Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pelican Pub and Brewery

I am sure many of you have seen a Pelican 22oz at your favourite bottle shop, or tried it on tap at some point. Until last Sunday however, I had never actually been to the brewery and pub, located in Pacific City. So we decided to pack up, leave rainy Portland, and got to rainy Pacific City instead.
Pacific City is one of those little coast towns that you swear you have been through before, but you might not have been. South of Tillamook, you have to drive a ways off of 101 to get to it. Once your there, coming from the North, Pelican Pub is the first thing you see as you enter town. Immediately you realize that Pelican Pub may have the best view of any brew pub in all of Oregon.
The place was hopping last Sunday, we grabbed one of the few last remaining tables. As you first walk in you walk through the gift shop, selling everything form t-shirts and hoodies to little surfboard key chains. Ashamed of hawking anything that can fit a logo they are not.
We decided to grab the tasting tray for the low price of $6. It included all of the regular brews, plus their seasonal offerings of Bridal Ale, Anglers Amber, and Paddlers Pale Ale. Using a scale from one to ten, I can rank the beers:
Kiwanda Cream Ale - 3
MacPelicans Scottish - 4
India Pelican Ale - 3 (had some hard, overwhelming citrus flavors)
Doryman’s Dark - 5 (nice and smoky)
Tsunami Stout - 3 (weak body, watery, odd aftertaste)
Bridal Ale - 6 (smooth, low carbonation, and slightly sweet)
Paddlers Pale Ale - 4 (IPA-ish, bitter, watery finish)
Anglers Amber - 5 (clean, easy drinking, nicely balanced)

So, my favourite was the Bridal Ale. Though not a Belgian, it is claimed to be inspired by the country ales of France, and a Belgian lover would find something of interest here. It was sweet, but not malty sweet, more fruity. It was smooth at 6.5%, and could get you into trouble fast. On the mouth feel, I picked up notes of malt, banana, and possibly berries way back there. This was the best by far.
The food we had was very good, and I like that they try to use fish caught by the local Dory fleet when they can. The meals are in the 15-20 dollar range, but well worth it.
Overall, except for the food, I was let down. I guess I may just be off, since they obviously have won a lot of awards, a fact you are hammered over the head with when your there. And good for them. They have won the large brewpub of the year award at the World Beer Cup, and have taken gold in Australia for their India Pelican Ale. I didn’t have any beer that I had to spit out or anything, but nothing, aside from the Bridal, stood out as anything great. I wouldn’t go there just to go there again, but who knows, if your in the area, you have a long drive to anything else, and hell, the view is good.

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