Review: Pelican Brewing Co., Pacific City Oregon

On April 5th 2015, Easter Sunday, some friends of mine decided to head out to the Oregon coast and this was one of the many stops we made along the way. The Pelican Pub & Brewery is located at Pacific City, next to Cape Kiwanda state park literally on the beach (as you can see from the pictures). While this is a great location, it’s a little bit off of the beaten path (15 min off of HW 101) and you should use your nav to get there or risk taking a wrong turn. We were really thrilled when we got there for lunch and it wasn’t terribly busy inside (no wait) and we got sat immediately. By the time we left (about 1pm) it was packed with a 45min wait.

The entrance has a lot of swag of the brewery available (inc. 22oz. bottles), the main dining room has the bar on the south side and wall to wall windows that look out onto the beach and ocean. There are additional side rooms for the overflow. We ordered a few appetizers and a variety of lunch items (burger, fish & chips, etc.) and everything came out super quickly, and was top quality. The only complaint I might have is that there is no escape from the criPODS at this restaurant/pub. We were surrounded by them at every table, and some were quite noisy with crying and screaming. If you can ignore that, then by all means you should be ok. The waiter was super knowledgeable about their beers and provided the extra samples so we could try every beer they had available.

They unfortunately were out of a few of their seasonal beers, but overall the 10 beers we sampled were quite good. Nothing super exceptional, but nothing bad, sort of middle of the road to a bit better. Some might call them ‘sessionable’ as they tended to be lower ABV and matching the style they were going for pretty closely. You can see the range of beers in the picture below, the review goes from bottom to top, with the three extra tasters listed last. The top winners for us were the Red Lantern IPA and Tsunami Stout.

Pelican Pub & Brewery
33180 Cape Kiwanda Drive
Pacific City, OR 97135
Ph: 503-965-7007

Kiwanda Cream Ale
Pelican Brewing Co. • Pre-Prohibition Cream Ale • IBU: 25 • ABV: 5.4% • 8 SRM
Malts: Two-Row, CaraPils, Flaked barley
Hops: Mt. Hood
The signature beer from Pelican has a nice solid yellow hue, bright white foamy head that lingers, and a yeasty/hoppy nose. The front mouth has a subtle grassy hop note, full body with malts and the barley working nicely with the slight sharp/crisp finish.
Ankle-Buster Ale
Pelican Brewing Co. • Belgian Pale Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 5.1% • 6 SRM
Poured with a solid white head leaving a nice lacing on the glass rim, the yellow color is slightly cloudy on draft. The nose is a little bit yeasty, a little bit floral, and a little bit bitter grassy note. The toasted malt and broad hop profiles are balanced with the farmhouse funk of the yeast to make this a mid-range Belgian Pale with a refreshing and lingering floral and fruity after taste.
Silver Spot
Pelican Brewing Co. • English India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 55 • ABV: 6% • 16 SRM
Malts: Pale ale, Melanoidin
Hops: Meridian, Fuggle, Sterling
Mid-amber hue on this beautiful IPA, the head does drop a little bit after the first sip, but leaves nice lacing/spots on the glass. The nose on this IPA is fruit/orange peel, slightly sweet, pine bitters, and delicate hop florals. The front and mid mouth are a bit sharp with the floral and fruit hoppy notes, grassy astringent that lasts from front to back with support from the toasted malt profile that lends to the full mouth feel (bready?).
Imperial Pelican Ale
Pelican Brewing Co. • American Double / Imperial IPA • IBU: 85 • ABV: 8% • 14 SRM
Malts: Pale ale, Caramel
Hops: Cascade, Magnum, Centennial
Solid big white foamy head, light yellow/amber coloring and the nose provides citrus (grapefruit), tea/earthy/mineral bitters, and toasted grains. The front and mid mouth have subtle hop resin and citrus notes with a mid-body built off of the slightly sweet malt profile.
Dorymans Dark Ale
Pelican Brewing Co. • American Brown Ale • IBU: 42 • ABV: 6.2% • 30+ SRM
Malts: Pale Ale, White Wheat, Caramel, Chocolate
Hops: Magnum, Cascade, Mt. Hood
Slightly copper/brown/red hue and large bubbly tan head that drops quickly. The nose is really subtle with sweet and toasted grains with cocao (bitter) lingering. The front mouth is slightly sweet and bitter from the roasted malts, but surprisingly smooth and balanced with the hop profile. There is a slight dry bitter (roasted) flavor on the back.
Tsunami Stout
Pelican Brewing Co. • Foreign / Export Stout • IBU: 45 • ABV: 7% • 40+ SRM
Malts: Pale Ale, Flaked barley, Chocolate, Black Patent, Roasted barley
Hops: Magnum, Willamette
This stout pours as a solid black and brown/tan head that did have a solid view, but dropped quickly with little lacing. The nose expresses burned malts, almost burned bread or charcoal and dried fruits and cocao. The front and mid mouth have a solid toasted profile, bitters from cocoa and coffee like acids. The dried fruit profile that starts in the mid and goes to the back ranges from orange peel, raisin, to black cherries. This is a complex stout that changes slightly with each sip.
Umbrella IPA
Pelican Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 60 • ABV: 7.4% • 6 SRM
Note: Dry Hopped with Ella (Australian) hops
Mid-yellow hue and white foamy head that leaves small bubbly lacing on the glass provide a great foundation for this unique IPA. The nose is somewhat fruity and vegital at the same time. While the mouth feel is a bit thin, the hop profile is really unique as a single, dry-hopped beer which pulls in the fruit/berries but with a slight sharpness to them. The back mouth drops off quickly, leaving little after taste.
Meet the Flockers
Pelican Brewing Co. • American Pale Ale • IBU: 45 • ABV: 5.9% • 6 SRM
This unfiltered ale with a lighter yellow hue, it also has a soft white pillowy head that lingers on the rim. The nose has some slight citrus fruit and hop floral bitterness to it. The front mouth is lighter citrus/lemon bitter and the mid/after tastes are mellow and blend the grain build well to hold the body together.
Red Lantern IPA
Pelican Brewing Co. • American IPA • IBU: 63 • ABV: 6.5% • 28 SRM
Malt: Pale Ale, Caramel 77, Black Patent
Hops: El Dorado
Nice copper/amber hue, bright white bubbly head that lingers on the rim with a sweet (candy) and sharp hop (citrus/grassy) nose. The front mouth has slight sharp citrus/pine hop bitter notes with a nice blend of roasted malts/bread to hold it together. The mid and back mouth are solid and the effervescence/bubbly character allows the flavor profiles to express all the way to the back.
Pelican Brewing Co. • Pilsner • IBU: 45 • ABV: 5.1% • 4 SRM
Hops: Santiam
This is a bright yellow colored pils with a small, bubbly white head that does drop quickly. The nose has slight lemon grass, citrus, and herbal characters. The pils yeast and sharper grassy hop profile expresses itself with the front and mid mouth feel. There is a slight sweet citrus note in the mid/back and a dry bitterness on the back.

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