A visit from Not Without SaltPosted on Oct 10, 2012
Late September we had the pleasure of having the Rodriguez Family join us for dinner. Ashley Rodriguez has a way with words and photography, she writes a beautiful blog – Not Without Salt. It’s a great foodie and drink blog based in Washington State. Ashley, her husband and three young children were in the midst of a week long road trip of Oregon when they arrived at pFriem for a tour and taste of Hood River’s newest brewery. Ashley states in her blog entry: “The trip had us tasting wine, touring breweries and roaming through orchards.” Not a bad week! The pictures of pFriem are posted from Ashley’s blog entry on their travels around Oregon, along with the excerpt on pFriem. We throughly enjoyed our time meeting, drinking and eating with this lovely family.
“Hood River was our next stop and the one that had us asking ourselves, “Could we live here?” What’s not to love about a town directly on a river, a crystal clear view of Mt. Hood and countless breweries?
Our favorite stop in Hood River was at the Pfriem Family Brewers. They opened their doors for us warmly and we stayed for hours. We watched Josh (owner and head brewer) craft a fresh batch before we sat with he and his family over a bountiful meal that included plates piled high with various pickles, mussels, frites, and towering onion rings with aioli.
The food and the beers both have Belgium on the mind as Josh is heavily influenced by the country but with his vast experience in brewing, Josh manages to put his own stamp on each of his beers. The beers are rich in flavor with some hinting at cardamom and deep floral hop flavors that stays true to the Northwest.
Our time at Pfriem showed me the importance of this trip and the great joy and responsibility of telling the stories of those we met along the way. Gabe and I were both blown away by their passion and were inspired by seeing this family taking a leap and making their dreams a reality. They’ve invested thousands of hours into the beer, the food, the space while raising two young children – a task I know is difficult in and of itself. It takes an incredible amount of passion for the craft to do such a thing and I find nothing more inspiring than watching others take so much pride in their work. They have much to be proud of as their beers are among the best I’ve tasted.
All of the people we met on this trip are striving to put their product out into the world – to share a taste, their joy, their lives. With many of our stops I was surprised to find the operations much smaller than I had envisioned. These are few people doing great work with local ingredients crafted expertly. I felt so honored to have met everyone I did and as I said before, it is a joy to be able to tell you all about them.
The Pfriem family touts this message; “Proudly Crafted, Humbly Offered”. Since reading that on the back of my glass while enjoying the Belgian Strong Blonde, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. This is how I want to live – striving to create something with great passion and pride and to be able to humbly share it without seeking the glory for myself but allowing the work to reflect something greater.
I can think of no better way of describing Josh and his family. He spoke with great experience, passion and care about the beer, the food and their newly opened space but he didn’t try to sell us on the beer, he simply served it to us. The beer sold itself.”