Skip to main content

Drink a Beer, Save a Fish: Pelican Pilsner Sales Benefit Tillamook Fish Passage Projects

Pelican Brewing

Pelican Brewery's newest Pilsner contributes to the Tillamook area's Salmon Super Highway fish passage projects.

Every coastal angler and guide in Oregon knows Tillamook for more than just its dairy farms and the air museum. Tillamook County has six coastal rivers that flow along the Oregon coast that are host to salmon and steelhead. Those who know it best also know where to grab a beer and a bite to eat after a day on the water.

Pelican Brewery, a frequent stop for recreational anglers and professional guides, is giving back to the community by donating a portion of their profits from a new pilsner to a habitat restoration project called the Salmon Super Highway that is geared towards removing obstacles to fish passage.

Anglers Sara Dodd and Kristin Bishop prepare to chase a pair of oyster shooters with their Pelican Ales after a day of fishing
Anglers Sara Dodd and Kristin Bishop prepare to chase a pair of oyster shooters with their Pelican Ales at the Tillamook brewpub after a day of fishing

Jeff Schons and Mary Jones founded Pelican Brewing Company, opening a brewpub in Pacific City back in 1996. Celebrating their 20th year in business, they now have brewing and brewpub facilities in Pacific City, Tillamook, and Cannon Beach.

With leadership under Pelican's Brewmaster Darron Welch, the brewery has earned over 300 awards, including the 2014 World Beer Cup© Champion Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year. 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.


The success of their small-town community supported brewery has allowed them to grow, expand, and now give back to the area it calls home. Pelican Brewery invites its consumers to "Drink a beer and save a fish" with its new Five Fin West Coast Pilsner.

A portion of the proceeds from every barrel sold will be donated to the Salmon Superhighway, a project to restore access to nearly 180 miles of blocked habitat in the half dozen local rivers where five ocean-going species of salmon and steelhead spawn along the North Coast of Oregon.

The Pilsner is brewed with a West Coast influence, incorporating a bold, hoppy flavor and aroma. It's crafted with a Northwestern blend of Cascade and Sterling hops as well as Mandarina Bavaria hops from Germany. The fusion of citrus and floral notes balanced with Great Western Pilsner Malt make the Five Fin Pilsner a unique craft beer, in character with their award winning signature brews.

"We wanted to create a beer that would successfully support this unique restoration project--when we think about salmon, we think of the clean, cold, crisp flowing rivers here and imagined Five Fin to mirror that," says Jim Prinzing, CEO, Pelican Brewing Company. "We love pilsners and we love American hops and this beer brings those two elements together in a bold, refreshing way."

The Details:
ABV: 5.3% | IBU: 45 | PLATO: 12º

Five Fin Pilsner is available in the grocery craft beer aisle in 6-packs; 12 oz and 22 oz bottles; 50 liter kegs; and 1/6th barrels are also available for on-premise pours.

The Problem:

Small dams, tide gates, and other barriers that create bottlenecks, encourage flooding, and contribute to road damage, many of which include culverts at road crossings, are costly problems to address that the state can't fund alone. Adult fish face obstructions to access spawning habitat, and juvenile fish face the same obstacles on their out-migration to the ocean.


The solution:
The Salmon Superhighway project is a strategic and intensive effort across a six-river landscape of 940 square miles to reconnect fish populations with the habitat they need to migrate, navigate, spawn, and survive. Starting in 2014, the project has identified obstacles and removal projects that will require a 35.8 million dollar campaign that is expected to run through 2024 in an effort improve habitat for salmon in 93 different locations throughout Tillamook County.

Author with his first chum salmon, caught from a Tillamook county river
Author with his first chum salmon, caught from a Tillamook County river

"Pelican Brewing Company is a valued leader in our effort to raise awareness and funding to protect salmon in Tillamook County--which impacts all of us at some level," says Terry Turner, Oregon Council Chair, Trout Unlimited. "We hope Pelican's creative funding strategy will encourage other companies and organizations to join this very important salmon habitat restoration effort."

Acting as a sponsor and donor to the Salmon Super Highway community partnership, Pelican hopes to also improve and stimulate the local economy that is closely tied to it's fishing opportunities. Other partners include a broad range of state and federal agencies, local business and agriculture, and local watershed councils.

Doing your part contributing to the Salmon Superhighway is easy, drink a beer, save a fish!

oembed rumble video here


you might also like

Drink a Beer, Save a Fish: Pelican Pilsner Sales Benefit Tillamook Fish Passage Projects