One of the advantages to living in Portland is that we are in close proximity to the Oregon Coast and all of its natural beauty. Along with this scenery is a growing craft beer scene that continues to grow. Earlier this winter a new mobile passport was created to help promote craft brewing on the North Coast with Beer 101 Pint Pass.
Released by Bandwango, Beer 101 Pint Pass is the first beer-centric pass released by this software company. According to Jon Rahl, assistant general manager of the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau, teaming up with Bandwango to create the Beer 101 Pint Pass was a natural fit. “We have such a growing and high quality craft brewing scene along our stretch of Highway 101,” said Rahl in a news release. “This allows us to offer consumers a great experience and value exploring what our craft brewers and restaurateurs are creating during the fall and winter months.”
In early fall 2015, representatives of the Oregon’s North Coast three partner cities, along with Bandwango, met with restaurants and bars to be part of this new Beer 101 Pint Pass. This group also met with all of the breweries along Highway 101 from Cannon Beach to Astoria to gauge their interest in participating in Beer 101 Pint Pass. Once 10 participating businesses were secured Beer 101 Pint Pass was launched in November 2015.
We recently ventured out to the Oregon Coast to check out the Beer 101 Pint Pass beginning in Cannon Beach and working our way to Astoria. So with Beer 101 Pint Pass in hand on our phone’s web browser, we set off for the coast. First stop scenic Cannon Beach, home to the decade old Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse but will soon have two additional breweries joining them in town with Public Coast Brewing and the Pelican Brewing. But a brewpub was not in our plans during this visit. We were headed to a hardware store, Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House to be exact.
This hardware store that uses the slogan “Screw & Brew” is a bit different than most as its stocks many of the essentials as at other hardware stores but it also has a full bar and kitchen. Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House features six taps, five are a rotating craft selection and one is dedicate to the beer that was once “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters”, Hamm’s. Cans and bottles of beer are chilled in an old fashioned Coke machine behind the bar. Regarding the bar, the establishment offers an extensive bourbon and tequila selection. For those there shopping to actually purchase some items to conquer that home improvement project its customers end up in the bar area to pay for their purchases. We watched a customer purchase a level and caulk while ordering a Gigantic IPA on tap.
To keep the Beer 101 Pint Pass road trip in order we departed for Season’s Café, the other stop in Cannon Beach. Located across the walkway from Cannon Beach Distillery, Season’s Café offers a well-managed seven-beer taplist along with a selection of coffee drinks and sandwiches.
With Cannon Beach conquered, Seaside was next on our list. The seven-mile drive north led us to U Street Pub & Eatery, a few blocks from the beach in the less traveled southside of Seaside. With 13 beers on tap, three of which are on nitro plus a Rogue Root Beer for good measure one’s thirst will be quenched while ordering from its selection of pub fare.
A mile north of U Street Pub & Eatery and located in heart of the Seaside is Dundees Bar & Grill. Celebrating 14 years in business, Dundee’s a full fledge sports bar that offers a family friendly atmosphere and relies on a strong Craft Brew Alliance portfolio of beers from Widmer and Kona. There are also a few other craft offerings including Sun River Brewing on our visit.
When looking for a fully stocked bottleshop and draft house in Seaside, The Wine & Beer Haus is the answer. Situated in the Seaside Factory Outlet Center, The Wine & Beer Haus is an oasis for both locals and travelers. Here one will find many bottle and can offerings in its coolers plus 17 taps to order a pint in house or to fill your growler to go.
Heading north from Seaside to Astoria after a quick pit stop at Uptown Café in Warrenton, Pilot House Spirits was our final destination for the day. Originally named North Coast Distilling, owner Larry Cary changed the name of his distillery this past October to Pilot House Spirits after a lawsuit from North Coast Brewing. Now after spending $10,000 in rebranding, Cary now faces another legal challenge from Portland based House Spirits Distillery. Regardless of this next legal battle Pilot House recently won a couple of medals at the 2014 Great American Distiller’s Festival with a Silver Medal for its Jalapeño Lime Vodka and a Bronze Medal for its Bar Pilot Cucumber Vodka. Pilot House also has a tasting room in Seaside, Oregon.
Beer 101 Pint Pass could use more signage at the businesses to help promote it. Plus a few places weren’t too sure on what the Pint Pass was and had to ask for some assistance when entering in the discount. But the discount is good on alcohol! The other participating Beer 101 Pint Pass locations include: Astoria Brewing Company in Astoria, McMenamins Sand Trap Pub in Gearhart, and Twisted Fish Steakhouse in Seaside.
Beer 101 Pint Pass is a mobile passport connects 10 establishments that include breweries, pubs and restaurants along Oregon’s coastal Highway 101. Purchasing a Pint Pass for $20.00 is good for a $5.00 mobile gift card from each of the participating locations (a $50 value). Each of the gift cards can be used for alcoholic beverages, food or merchandise at the 10 venues in Oregon’s North Coast communities of Astoria, Warrenton, Seaside and Cannon Beach. Pint Passes are available for purchase and must be used by April 30, 2016, this date was extended from the original cutoff of February 29.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 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 the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.