.

So far we know of one event welcoming Pfriem Family Brewers to the Seattle market. That event is at the Pine Box on Thursday, March 14. We certainly will keep you posted if we learn about any other events.

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  1. ^ Not at all… if you’re referring to “hoppy” in the Northwest sense (synonymous with bitter), these beers are not.

  2. Northwest-inspired is just a nice way of saying that these are not actually Belgian beers because they are made here and not there. You will not be disappointed, Jack. I promise

  3. This is great news! Rest assured, not over hopped beer.

    I go to Holland and Belgium on a semi regular basis (every other year for 1 month at a time for the last 10 years). I love the Belgium beers I get there. And I love Pfriem. We live in Seattle but go to Hood River to windsurf and have been going back to Pfriem every chance we get. If you like Belgium style beers you will like what these folks produce.

  4. Had a Wit from them at a restaurant in Portland a few days ago. It was outstanding. Looking forward to consuming more.

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