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How the Pfriems Built a Real Family Brewery

Annie Pfriem: I've also worked a few not-so-awesome jobs so that he could be a brewer. As we all know, getting started in the beer world, the wages are pretty low, but that's something I've been honored to be a part of ... to work that second job, whether it was bringing our daughter alongside or nannying other kids just to pay the bills so that we could pursue this dream.

At Chuckanut, Josh was on the brewery side, but I really kind of started their marketing department and ran all that stuff. It was a good time.

Josh Pfriem: It was the beginning of Annie becoming "Brewmama," as she's now professionally known. She's always been known to have a phone in her hand, a kid on her hip and running around straightening everything up. She's taking pictures and always buzzing and moving around to make sure everything looks how it is supposed to and that all the gaps are filled in behind me.

When we went to create Pfriem, one of the hardest things when you create a brewery or business is to communicate to people what your vision is for the brewing company. Our vision was so much more than just about the business of our company, it was basically creating something that was going to be here long term. It brought up how we feel about life, what we believe and where we want life to go.

There's a brewery opening up at least one a day right now and there's lots of trends and lots of fads, but the tradition of beer has been around for centuries. When you look back through the years, most breweries -- especially those brewing in the European tradition or even in the early American tradition -- were named after the founding brewer and the brewer's family. It was the stamp of approval and commitment to quality that said "I'm going to put my name on it and do anything I can to make the best beer possible and the best business possible, take care of my employees, take care of my family and then give me something I can pass on to my children and their children's' children."
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