pFriem is full-speed ahead on its expansion efforts: With the first phase of remodeling done in its primary facility in Hood River, and construction of a supplementary facility in Cascade Locks already in progress, pFriem is now preparing to start the second phase of improvements to the Halyard Building.
“We’ll hopefully be digging holes in cement and asphalt starting in November and we’d like to be able to turn on this new capacity and celebrate victory in May, six months later,” said pFriem co-founder Rudy Kellner.
“We’ll have equipment start to show up in mid-April, it’s already been ordered, so we need to get this thing rolling.”
Kellner, backed by other members of the pFriem team, gave a presentation on the status of pFriem’s improvement projects to the Board of Commissioners for the Port of Hood River on Sept. 24.
The Port of Hood River owns the Halyard Building, located on Portway Avenue near Eighth Street. pFriem took up the east end of Halyard when the brewery was founded in 2012 and has expanded in the space incrementally.
“The (phase two) project has two main goals,” Kellner said. “Number one is to further increase brewing capacity, quality and efficiency … and number two is we’ll be installing a wastewater pretreating system as well to be able to comply with the city’s industrial discharge regulations.”
Breweries’ wastewater has a high organic content that places a significant strain on city wastewater facilities, according to a City of Hood River newsletter; but pretreatment to reduce the organics levels before the wastewater goes into the city sewer system can save both parties costs while simultaneously easing loads on the city’s infrastructure.
Full Sail Brewing Company was the first Hood River brewery to implement industrial scale pretreatment measures, according to the City of Hood River, and Hood River Juice Co. initiated similar practices when the company moved to a new building on the waterfront.
“The wastewater stuff is all kind of hidden behind the fence — that’s not what we’re showing off,” Kellner said. “We’re showing off nice, steel silos, but not necessarily the wastewater stuff.”
While most of phase one was confined to the building’s interior, most of the work for phase two will be done on the outside of the building, on the west side.
“We’ll be conveying raw material from these grain silos, going through the malt room …and then the conveyance will move from this room inside the building and bring all the raw material inside the building,” said Kellner.
pFriem began its three-phase improvement project to the Halyard Building in January 2019, with the ultimate goal of bringing its brewing capacity up from roughly 20,000 barrels to over 60,000 barrels.
As part of that goal, pFriem is building a secondary facility in Cascade Locks, which will house barrel aged production, a large distiller room, packaging amenities, a wine barrels cellar and both cold and dry storage. pFriem broke ground on the 20,000 square-foot facility in August, and expects it to be ready for use by January 2020.
“I particularly like (your) moving to Cascade Locks,” said Commission President John Everitt. “I think that is your greatest success yet, and (we are) seeing this push the regional economy, which we are firmly committed to.”
Kellner took time at the end of his presentation to that the Port of Hood River for their continued support of pFriem’s expansion efforts.
“I think that it (the expansion) is actually working: What we hoped would happen is happening,” Kellner said. “We’re building more stuff, we’re hiring people. Some of this growth is moving to Cascade Locks, which I think is awesome, too … we’re building things there, hiring people there; these two sites now … will be feeding each other,” Kellner said.
“As far as we’re concerned, this is the point of responsible development.”