OREGON’S CRAFT BEER RENAISSANCE arrived on the North Coast in 2007, when Rogue Ales, Fort George Brewery, and McMenamins Sand Trap Pub joined Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse in Cannon Beach as the region’s only craft breweries.
A decade later, 11 breweries serve thirsty patrons along the 27-mile stretch between Cannon Beach and Astoria—and, with three newcomers having opened in the past year, the trend shows no sign of slowing.
Here’s a look at the region’s newest breweries—and what to enjoy when you visit.
Reach Break Brewing
1343 Duane Street, Astoria
Reach Break Brewing, Astoria’s sixth brewery, rolled up its garage doors in the heart of downtown in early 2017.
Brothers Josh and Jared Allison, who along with Finn Parker founded Reach Break, hope the brewery’s knack for experimentation draws visitors searching for an off-the-beaten-path beer. Josh Allison points to the brewery’s Evolution of an IPA experiment, in which no two batches taste alike; subtle alterations will differentiate each batch, whether Allison adds or changes hops, switches the malt, or tweaks the water profile.
Allison also plans to brew mixed fermentation beers, with different yeast strains and cultures. “We can get a little more playful and creative with our beer,” Allison said. “People are going to get a wide spectrum of beers.”
Come summer, Reach Break will be the heartbeat of a community gathering spot that includes outdoor seating, food carts, and a neighboring cider house.
Try: Pair the brewery’s Hadalpelagic Stout, brimming with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes, with one of the town’s notoriously rainy days. On sunnier afternoons, try the crisp, slightly sweet Mykiss Saison.
Public Coast Brewing
264 Third Street, Cannon Beach; publiccoastbrewing.com
In the mid-1960s, Oregonians helped pass the Oregon Beach Bill, which forever ensured free, open beach access for all along the state’s 363-mile coastline.
Some 50 years later, Public Coast Brewing opened in Cannon Beach, paying tribute to those efforts and the state’s rugged coast. A mural inside the pub (adorned with reclaimed, repurposed wood) pays tribute to an activist group that campaigned for the efforts; one of the brewery’s IPAs is named for Oregon Governor Oswald West, who first advocated for expanded beach access in 1913; and a few of the pub’s burgers are named for key figures and dates.
Patrons unfamiliar with that history will nevertheless enjoy a blend of common styles—including a pale ale, IPA and stout—and offbeat offerings, including a mango habanero blonde ale and a raspberry honey dunkel.
Try: The citrusy Mosaic Pale Ale echoes a warmer, more tropical beach, while the English Stout recalls a mouthwatering candy bar.
Pelican Brewing opened in 1996, mere feet from the beach in sleepy Pacific City. Despite winning more than 300 awards in the decades since, the brewery’s isolated locale has long rendered it one of the state’s best-kept secrets.
Judging by summertime lines, the secret is out at Pelican’s northernmost offshoot, which opened in May 2016 in Cannon Beach. (The brewery opened a second facility in 2013 in Tillamook.)
Pelican Brewing CEO Jim Prizing said that diners should enjoy a mix of the brewery’s core beers, including Kiwanda Cream Ale and Tsunami Stout, and a few experimental beers unique to Cannon Beach. The brewpub itself sports an all-wood interior, 27-foot tall vaulted ceiling, and garage doors that can be rolled up each summer. “It was designed with a coastal cannery feel,” he says. “It has a really warm vibe with all that wood.”
Try: Enjoy a Five Fin Pilsner for smooth summer sipping. For something with more bite, try the brewery’s fruity flagship Umbrella IPA