Oysters and beer are a remarkable pair. The brine from the oyster not only complements and highlights aspects of the beer, it’s washed clean by the beer’s crisp carbonation, inviting you to eat another oyster and another. . .
When it comes to pairing, it’s actually harder to go wrong than it is to go right.But you certainly don't want to overwhelm the elegant and subtle nature of the oyster's flavors with a beer pairing that's just too intense. I want a beer pairing that complements and enhances the oyster's "taste of the sea" nature.
Our Choice - Oyster Stouts
Oysters belong on seafood platters, raw on a bed of ice with beer or Champagne, or served cooked up Rockefeller style. But they also belong in your beer. Yes, inside your beer.
Oyster stouts are dark, semi-sweet beers brewed using actual oyster shells. Historically, the pairing for most oyster lovers is the stout and the combo of oysters and beer go way back, much further back than oysters in beer. In England in the early 1900s, drinking the go-to beer (a stout) while downing some cheap mollusks at the pub was a given.
According to the Homebrewers Association, brewing an oyster stout today is just like brewing a traditional stout style. For beers with big flavors, the entire oyster is thrown in. Beers with more subtle flavors like dry stouts have just the shells put in. Regardless of how many the brewer decides to put in, oysters are usually added during the boil for the full briny ocean flavor.
Dark and rich, stouts usually have a more pillowy mouthfeel, thanks to the more abundant grain in their recipes. This body pairs nicely with the sharp brine of an oyster. And the roasty aroma and flavor of a stout is an unintuitive, but very pleasant, counterpoint to the oyster’s light salinity and sometimes “grassy” or seaweed-like notes. Our preference for stouts to pair with an oyster are on the lighter side.