Pelican Pub & Brewery

Located in the tiny coastal town of Pacific City, Ore., Pelican Pub & Brewery has taken a steadfast approach since opening its doors back in 1996. Brewmaster Darron Welch has been with Pelican since day one, and under his supervision the brewery continues to grow and, most important, keeps getting better. Let's start with a couple of the current seasonals, which are fantastic. The Flock Wave Pale Ale (currently winding down its run) is a balanced, yet hopped-up unfiltered pale ale—one of the better pales to flow down my gullet in years. Coming soon is the Bad Santa, a dark, toasty and malty ale that'll go nicely with that big pot of soup you've been thinking about making. Among its regulars is the Umbrella IPA, a single-hop IPA that uses Australian-grown Ella hops. The clean finish on this smooth-sipper belies its 7.4 ABV. Pelican started bottling some of its core beers in recent years, but still keeps many award-winning goodies for its taps only (including a newish taproom down the coast in Tillamook). An Oregon coast gem, in an area that is quickly becoming known for its embarrassment of riches in the craft-beer world.