Wednesday, September 19, 2012

USA Summer 2012 -- West (pFriem Family Brewers)

While out in Oregon, I followed up on a friend's tip and visited pFriem Family Brewers (yes, it is typed that way), a new brewery in Hood River. The tasting room opened August 4 this year. It sits right on the Columbia River in a large industrial-style building with high-ceilings and big windows The brewery and tasting room share the space, with large fermenting tanks dominating one end.

There is bench seating at communal tables for about 24 people, with smaller tables for 16 and 10 bar seats. The walls and ceiling feature lots of wood and beams reclaimed from old farms.

pFriem currently has six Belgian-style brews on tap, and a seventh in the works. Samplers of all six are available for $12 (which is just a bit pricey). They also have growler sales. The menu looked good but somewhat limited: seven appetizers; eight entrees; also house-grilled flatbreads. Each entree item lists a suggested beer pairing. The beers are all good, with two standouts: the IPA and the Belgian IPA.

The IPA had a strong dirty hop aroma. It was a dark straw color, with a  thin smooth head and great lacing. The flavors included a citrus hop hit in the initial, good sweetness underlying the mid palate, and a lengthy bitter aftertaste. Medium body. Very well made, smooth, and eminently drinkable.

The Belgian IPA featured sweet and then tart fruit aromas of citrus fruit, especially lemon. With mild fruit initial flavors, the hops emerged in the mid palate, and then a very well-balanced finish. It was very smooth and mildly flavorful. Overall, a very good interpretation of this newish style.

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