If you love Pelican Brewing Company’s flagship beer Kiwanda Cream Ale, you’re not alone—and now the brewery’s most popular and top-selling brew will be available in 12-packs in the grocery craft beer aisle come October. Currently sold in 6-packs, 22 oz. bottles and on-draft, Kiwanda is also one of Pelican’s most award-winning brews with 21 honors—including 13 Gold Medals—to date.
Inspired by one of America’s traditional indigenous 19th century beer styles, Kiwanda Cream Ale is a nod to founding brewmaster Darron Welch’s love of history and reputation for brewing beers as they are intended to be. Pelican is the first known craft brewer to honor the early American beer.
“When we first started producing Kiwanda 20 years ago nobody in the US was brewing a pre-prohibition revival kind of cream ale—I really wanted to imagine what cream ales from the 19th century might have been like,” says Welch. “I have an ongoing interest in history—the story of how things got to be the way they are—and I wrote my college thesis on the pre-prohibition era in the state of Oregon. I like to go back in history and ask ‘what was the beer like back then? What was the beer’s purpose?’ And if we’re going to call this pre-prohibition cream ale, it better be true to the style.”
According to an Imbibe magazine article that salutes Pelican’s trend-setting brew, the cream ale style gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as ale breweries in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region looked to compete with ascendant lager breweries. By fermenting ales at cooler temperatures, brewers created crisper, cleaner, less fruity beers that were more in line with pale lagers. The hybridized specialty soldiered on after Prohibition before largely falling out of favor by the 1970s and ’80s.
Made of all local, hand-sourced ingredients, Kiwanda Cream Ale is pale gold with a fruity, floral hop aroma, golden color, refreshing body and clean, snappy finish. Two-row malt, flaked barley, Mt. Hood hops, CaraPils malt, pure local water and pure ale yeast combine to make Kiwanda Pelican’s flagship and fastest selling brew:
- ABV: 5.4%
- IBU: 25
- Plato: 12°
“Kiwanda cream ale is an example of how it’s possible to have an aromatic floral, flavorful beer that has great character and balance while still maintaining a real refreshing quality, a clean dry finish and a very high drinkability factor,” says Welch. “We are always looking for the floral aroma, clean light malt flavor, dry well- attenuated finish to provide hoppy balance and the very clean drinkability that always invites another sip.”
Kiwanda has been ranked as one of the top beers in the world by both Draft magazine and Men’s Journal. According to Men’s Journal ‘‘not long after coastal Oregon’s Pelican Brewery opened in 1996, brewmaster Darron Welch decided to re-create a classic, pre-Prohibition cream ale—a style that was practically dead. His modern interpretation, pale gold and refreshing, lightly sweet with fine floral, fruity aromatics, has since become one of the brewery’s most beloved beers, the past transformed into a modern classic.”
“The beauty of Kiwanda is it is so delicious you can just enjoy and not have to think about, or you can sit back and sip it slowly and savor the complex malt flavors and hop aromas,” says Jim Prinzing, CEO, Pelican Brewing Company. “Kiwanda is a rare beer that both craft beer aficionados and casual drinkers can enjoy equally and in many ways it is a lot like the Pelican Brewing—approachable and not pretentious, but with care given to every detail.”
Born at the Beach
Pelican was born at the beach 20 years ago as a small, stand alone brewpub in a small town on the Oregon coast—Pacific City. Pacific City is still a small town, but with consistent growth and demand for its products, Pelican sales are up more than 500% from 3,500 barrels in 2013 to 18,000 barrels this year. The company recently doubled its brewing and bottling capacity at its Tillamook facility and opened a new brewpub in Cannon Beach. Pelican also recently won a bronze medal at the World Brew Cup℠ and eight medals including Champion Medium International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards.
About Pelican Brewing Company
Pelican Brewing Company was founded in 1996 by Jeff Schons and Mary Jones in Pacific City with Oregon’s only oceanfront brewpub. Celebrating its 20th year, the brewing company has created masterpieces like Kiwanda Cream Ale, India Pelican Ale, MacPelican’s Scottish Ale, Tsunami Stout and Doryman’s Dark. With the vision, creativity and brewing expertise of founding brewmaster Darron Welch, Pelican Brewing has won over 300 awards including the 2014 World Beer Cup© Champion Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year. Pelican Brewing currently distributes 22oz bottles, 12oz bottles in 6-packs, a new mixed 12-pack, and 50 liter and 20 liter kegs via a network of distributors in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Vermont. The company operates brewing and brewpub facilities in Pacific City, Tillamook and Cannon Beach.
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