pfriem Family Brewers | Belgian Strong Dark
On a trip to Oregon back in June 2016 we were able to visit so many breweries with really amazingly consistent quality! Most of our time was spent in Portland, but we capped off our trip with a day in Hood River on a coffee barista’s recommendation. The one hour drive thru the Cascade Mountains is absolutely worth it for the views and beer. We spent the day watching kite sailing under a blue sky and visited pFriem Family Brewers for lunch. pFriem has specialized in lots of Belgians and sour varietals since opening in 2012 but offers a very eclectic and well-executed menu as a whole, including tasty pub-style food! Oh, and it’s pronounced “FREE-um,” as a waitress helpfully clarified for us.
Fast forward. On a chilly March night here in Denver we pulled the pFriem Belgian Strong Dark ale out of our bottle collection where we’d be hoarding it since June, wiped off a thin layer of dust, and popped the cork. What we found inside did not disappoint – this ale was bottle-conditioned and lends itself to initial notes of heavy fig and cherry dipped in maltiness. The appearance was cloudy ruby brown with a thick never-ending head with lacing for days! The taste was super carbonated, though not nearly as sweet as the aroma would have you believe. Raisin, fig, dry jam and semi sweet chocolate rounded out this balanced and approachable Belgian dark ale which also smelled a bit boozy but never tasted like the 10.2% ABV advertised on the label. We were so impressed by the complexity and execution of every pFreim beer we tried and were excited to enjoy a beer time capsule that brought us back to exploring the Pacific Northwest.