This past Memorial Day weekend we were out of town, staying on the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City and generally being “offline.” Of course, this doesn’t mean I stop seeking out (or thinking about) beer, and it’s always awesome [a treat] to find amazing beer in unlikely places. And for this trip it was in Pacific City, 23 miles north of Lincoln City, where we spent a good part of our Sunday.
Now, it’s no secret that the award-winning Pelican Pub and Brewery is located in Pacific City, and I highlighted them in my “10 Oregon breweries you should visit” post awhile back. In addition to having the absolute best location of any brewery I’ve visited (literally on the beach), they have great beers and great food as well (which I’ve reviewed before, over on The Brew Site). And that’s not exactly a secret, either—we had a substantial wait for a patio table and they were packed (it was Memorial Day weekend, after all), and I saw plenty of people taking 22-ounce bottles of Pelican beer (which they sell on premise) down to the beach.
Enjoy some of these photos (and try not to be too envious):
With lunch I started with the taster tray, which is normally their five standard beers plus any two seasonals—but our waiter was able to finagle tasters of all four current seasonals for me (that’s nine tasters). The year-round beers are Kiwanda Cream Ale, MacPelican’s Scottish Ale, India Pelican Ale, Doryman’s Dark Ale, and Tsunami Stout, all of which are extremely solid, well-brewed beers. Their seasonals were their Heiferweizen, Surfer’s Summer Ale, Nestucca ESB, and Pelican d’Or, a Belgian-style strong golden ale (8.4% alcohol or similar).
The seasonals were solid and drinkable as well. Once I’d finished my tasters, I opted for a pint of the ESB (I considered the Pelican d’Or, but with the drive back to Lincoln City ahead of us I decided not to push it).
Now, one would think that the Pelican Pub is the only source of good beer to be found in such a small community as Pacific City.
One would be wrong.
There is a winery tasting room in town, Twist Wine Company, that we stumbled upon mostly by chance, who’s owner is the sister of… wait for it… Vinnie Cilurzo.
Yes, that Vinnie Cilurzo, of Russian River Brewing Company. What that means is, not only does this wine tasting room and lounge offer their wines to drink and sell by the bottle, but they also have Russian River beers on tap: Pliny the Elder and Damnation currently, and they sell bottles of Damnation, Temptation, Consecration, and Supplication as well.
I daresay it may well be the only place on the entire Oregon Coast that one can get Pliny the Elder on tap. And since it’s Vinnie’s sister, well… Pliny is always on tap.
They have four taps in fact: the two Russian River taps, one hosting a beer from the Pelican Pub down the street, and I don’t remember the fourth—something from Portland, I think. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a Russian River beer while we were there, so I ordered a goblet of Damnation and checked the rest of the place out (my wife enjoyed their wines and bought several bottles).
It’s a funky, comfortable tasting lounge where kids are welcome and you can bring your own food in. In fact, one corner is devoted to the kids: they have a vintage Atari 2600 game console hooked up to a TV with some two dozen game cartridges on hand, and this kept my kids busy while we were there. They also have a large collection of vinyl records—in fact, all they have in music is on vinyl. The atmosphere is very relaxed and casual and friendly; there was a decent crowd while we were there and everyone was friendly and chatty.
Twist Wine Company is a must-stop for any beer lover traveling the northern Central Oregon Coast, along with the Pelican Pub and Brewery. In fact, if you’re within even 100 miles of Pacific City, you should make the drive to visit—you won’t be sorry.
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