A lot of press has been on the Oregon coast beer scene thanks to breweries like Rogue in Newport, Fort George and Buoy in Astoria, and Seaside Brewing Company in Seaside. I had the pleasure of taking my family on a short camping trip to the coast to escape the unpleasantness of sweating in Portland’s 90 degree weather. I am aware that by the rest of the nation’s standards, temperatures in the 90’s might not constitute excessive heat, but for my temperate temperature loving NW family and I it’s a bit much. The cool breeze of the Oregon coast was exactly what we needed to avoid various body parts sticking to the furniture. We pitched our tent in a campground just outside of Pacific City. Upon our arrival we reveled in the immediate relief from the 90 degree Portland weather. We gladly embraced the high 60 degree day, set up camp and hiked the grounds.
That night we allowed the kids to subject their teeth to the sugar onslaught brought by s’mores, while my wife and I enjoyed an ESB courtesy of Fully Sail Brewing. It’s one of their seasonal beers I look forward to. Bright, fruity esters from English yeast are a welcome departure from the usual clean, neutral yeast strains found in the U.S. It is a good beer. Plus the cheapskate in me likes it too since its less expensive than some of my other favorite beer on the market at right around $8.00.
The following of days were spent hiking and climbing Cape Kiwanda which is amazing! If you have never been to Cape Kiwanda it is one of the coast’s must see places. The mildly arduous hike/climb to the top is worth it for the view and the decent. Lots of visitors slide down on sand boards, some use cardboard, and some (like me) just enjoy running/leaping down in the soft sand. The view from the top is breath taking. Steep orange sandstone cliffs beg to be explored and the sound of the waves crashing against the cape is tranquil and melodic.
A beer lover’s reward for ascending the cape (or for simply trekking to Pacific City), is a beer at Pelican Brew Pub. Even if for some reason you don’t like beer (unlikely I’m sure), the view and atmosphere at Pelican Brew Pub is worth the trip. The outdoor patio looks right out onto the Ocean. Cape Kiwanda stands a yellow and orange wall of rock to the north while from the ocean Haystack Rock stands watch over the beach, a huge silent beacon. The scenery alone makes for a spectacular day, but add to it the excellent beers available at this 4 time GABF winner of brewer and brewery of the year, and it makes for a little parcel of paradise. Since it was right before 4th of July weekend and the weather was near perfect, the pub was busy. They usually have 6 mainstays on draft plus some seasonal offerings.They had sold out of a couple of their seasonal beers but one the remaining seasonal beers was an unfiltered pale ale called Flock Wave. Its a delicious pale ale with lots of hop flavor, medium bitterness and a crisp finish. Per Pelican Brewery, they are releasing it in 6 packs so I’ll definitely be on the look out.
I have never had a lackluster beer from this place. Their Silverspot IPA is delicious. It’s made in the English style and leans more toward herbal and woody flavors than the typical big fruity West coast IPA. Kiwanda Cream Ale is a light bready thirst quencher, perfect after a hike on the cape. I also really like the Doryman’s Ale. Its an American Brown with a perfect balance between sweet toffee malt and hop bitterness.
I’ll stop gushing over this place now. You really should check out Pacific City and Pelican Brew Pub though. If for some reason you can’t make it to Pacific City and can wait until spring, you will be able to try their beers in Cannon Beach. Per their website, they are under construction on a brew pub there. I can’t wait. It will save me a 1/2 hour drive time!