from theweeklybrew

pelican Bridal 2005

A couple months ago I went out with my family to Pelican Brewery. My cousin was in from Iowa for a softball game, and we thought a day at the beach and lunch at Pelican sounded good. I’ve complained in the past about the prices Pelican charges, but I went in knowing the prices, and telling myself I wouldn’t complain.

On the way out I decided to get a bottle of one of Pelicans seasonals. The only one that sounded interesting to me was “Bridal”. Apparently Bridal was designed for a wedding between two Pelican workers. The problem is I encountered an obstacle that is sadly not uncommon in Oregon. Not one of the ladies at the register knew exactly what Bridal was. The closest any of them got to an explanation was, “it’s French, I think”. Then she told me the story behind it’s design. Worse yet is neither of them bothered to go ask someone and educate themselves.

The others available were some Belgian styles, and a hefe. Having 5 gal of saison at home, and not wanting a hefe or a Belgian (can’t remember exactly what it was) I went against my common sense I bought a bottle for $15. If there’s something I’ve learned it’s that price doesn’t = tasty beer. That lesson would have served me well.

Saturday I was brewing up a batch of beer from some mystery hops a hippy named Echo gave me. While the wort was boiling we thought it would be fun to try some beers, and that bottle of Bridal I’d been saving for a couple months came out. It was a disappointing beer all around. This got me wondering, is it ever justifiable to charge $15 a bottle for beer?


4 Responses to “$15”

  1. Amy says:

    You know, we were back in Pacific City this past summer to visit family and had both a Bridal and Brun from the bottle and I could honestly take it or leave it. I really enjoyed some of their beers we had on tap on the same trip (doryman’s dark is a great beer, as is their cream ale).

    That said, Pelican Pub is a great brewery and they do put out some solidly good beer. While $15 might be steep for a 750, I imagine their location likely affects their costs of production – labor, materials, property, packaging, shipping, etc. They need to cover it somehow. It *is* a good beer. I don’t think $15 is too horribly steep for what it is. Sure, it’s more expensive than the $12 Oro de Calebaza from Jolly Pumpkin (another Biere de Garde), but $3 isn’t really that much…

  2. Dr Wort says:

    “Location” is a bunch of crap! There are breweries 1000’s of miles away from Maltsters and hop fields and their prices are still lower. See Hawaiian made beers! 3000 miles from the nearest maltsters and hop fields, everything is shipped in and the cost is STILL far less. Pelican’s pricing is a farce. Why? Don’t know. Yes, they make some great beers…. but the cost is ridiculous!

    BTW, The Bridal ale is very good rendition of a Bière de Garde which is French. Funny, you can buy a 750 ml Bière de Garde that’s made IN France for about half the price of Pelican’s…. Who the F are they trying to fool?

  3. Joe says:

    “Location” is not crap. Pelican sells the majority of its product in the summer months. The high price of product sold in the summer allows them to employ people during the off season. But I guess having a full time job is a bunch of crap…It doesn’t have anything to do with transportation.

  4. Dr Wort says:

    OK…. so it’s business problem?

    Pelican sells beer ALL YEAR around outside of the coast. There’s money coming in. Restaurant staffing and over head seems to be the problem then. Solution? Adjust staff by the season. Why make the consumer pay? The consumer is the one you need to make happy, bottom line in business. Full time work? Hire part timers and cut the cost. Brewers and shippers keep their full time job, serve staff comes and goes. Can’t really make everybody happy in business. Need full time work? Move where the jobs are…… ;-}

    Times are tough… my generosity stops at the bank roll in my pocket. Doesn’t everybody’s?

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