Any drive out to the Columbia Gorge involves a stop at Pfriem in Hood River. It’s a vortex that just sucks you in. Situated on the Hood River waterfront it looks out over the Columbia River.
This part of the Gorge is popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders thanks to the near constant wind that blows through. Hood River is home to several breweries including Full Sail, Double Mountain, and of course Pfriem. (Another brand you might recognize comes from here, Hood River Distilling, or HRD.)
Pfriem is one of the newer breweries that first caught my attention a few years ago with a couple of spectacular farmhouse ales. Their focus seems to lean towards Western European-style beers like wits and saisons. The day I visited they were brewing and the whole pub was infused with the incomparable smell of malt.
The brewery and the pub are in one big open space. The picture above is the view right from my table. The white buckets seemed to be blowoff for the fermentation tanks and they were bubbling happily away. The tables and chairs are handsome pieces made of welded two inch steel and hefty bits of wood. Wood features heavily in the interior but due to the size of the space it always seems open.
I ate lunch there and it was amazing. I had a Croque Monsieur and to my delight it was served open faced, the first time I’ve seen that dish prepared that way. The soup was clam chowder; both were delicious.