Pelican’s owners, Mary Jones and Jeff Schons, and their crew of brewers, managers and staff, hosted the soft opening of their new brewery and brewpub in downtown Tillamook last month. Although the new location can’t offer exquisite views of Pacific City’s Haystack Rock, for beer lovers, it offers an even better view. The taproom’s tables overlook the new brewery. No walls or windows separate the public from the production. The taproom -- which seats about 45 at the bar and tables -- provides the sights, smells and sounds of a working brewery.
The Tillamook brewpub opened to the public last month, but the expanded commercial beer production has already put out its first beer – Stillwell #1, which was on tap at the opening and at the Pelican Pub in Pacific City. Pacific City’s popular restaurant and brewery will house Pelican’s experimental and small-batch line of brews. Tillamook is home to the new taproom and brewery where four new 60-barrel fermenters, as well as the old 30-barrel fermenters from Pacific City are now in production.
The expansion will boost Pelican’s capacity from the current 4,000 barrels per year to as much as 10,000 barrels per year. The brewery is aiming for 8,000 barrels in the next year, according to Waylon McAlister, head production brewer formerly with Elysian in Washington. Last month, McAlister was preparing Pelican’s winter seasonal, “Bad Santa,” available this month.
Visitors will also have an added bonus: a portion of the brewery’s cement floor has been set aside for shuffleboard. There, a few feet from the brew house, visitors can paddle their pucks while swilling some of Oregon’s award-winning beer.
“We want to let people get closer than usual to the brewing process,” said Steve Panos, brewery manager.
With the new brewery comes expanded production. This month for the first time Kiwanda Cream Ale and Silverspot IPA are available in 12-ounce bottles and six packs. The brewery has also launched a beer club that provides direct shipments of beer beginning in December.
Tillamook’s food menu includes some of the same Pacific City favorites, but is more casual and certainly more Tillamook. Tillamook fried cheese curds, Tillamook ice cream, burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads a kid’s menu featuring root beer are among menu items. Take out orders are welcomed.
In addition to Pelican’s awards at the Great American Beer Festival last month (see related article, this issue), Pelican also in September won four medals from European Beer Star, a prestigious international contest held in Germany. Medals went to the Imperial Pelican Ale (Silver, IPA), the Surfer’s Summer Ale (Bronze, English Style Bitter), the McPelican’s Wee Heavy (Gold, Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy), and the Mother of All Storms (Silver, Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer).
[a] 1708 First Street, Tillamook (at the corner of Stillwell)
[h] 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.