Rating pFriem Family Brewing as producing “some of the best Belgian-style beers west of the Mississippi — and good IPAs, too,” The Oregonian newspaper last week gave the four-year-old Hood River Brewery its number one spot in its list of top 10 breweries in Oregon. Pfriem, is the only Gorge brewery on the list. Breakside, Barley Brown, Deschutes and The Commons rounded out the top five.

pFriem’s upper story “library” room hosted the first Books and Brews lecture series on Oct. 12, hosted by Gorge Owned. Award-winning writer Pete Fromm of Missoula, Mont., read and spoke, providing a humorous and touching insight into his memoirs. The next Books and Brews will be in March.

The Oregonian writer Andre Meunier wrote of pFriem, “Grounded in the rich, spicy ales of Belgium, pFriem’s production has grown to an impressive survey of the nation’s styles: abbey-influenced brews (its Tripel and superb Strong Dark and Strong Blonde ales), an everyday witbier, and a recent dive into barrel-aged sours (the revelatory Blabaer!) that should make Cascade nervous.

Not to mention a handful of very Pacific Northwest IPAs. pFriem launched in 2012 and has moved at rocketship speed ever since, debuting its first bottles in 2015 and taking over a vast, scenic space along the Columbia River’s Waterfront Park for its brewery and tasting room.

The two-story tasting room is a mix of expected industrial style and more artisanal, farmhouse affectations. It’s quite kid-friendly: on a recent trip, the waiter offered my daughter crayons and coloring paper along with a high chair.

Despite the brewing’s Belgian focus, the menu betrays a love for well-done American pub food, from its diner-ready cheeseburger to the oozing, bacon-covered mac and cheese. pFriem’s a busy mealtime destination: come early and settle in.”

Full Sail renews Wreck the Halls

Full Sail’s annual Wreck the Halls Hoppy Holiday Ale, is back with new packaging as part of the new Brewmaster Reserve six-pack series.

“This annual favorite — in six-packs for the first time — is a sublime hybrid of an American-style IPA and a winter warmer,” said Full Sail Executive Brewmaster Jamie Emmerson.

“The result is a bold brew that celebrates the holidays with an intriguing blend of Centennial and Cascade hops providing elegant citrus notes balanced by a backdrop of a rich caramel malt body, dry hopped to amplify the aromas and flavor.”

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