Traveling to the Oregon Coast in the dead of winter brings an uncertainty when it comes to the weather. Images of heavy storms crawling in from the ocean hitting the shoreline in full force that can stop on a dime then changing to clearing skies is definitely a high possibility. In January this was no exception when we arrived in Pacific City, Oregon to visit Pelican Brewing and attend its Brewers Dinner – Luck.
Now a few months later as we head into April the Oregon Coast is still not very predictable but the weather should be a bit better than the two days we faced two months ago in January. In a few weeks Pelican Brewing will host Brewers Dinner – Refreshing on Saturday, April 8th at 6:30pm at its scenic brewpub in Pacific City. If you miss this one the next Brewers Dinner – Playful will take place on October 21, 2017.
Pelican Brewing is well known and highly regarded for its beers as it has earned brewing awards across the globe. Led by Brewmaster Darron Welch, his team of brewers at Pelican are also able to brew beers that pair quite well with artfully crafted food dishes that go beyond many beer dinners that we have attended in the past.
The preparation for its Brewers Dinner is a labor of love. Darron is heavily involved in the process of deciding which of his brewery’s beers will pair best with what the kitchen staff is proposing to serve.
“Our process for pairing beer and food is very collaborative,” states Darron. “I will have a conversation about what seasonal, Lone Pelican and small batch beers are planned, as well as any barrel-aged projects that might be in the pipeline.” This prep work will give the kitchen staff a great starting point “in thinking about different flavor and pairing possibilities.”
After a few ideas are thrown about, “We will try the food, as well as the beer that was initially planned to go with it,” adds Darron. “Frankly, sometimes the combo is a home run on the first try. And sometimes not, so we then start trying different beers, exploring modifications to the dish, etc. We always feel great when the first try is a home run, but we learn more when we have to start trying different beers or modifying the food. It is definitely a back and forth process, where both the food components as well as the beer components are all open for debate and changing. We are always looking for a pairing that is greater than the sum of the different parts. It has to bring something extra to the experience in the artful combination.”
The decision on which to pair first, the beer with the food of the food with the beer can be a challenge. When posed with this scenario Darron replies, “Depends, we do have seasonal releases of beers we want to feature. We then build menu around new releases. There’s always a short list of small batch beers. A dinner like Mother of All Storms release is all about the beers where we enhance the experience with food. Not always linear – it’s really more collaborative.”
So what should Brewers Dinner attendees expect for the next dinner in April? “We have a short list of seasonal, draft-only, small-batch and Lone Pelican beers that will be available for the next brewers dinner, and we will seek to feature as many of those beers as possible,” states Darron.
The menu for Pelican’s Brewers Dinner – Refreshing has just been released that will take place on Saturday, April 8th at 6:30pm. Here is what patrons are in store for.
Fizzy Fruit with Whipped Cheese and Pale Malt Foam
Paired with Cloudbreak Belgian Pale Ale
Stout Snow Oyster
Paired with Tsunami Export Stout
Caramelized Carrot Soup with Beet Butter
Paired with Riptide Red Ale
Kiwanda Cream Ale Poached Halibut with Lentils and Watermelon Radish
Paired with Kiwanda Pre-Prohibition Cream Ale
Shorepine Dusted Lamb Chops with Minted Pea Puree and Hop-Pea Tendrils
Paired with Five Fin West Coast Pilsner
Concord Grape Sorbet with Rosemary and Black Pepper, Apricot Nectar and Honey Hazelnut Cake, Goat’s Milk Citrus Caramel, Root Beer and Honey Gelee, Lemon Rosemary Sugar, and Crushed Hazelnut Praline
Paired with Pelican Saison
Reservations are being accepted for this April dinner. This six-course meal will cost $75.00 per person, gratuity not included, and must be 21 or older to attend. Advanced purchase is required by contacting Pelican’s Events Coordinator at (503) 965-3674 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not sure what to expect at a Brewers Dinner? Here’s a look back at Pelican’s Brewers Dinner – Luck held at Pelican Brewing on January 21, 2017 in Pacific City, Oregon.
Pelican Brewing – Pacific City 33180 Cape Kiwanda Dr Pacific City, OR 97135
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.