Friday, May 18, 2012

Oysters and Beer

Actually, in this case it's oysters in beer. Last November, Flying Dog Brewery released the limited edition of Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, brewed with Rappahannock River Oysters. The beer was produced to benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), one of the region’s leading nonprofits restoring oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the success of the beer, and to continue raising money for the cause, Flying Dog has added the beer to its regular, year-round lineup. Proceeds from the sales will continue to go towards restoring the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay.

Growing up near Baltimore, I enjoyed many Chesapeake Bay oysters. On the half-shell is my favorite serving method, but I'll eat them cooked too. When this beer came out I wanted to try it, but never had the chance. Now that this oyster stout is being brewed regularly, the good folks at Flying Dog provided me with a sample for review. And I didn't wait long to try it out.

Flying Dog Oyster Stout pours dark cola brown, with a mocha-colored head that drops fairly rapidly to a thin ring. The aroma is dark roasted coffee with a touch of dark chocolate. The flavor sweet dark roasted malt. There is a mild, salty aspect to the flavor, I assume from the oysters. No, there weren't any oysters in the bottle, but there is a hint of brine in the flavor. The roasted malt and bitter hop notes linger in the aftertaste.

I didn't find this stout to be as darkly roasted as some stouts, but the oysters did add an interesting twist. If I were to grab this one again, it would be more for the novelty and to support a good cause. Flying Dog has another stout, although seasonal, that would be my first choice..

Writing this review gave me pause to reminisce about the times spent standing at a raw bar in Baltimore and watching the expert shuckers opening oysters and sliding the half-shells in front me to enjoy. It's harder to find good oysters these days, but maybe through the efforts of the Oyster Recovery Partnership that situation will improve.

Disclaimer: This bottle of Oyster Stout was an unsolicited gift from the brewery. This review written of my own free will.

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