Want to see wild sea otters return to Oregon? Then float over to the Oregon Otter Beer Festival

Nine local breweries have crafted otter-themed beers to support Elakha Alliance’s mission to restore wild sea otters to Oregon’s coastal waters.

A promotional graphic shows a sea otter partway out of the water, with its mouth open in a grin, "holding" a beer can with the words "Oregon Otter Beer Festival 2024."

Breakside Brewery, Crux Fermentation Project, Great Notion, and Leikam Brewing are among this year’s participating breweries.

Graphic courtesy of Elakha Alliance

From shooting hoops to holding hands so they don’t drift apart, sea otters get up to some otterly adorable antics, but you won’t see them frolicking off the Oregon Coast. A nonprofit organization founded by tribal and conservation leaders wants to change that — and you can support their work by drinking beer.

Wild sea otters were hunted to extinction in this region by the early 20th century; today, the state’s largest population of sea otters lives at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. One step in seeing Oregon become a haven for wild sea otters is raising awareness about their environmental significance — so Elakha Alliance challenged local breweries to create “sea otter-themed” beer using Maris Otter barley malt.

Nine breweries answered the call and will donate a portion of their otter-themed beer sales to Elakha Alliance’s cause. Each concoction will be presented at the third-annual Oregon Otter Beer Festival taking place Saturday, April 13, 7-10:30 p.m., at OMSI. Attendees get to sample and vote for their favorite brews, snack on pizzas and appetizers, vie for raffle prizes, and attend informative talks.