pFriem Family Brewers: From 0 to 100 in Just Six Years

When Josh pFriem, Ken Whiteman and Rudy Kellner cooked up the notion of a new brewery in Hood River, Oregon, back in 2011, they had a notion – because of Josh’s extensive experience as an assistant (most notably with the legendary Chuckanut Brewing of Bellingham, WA, and its brewmaster emeritus, Wil Kemper) and a frankly wonky immersion in All Things Fermentable – that this new venture just might be pretty good. They were certainly optimistic, as proven by the unusually handsome and adaptable digs down at Hood River’s new Waterfront Park Business Center, and by the measure-twice-cut-once thoroughness of their planning. Unlike so many – maybe the majority of – new breweries, pFriem was planned for success.

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Northern California’s new ‘Champagne’ beer could signal the end of the hazy IPA trend


DOUBTFUL. More likely it will just add to the pantheon.-PGA

For those who have grown weary of the hazy beer trend, a new hope has arrived. Unlike the murky and juicy Northeast-style IPAs that have dominated the beer scene for the last couple years, the hot new sub-style of IPA is pale, clear and ridiculously dry — and it was born right here in Northern California.

The first Extra Brut IPA — called Hop Champagne, so named for its high carbonation, light body and champagne-like finish — was brewed last year by Kim Sturdavant at Social Kitchen & Brewery in San Francisco. Largely influenced by trendsetters such as Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing Company, brewers long have been using corn sugar to enhance the dryness of their IPAs, but the Extra Brut IPA takes that concept a step further.

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Open Letter to The Bud Sell-Outs: Cowboy Up, Whiners

There are people with whom we become “friends” on Facebook and have never even met in daily life. This is our new paradigm: digital friendships. I contend that these relationships – which many people regard as phony or artificial – can be, in some ways, as close as the more superficial relationships we have with casual acquaintances or co-workers. What do we make friends with, anyway? Our friend’s eyebrows? Nose? Shoes? No, we make friends with the content of their character, their conversations with us, their wisdom or sense of humor. And much of that, their personality and smarts, can be communicated via the internet, just as easily as on adjoining bar stools.

Two days ago, I committed what I – and many others – regard as an egregious lapse of courtesy against a friend whose name I have known for years and whose work I’ve greatly admired for that whole time.

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Cannabis-Infused Beers on the Rise


We had a story about pot beer a while back written by Tom Becham. This is from Beer Advocate-PGA

Cue the “highly limited” jokes. In an intersection of cannabis and humulus, Petaluma, Calif.-based Lagunitas Brewing Co. partnered with Santa Rosa-based AbsoluteXtracts to release SuperCritical, an IPA brewed with THC-free cannabis terpenes for aroma. The August release, briefly available in California, is the latest in a string of brews incorporating cannabis from producers in cannabis-friendly states like Vermont and Oregon.

THC’s non-psychoactive cousin, cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. “Hops and hemp are very close relatives, and share many chemical characteristics,” says Bill Stewart, a chemical engineer and maker of infused edibles who helped Coalition Brewing in Oregon develop its CBD beers.

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When Big Beer Thinks It’s Still Craft

In a couple months, Chicago Tribune reporter Josh Noel will release his multi-year odyssey into the story of Goose Island and AB InBev. It is an exceptionally well-reported story about what happens to a brewery and its beer once it becomes a brand in an international corporation’s portfolio. If you want a sense of what you’ll find inside, I refer you to Josh’s latest article at the Trib. It captures all the elements present in his book by describing the moves ABI is making with Goose to perk up a brand that tanked in 2017.

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Popular Beer and Wine Brands Contaminated With Monsanto’s Weedkiller, Tests Reveal

The past few years have revealed some disturbing news for the alcohol industry. In 2015, CBS news broke the announcement of a lawsuit against 31 brands of wines for high levels of inorganic arsenic. In 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sampletested, even independent beers. Moms Across America released test results of 12 California wines that were all found to be positive for glyphosate in 2016. We tested further and released new findings last week of glyphosate in all of the most popular brands of wines in the world, the majority of which are from the U.S., and in batch test results in American beer.

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IPA Without Hops


Beer wouldn’t be possible without the fabulous fungus that is yeast, which converts sugars into alcohol through fermentation. Scientists from the University of California-Berkeley have figured out how to make the microbe do double duty and add hoppy flavors to a lab-made pale ale that didn’t include any actual hops in the recipe.

Two (presumably beer-loving) scientists first isolated the various oils naturally produced by hops, the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant, which gives hoppy beer its bitter flavor. Then, they sought out other plants that naturally produce these same oils, and isolated the genes responsible. Once those genes were isolated, the scientists used them to genetically modify the DNA of brewer’s yeast so that the fungi would produce the same bitter oils. After a number of trial brews, they found that genes from a mint and basil worked best when spliced into a strain of brewer’s yeast.

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‘Juicy or Hazy’ Ales Debut in BA Beer Style Guide, Representing New England IPAs

Hazy New England IPAThe Brewers Association, publishers of CraftBeer.com and the trade organization to protect and promote small brewers, has released its 2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines. The release includes a trio of beer styles identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.” These styles represent what some beer geeks and brewers popularly refer to as New England IPAs or Hazy IPAs.

The addition of “Juicy or Hazy” ales are among several other updates to the 2018 Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines. The annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 2018 competition in September will be the first national competition which will include the new style guidelines.

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Brew in a Bag: To Squeeze or Not to Squeeze


This homebrew experiment was originally published as “Brew in a Bag: The Impact Squeezing the Bag has on Beer Character” on Brulosophy.com.

I recently switched from the batch sparge brewing method where I used a converted cooler MLT with a stainless braided hose to an electric Brew In A Bag (eBIAB) setup, which caused me for the first time to consider a curiously oft debated issue– whether or not squeezing the grain bag following the mash impacted the quality of the finished beer. Initially, the thought of squeezing a full bag of sopping grains suspended over my kettle wasn’t very appealing to me, largely because I prefer cleanliness and precision when brewing, and bag squeezing seemed like a good way to make a mess while simultaneously being less than predictable.

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