The Brew Site

Pelican Pub & Brewery

Okay, if you read my other blog where I describe our Memorial Day weekend, you’ll see that I mentioned the Pelican Pub & Brewery. I’ve written about it before; they are located literally on the beach in Pacific City—which for my money gives them hands-down the best location of any brewery, anywhere.

More to the point, we had lunch and beers there again, after too many years, and I can finally—finally!—write a review for it! I’d been dying to go back, and I’m glad we did… I’m thinking that the Pelican has moved up my list of favorite breweries to the number one position. If not number one, then absolutely number two…


The brewery itself, right on the beach.

The restaurant is a clean, well-lit, spacious place done in dark woods and bricks, with mostly unfinished beams for the ceiling and concrete floors. Surfboards decorate the ceilings. The front lobby doubles as the souvenir shop for T-shirts, glasses (pint and shot), beer, hats, etc. Out the back you can step from their patio directly to the beach, and you have a peerless view of Haystack Rock.

So the setting is awesome. How’d the rest of the experience fare?

Excellent (nearly) across the board! I was able to taste every beer on tap: their five regulars and all four seasonals. Check out this taster tray:


Eight, count ’em, eight beers to taste…

All but their Wee Heavy were on that tray. Eight tasters for only six bucks! Nice… Here are some notes I jotted as I drank them—in order (left-right) on the tray, not as I drank them:

Kiwanda Cream Ale: Pale gold/yellow. Light, lightly hoppy, creamy. Grain… wheat?

MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale: Malty, smoky/peaty. Rich. Clear brown color. Low hops. I quite like it.

India Pelican Ale: I’ve reviewed this before. Like it a lot. Big Cascade hops right up front.

Doryman’s Dark Ale: Dark brown. Malty, sweet, a very good brown ale.

Tsunami Stout: Black. Roasty, dark… hops are there, but overshadowed by the malt. Reminds me, oddly enough, of Papazian’s Toad Spit Stout. Mild, but good.

Nestucca ESB: Bitter/hoppy. Amber. Light… watery mouthfeel.

Organic Heiferweizen: Cloudy straw-colored. Bavarian style! Delicate, coriander… there’s a super-nice balance between the Bavarian style and the American (read: Widmer) styles… I like it.

Surfer’s Summer Ale: Gold, clear. Crisp. A little bitter… kind of like the low-carb summer ales I’ve tried.

MacPelican’s Wee Heavy: (Not pictured, or on the taster tray.) Rich, dark, strong. Good… very malty and low hops… quite good, like a barley wine. (It’s a double-strong Scottish Ale.)

Had I had time for a full pint, I would have gone with the Scottish Style Ale. Although all were good.

The food was excellent. I had the Pelican Po’Boy, snapper on a hoagie. My wife had the Piet’s Fried Chicken Sandwich, and also pronounced it good. The French fries were awesome. And the peanut butter pie for dessert—great.

The only thing we had a problem with was the service, a little bit… our waitress started out well, but she didn’t come back for awhile, the last half of the meal… and our waters were never refilled. Not a dealbreaker, but noticeable. On the other hand, they were quite busy and we were there during the lunch rush, it seemed.

All in all, an excellent experience and it’s totally worth the trip to Pacific City, if you’re on the coast. And bring a kite! The kids and I went down to the beach afterwards and flew ours, which is a great end to a good lunch and great beers.