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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Self-Distribution Law Changed

How did I miss this? Apparently Pelican Brewery's Darron Welch managed to push through a big change to the distribution laws. Now brewpubs can self-distribute if they brew less than 5,000 barrels. It was HB 2611, and it passed both the House and Senate unanimously before being signed by Governor Kulongoski. A second bill, which also passed unanimously, has something to do with insurance at special events--and is way to insidery for me to comprehend. Perhaps someone will know more.

The tip comes from Angelo, who has another one of his big interviews posted at Brewpublic with Darron Welch. (In case you missed it, co-blogger Margaret recently posted a two-parter with Deschutes' Larry Sidor. Part 1 and part 2. Good readin'.)

Oh, I meant to add this before I hit "publish post." Although Welch seems to indicate that we still won't be seeing a lot of Pelican here in the Rose City, seems like this does open up the possibility of a few off-season deliveries. Pelican is currently getting slammed and will be throughout the summer. But come the cold and rain, the tourists will stop visiting and the brewery will have some capacity. I would like to appeal to Pelican, right here and right now, to send a few kegs of the Doryman and Tsunami this way to help me get through the winter. Give it some thought.


  1. They're so slammed that they can't supply us, but somehow Sam's Wines in friggin Chicago has the full line of Pelican 22s.

    Screw them and their greed. I mean WTF, six bucks a pint to drink their beer at their brewpub? Even the convenience store down the road sells their products for less than they do.

    Don't even get me started on their utter desecration of the beautiful bluff overlooking the brewpub. Did they really need to put an ugly-ass condo/apartment complex there?

  2. Agreed... they are trying to go from little guy to macro is a couple years flat... just doesn;t work that way.. and it took Rogue many years to get as large.. with much more work, marketing, and brewing.... now anymore the locals gripe about Rogues price.. and don't buy it anymore.. it just gets shipped off... the locals don't matter to those looking to profit beyond reasonable measure..

    I have never once seen a bottle of their stuff in Portland... would love to try it... but never will I pay $6 for a pint, or a bomber of anything basic... maybe a double IPA or Belgian.. that's true to the style in ingredients and craftsmanship... I find paying $4 too damn much for a pint... when really... look at what it costs to brew a barrel, or keg... just too much profit really. Can't just expect to build a new facility every 2 years... aside from a dream world.. it would take a company and their profit 10 years or more to ever make such an expansion... the brewing bubble is over, just like the housing bubble! Quit paying so much for that beer! Grab a session!

  3. Wow.... Apparently Pelican isn't well recieved. I'm friends with some dorymen, and never find myself visiting either Pelican, or any of the other more touristy shops when we're there. The dorymen just aren't crazy about them since between surfers and families they've practicly lost their launch points. My loyalty to the dory fleet overrides my love of breweries. Especially spendy ones.

    That being said if I'm there after the tourist season I may head there just to have a pint at the brewery.

    As it is Pelican is in a couple Salem Roth's locations. At over $6 a bomber I can't see them being huge after the initial excitement dies down. I've tried their stout and another, but neither were A+ beers.

    Why does Salem get them, but not Portland?

  4. Ebinezer Green-Washington8:04 AM, July 08, 2009

    Has anyone noticed that Hopworks is pretty pricey, too? Their beers cost more at the brew pub than at other bars and their food is super expensive considering the eh quality. I hate going into an out of control daycare center with drunk parents. Thats responsible. ...And don't get us started about green washing. Being "certified organic" who gives a shit. How much gasoline did it take to ship in all those ingredients? Why do you think more breweries aren't all organic (certified). Hopworks makes great beer, but they put a hefty pricetag Rogue and Pelican style on their product and justify it by REI wearing yuppies fronting the bill and could care less if the common beer lover enjoys their product. Price gouging at its finest. Price gouging and green washing.

  5. I thought the pricing at Hopworks was fair, and they actually serve true full pints.. plus their beer is really good. Many brewpubs charge the same exact amount for a fraud-pint of only 14 oz.

  6. I'm here in Portland and work with the Pelican. The reason Darron wrote this bill was because he couldn't decide where his beer was distributed--hence why you don't see it in Portland much. The distribution company was the one deciding where it was sold. This bill will help all the smaller breweries decide where their beer gets distributed. Hopefully that answers your question about why it's not in Portland much.

  7. Last time I was at The Bier Stein in Eugene, they had some Pelican beers.

  8. This may deserve its own post, or maybe a post by the Beeronomist, but I think's important to offer some larger context to why a pint of beer may cost you six bucks in Pacific City and only $4.50 in Portland.

    When I was there at the Brewers Games, I noticed an impressive thing: the people who worked for Pelican seemed to be old-timers. When Lisa Morrison, Abe Goldman-Armstrong and I sat down for dinner one night, they greeted people they knew from previous years. Ben Love joined us later and he seemed familiar with the brewery staff, too.

    If you run a brewpub, one of the most important assets you have is staff. Good ones will fill your pub, bad ones will drive them away. Pacific City is as remote a town as any in Oregon, and keeping good staff there when 8 months of the year the place is a ghost-town, may not be cheap.

    Of course, I have no idea if this is the reason--but neither do the critics here. Learn before you slag. Ask why it's expensive to run a place on the beach before you assume it should be the same as running a place in East Portland.

    And if you do decide to slag a brewery, at least have the courage of your convictions to post under your real name. Anonymous name-calling is chicken****.

  9. "Agreed... they are trying to go from little guy to macro is a couple years flat..."

    I'm not sure what you mean here, a couple years back they had to stop sending kegs over to Portland because they couldn't keep up with demand at the brewery. Bottles of the IPA have always been avaialbe other places, the other stuff only at the pub. Portland can't get their stuff because they're so small.

    If you don't like the prices don't pay them. They make some world class beer that is worth the splurge from time to time. I'm sure it costs a little more to brew at the coast too (shipping, etc).

  10. According to Darron at Pelican, a lot of his summer wait staff are college kids. When you figure 20+% tip on their prices, they must make a good payday. I have no qualms about the service there. I do think their prices are too steep. But if people are willing to pay that more power to them. I know that if I lived out on the coast, I would not be able to drink their beer often and definitely not be able to afford to eat there. However, the staff and brew crew there are great folks. As for the comment about HUB, I have mixed views on them. I love their beer, but I think it is a little spendy. The DIPA was $5.50 during happy hour. But I got a keg from them and it seemed pretty standard price. Pretty soon, pints every where are gonna be $6. When I was in Iceland five years ago, a 1/2 liter, which is basically an imperial pint was the equivalent of $10 US. And the beer there wasn't very good. I guess that could have something to do with the fact that nothing grows there. Sorry for the rambling.

  11. "Little gut to macro" comment was meant as a remark on their profits... it's like the housing bubble... the process went so high and then it burst... many lost their houses as I think many craft breweries will soon close because of the same type of bubble. Not every brewery can multiply and grow at such an exponential rate as they have in the last 10 years.. it will slow down... I think if Pelican took a much longer look into the future.. profited less, and were a little more conservative like I think all brewers should be now... they would cost much less... and be able to ride out the storm that I feel is in the near future for all craft breweries.