Pelican Brewing Company Invests in Brewers, Creates Culture of Consistency, Innovation and Creativity

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The hallmarks of Pelican Brewing Company beers are quality, consistency, and creativity that combine to create a downright compelling experience. In order to consistently create captivating beer, Pelican invests in the intensive continuing education of its brewers at the prestigious American Brewers Guild.

The bonus? Pelican brewers have a deeper understanding of the ingredients and process that impact the quality of its popular brews. They know that to really create an unforgettable end product and experience they need to have more than a rote understanding of the sequence of tasks that goes into brewing. They need to understand the combination of art and science inherent in Pelican beers.

“We encourage our brewers to think critically about brewery processes and brewing techniques. The training and operating procedures in the brewery form the basis of practical experience, and mesh with the coursework and knowledge from the ABG course. Together, the practical experience and deeper knowledge of brewing science and engineering equips our staff to be very purposeful in creating beer,” says Pelican’s founding brewmaster Darron Welch, who graduated from the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering program in 2002 and now spearheads Pelican’s continuing education for brewers. “It’s a challenging course but it prepares brewers for a long-term career in this industry. And because it’s an online course, brewers can continue their day-to-day work while completing the course after hours. It’s a win/win for all of us.”

Pelican budgets annually for its brewers to experience the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering program—a 23-week course comprised of insightful instruction in brewing science and engineering including the theory, science and technology of brewing processes that convert barley to beer. Special emphasis is placed on practical issues such as raw materials quality and assessment, practical wort production, yeast propagation and handling, fermentation and finishing practices including filtration, beer packaging and quality assurance.

“Investing in our brewers enables us to make better beer—that’s the bottom line,” says Jason Schlebach, Pelican’s head brewer who completed the ABG course in 2015. “For our brewers, it’s a huge bonus to receive an education that will benefit them for life—and they become incredible contributors to the culture and craft of not only our brewery but to the industry as a whole.”

Pelican has invested in continuing education for scores of brewers over the years and has been named a certified American Brewers Guild brewery. And Pelican brewers are all the better for it—from enhanced creativity with raw ingredients and knowledge of the science of brewing to personal development, patience, dedication and discipline.

“Because of the course, I think about things differently—I am more pioneering with the design of recipes and understand the contributions of ingredients like hops, malts and flavors in a much more educated way,” says Coren Tradd, head brewer at Pelican’s Cannon Beach brewing facility. “What sets the Pelican team apart is that because of this intensive education, we become more intelligent brewers who look at brewing differently—we’re more inspired. With a common knowledge base we are all on the same page and understand the process that goes into brewing the Pelican way.”

Pelican creates an inventive culture for its brewing team by investing in them—offering a common understanding of the skills and knowledge required to brew delicious, memorable beer. Pelican beers are also born of an imagined experience—before originating new recipes the Pelican brewing team gathers to imagine the beer flavor, the beer drinker and the ideal beer drinking experience.

“Pelican is an incredible success story—it exemplifies a model of hiring people who fit their unique culture and then uniformly educating them on both the science of brewing and how to innovate beer with purpose which ensures product consistency and quality,” says Steve Parkes, founder and lead instructor of the American Brewers Guild. “With the incredible expansion of the industry, passionate brewers are hard to come by these days but Pelican has created a valuable educational incentive to reward them and retain their talents—and at the end of day brew exceptional beer.”

Welch, who creates a fertile environment for his brewers to experiment, explore and imagine possibilities, continues to be one of the most decorated brewers in the Pacific Northwest. He and his team have been awarded well over 450 medals including several Gold Medals in 2018 alone at the World Beer Cup, Australian International Beer Awards and North American Beer Awards.

“Darron Welch is an icon in the brewing industry—what sets him apart is his ability to balance a really sound knowledge of brewing with his unique creativity,” says Parkes. “Darron understands both the art and the science of brewing—and to have both is rare and unique. He helps his brewers understand and balance that special mix.”

If you’re looking for a career in brewing, check out our job openings here.

Pelican was born at the beach 23 years ago as a small, standalone 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 savory creations, Pelican sales are up more than 850% from 3,500 barrels in 2013 to 30,000 barrels in 2018.

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 22nd year, the brewing company has created masterpieces like Kiwanda Cream Ale, Beak Breaker Double IPA, Sea ‘N Red Irish-Style Red Ale, Five Fin West Coast Pilsner, and Tsunami Stout. With the vision, creativity and brewing expertise of founding brewmaster Darron Welch, Pelican Brewing has won over 450 awards including a Silver Medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, 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, Utah, and Hawaii. The company operates brewing and brewpub facilities in Pacific City, Tillamook and Cannon Beach.

For more information, visit Pelican Brewing Company.

Contact: Claudia Johnson, Public Relations, 503-799-2220.

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