By now you must be wondering: Really, another brewery? What types of beer are you going to brew? What is going to make your beer different from everybody else?
Well, we are glad you asked!
In my brewing journey I have always had one thing in mind; create great beer that people love. In this pursuit I have had the honor of working with some really awesome people along the way.
My early home brewing and craft beer drinking days were very influenced by the beers I drank at Boundary Bay Brewing, while I was in college at Western Washington University. Skip Madison’s hop forward beers back in those days were way ahead of their time, they gave me a yearning to drink and make great beer.
When I brewed for Utah Brewers Cooperative (Brewers of Squatters and Wasatch Beers) I learned the mastery of brewing 4% ABV beers. If you can brew an amazing 4% beer, you can brew anything. It is a powerful thing to be part of a passionate team. I have fond memories of the never-ending conversations of how to make great beer even better with the UBC crew.
Before I left on my journey to Belgium Jenny Talley (at the time Brew Master of Squatters) told me “Be ready to have your life as a brewer transformed.” I knew that I was about to drink some great beer, but I had no idea how much it would shape my direction as a brewer.
I had always been fascinated by Belgian beers and loved brewing them on my home system, but after my first couple of days in Belgium the beers actually changed my pallet. The beers I drank in Belgium were so complex in flavor, but yet incredibly drinkable. The hop flavor and bitterness was so much more defined in the beers, then the ones that have been imported to the US (oxidation and time can cause hop flavors to fade). The beers I drank in Belgium are a major source of inspiration to the ones we will be brewing.
Back to Bellingham
Brewing beer at Chuckanut Brewery with Will Kemper further opened my eyes to the technical art of brewing lagers. Brewing lager beer was nothing new, but working with Will’s 25 years of lager experience was very inspiring. While at Chuckanut Will and I threw everything we had at brewing amazing lager beers; well engineered equipment, the best ingredients in the world, hard work and dedication.
When you want to keep growing; bigger is better. Brewing on a manual 200-barrel brewhouse is a rare and beautiful thing, so is working with a crew that is so dedicated to quality. While working at Full Sail Brewing I was able to work with “Big Brewery” technology and equipment at a Craft Beer level. Working with Waste-water Treatment, a technical lab, and tons of experience was awesome. Brewing 66,133 beers at a time is a trip.
Brewing at Home
You know you have a deep love for something when you do it full time at work all week, then you go home and keep doing it. Ever since I started professionally brewing beer I never stopped testing new ideas, techniques, and recipes at home.
Pfriem Brewing Beers
Keeping with my roots in the Pacific Northwest, we are going to be cranking out some well-balanced hop forward beers that all of us know and love so much. Our main focus however, will be on our beloved Belgian inspired beers. We will be concentrating on some traditional Belgian beers with local ingredients and local terroir, but not to be limited by anything. There is a whole world of beers in Belgium alone; we hope to be inspired by them. We can’t wait to brew many of these great styles for you!
Pfriem Brewing Company
When I brewed my first batch of beer over a decade ago, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a Brew Master and have my own Brewery. The dream is one that has been balanced by family, friends, mountains, and beer. In the pursuit of these beautiful things, it has given me a great desire and passion to brew beer that is worthy of such ideals. The pursuit of beer and the good life has taught me many lessons, such as humbleness, patience, and a hard work ethic with the hope that the end goal will be something really great. This dream has taken me to work at three totally different, yet amazing breweries with many incredible brewers. Pursing this dream has also taken me to Belgium, a country engulfed in rich brewing traditions, to study some of the finest beer in the world. Now, this wild dream has landed me in beautiful Hood River, Oregon where mountains, water, family and beer are king! It has also allowed me to join with Ken and Rudy to try and create something incredible that you will love. Since at the end of the day, brewing beer has never been my dream; my dream has always been to surround myself with wonderful people doing beautiful things. Hopefully you will love my beer, as much as I love brewing it for you.
Cheers to adventure and the pursuit of dreams!
Pfriem Brewing Company