Brewery to Watch: Pelican Pub & Brewery

The Portland, Oregon, brewery takes on a new craft beer to save an endangered species

With a name like Pelican, it's no surprise that a brewery would take on saving an endangered species as its cause. Now, Oregon's Pelican Pub & Brewery has paired up with local Woodland Park Zoo for its Brew at the Zoo and fundraising efforts. 

The brewmasters at Pelican created the Silverspot IPA, in honor of one beloved Oregon species on the verge of extinction: the silverspot butterfly. Silverspot butterflies can be found in Oregon, California, and Washington, but a loss of habitat (particularly violets) has threated the species. The butterfly has been on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species since 1980.

Fortunately, recovery programs, like the The Oregon Silverspot Captive Rearing Program and the Woodland Park Zoo, have been working to re-habitate the population by releasing new butterflies in protected areas. One of those areas, Cascade Head, is visible from Pelican Pub and Brewery, so it was a natural partnership for Pelican to save the silverspot. "We have been waiting for an opportunity to produce an English-style IPA, which will be a little more accessible to the average beer drinker. We’re excited about the cross-promotional opportunity and for the public awareness of the Oregon silverspot," said Ken Henson, Pelican Pub & Brewery general manager, in a release. 

The Silverspot IPA is a English-style brew, made with Sterling, Fuggle, and Meridian hops; the IPA has herbal, floral, and tangerine flavor notes. Starting this week, it will be available at PCC Natural Markets, Whole Foods, and QFC locations (and a portion of proceeds will go to conservation efforts for the Silverspot). It will also be on tap at the Woodland Park Zoo's Brew at the Zoo beer-tasting event Oct. 4. 

The Silverspot IPA is now the sixth beer on tap for Pelican; the brewery has won several awards in the past year alone, at the North American Beer Awards for its Tsunami Stout, Stormwatcher's Winterfest, and Surfer's Summer Ale. Not to mention the paired food menus at the gastropub (like the barbecue steak and prawns and the Tsunami Stout pot roast) and the incredible ocean-front views — this is one brewery worth the visit. 

This is the first in an ongoing series, Breweries to Watch. Have a favorite brewery that deserves recognition? Email us your tips!