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DEFCON: jive

Oysters and Beer

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With a new fish market in town, I've bought oysters a few times lately. Being poor, I can't always afford a 1996 Premier Cru Chablis to drink with them, and I like beer pretty well anyway. Now, I know all about Guinness and oysters, but I'm eating them at home, Guinness is strictly an on-tap beer for me, and I don't really care too much about Guinness anyhow. Here's what I've tried instead:

A bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter that I found in the basement. I try to buy a case of this stuff when I remember, and this was the last of the 2001 vintage. It went pretty well. Same dark-beer appeal as the classic oysters/stout, a little cleaner on the palate, and not so smoky as to get in the way of the brine. Like oysters on the barbeque, without the trouble.

A couple bottles of Deschutes Jubelale. Not quite as good a match, but still fine.

Here's what I'm thinking for the future: Gueuze. Lindemans Cuvee Rene is available around here, and has some of the characteristics of other things that go well with oysters--bone dry, tart, palate-cleansing. Plus, it's one of my favorites. Drawback: kind of expensive for a beer.

Also: Belgians in general. Drank a bottle of this Reinaert Flemish wild ale tonight, and thought it might go.

So, my questions to you eGulletonians: What beers do you drink with oysters? What pairings have you had in restaurants that have been successful? What hasn't worked? Lots of hops, or lots of malt?

More generally: what characteristics do the beverages have in common--what makes a good match? With wines, it's generally a very dry, sometimes briny white wine, minimal oak--Chablis, Champagne, muscadet etc. Guinness is the opposite--sweetish, rich body. What makes them both work?

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I like both of your choices, the Smoked Porter and the Cuvee Rene, the latter being a favorite of mine with mussels! Heck, I even steam the mussels in it!

As for oysters, specifically, I like stout OK, but I am more apt to wash em down with something more crisp and refreshing, perhaps something like Blue Point Brewings Toasted Lager! When I have oysters they are usually topped with some horseradish infused cocktail sauce, so I am not just getting the sweetness from the oyster or the hint of salt from the liquor, but some tart heat as well. So, a crisp lager, preferably something local, is what I ask for!

But then again that Cuvee Rene would work in a pinch!

Bob R in OKC

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My favorite beer-oyster pairing is a nice plate of fried oysters, chicken salad (it's a traditional Philadelphia dish that is as old school as it gets), paired with Yards Love Stout, which is MADE with oysters. The creamy stout playes well off the chicken salad, and the sweet hint of the sea amplifies the fried oysters like no other drink does.

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RP! When I lived in PA, we used to go every Sunday to a restaurant in Lock Haven, and I would order fried oysters! I got sooo tired of fried oysters, that I can't tell ya the last time I ordered any! Of course, way back then, I probably had water or birch beer with my fried oysters!

Bob R in OKC

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Yards Love Stout, which is MADE with oysters. 

Sadly and for whatever reason, not any more:

"We no longer use oysters to brew this beer. "

http://www.yardsbrewing.com/ales.html

I'd wanted to try a real oyster stout for years, so I was happy when Love Stout appears (altho' the "oyster" was very elusive, I found). But, with so much else to drink, I only bought one sixpack (maybe it was only a 4 pack?) and now it's gone...


Edited by jesskidden (log)

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I love an Anchor Steam with a dozen cold salties. It's a fine combination. It's got a nice yeasty, slightly fruity taste that matches well with the saltiness of the ersters. A draft Anchor, if you can get it, is even mo' bettah.

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Being from the Philippines, I would suggest ice-cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen beer to go with your oysters - whether fresh or fried.

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Sadly and for whatever reason, not any more:

"We no longer use oysters to brew this beer. "

http://www.yardsbrewing.com/ales.html

Very sad indeed.

In Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, UK, the local artisan brewery near where we stay has resurrected stout made with oysters:

http://www.ventnorbrewery.co.uk/

I have never tried drinking it with oysters. But a glass is a wonderfully soothing nightcap all on its own...

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but even in the beer forum, a confident e-gulleter can admit that there are other refreshments that compliment a raw oyster better...any beer would overpower the brine.

So really, the quest is to find a beer that matches the oyster best..not a beverage that does so.

I'd think something that works with citrus or heat.a common component of the garnishes.

But really, a bottle of cheap Spanish sparkling can rival that of a six pack..

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but even in the beer forum, a confident e-gulleter can admit that there are other refreshments that compliment  a raw  oyster better...any beer would overpower the brine.

So really, the quest is to find a beer that matches the oyster best..not a beverage that does so.

I'd think something that works with citrus or heat.a common component of the garnishes.

But really, a bottle of cheap Spanish  sparkling can rival that of a six pack..

Ah, Kim, Kim, a good sweet stout can marry so deliciously well with a bracing dish of oysters and mignonette!

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Sansom Street Oyster House here in Philadelphia is kickin' for Happy Hour with A dozen blue points for $10 and a pint of either Yards Philly Pale Ale or Sly Fox Weisse. Guinness is also available to those seeking the glory days.

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After reading this topic, I couldn't resist heading over to 21st Amendment to try their Oyster Point Oyster Stout.

Wasn't sure about oyster content; but, the bartender assured me real oysters were involved. According to the website, 20 pounds of Hog Island oysters per batch.

Anyway, a really nice stout. Honestly one of the nicer American stouts I can remember tasting lately.

Can't say the Oysters make a huge impact. Wasn't fishy or anything. The beer does have a richness and (maybe imagined) briny taste as it warms. It was nice enough that I ordered a second pint without any consideration. If you're in the San Francisco area, recommended.

They also had a really nice interpretation of a Double IPA style. Hoppy and complex, yet not as sweet as many of the versions I've tried. Also highly recommended.

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