Curiosity: Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout


I spotted this in the Goose today, and had to get it for C so that he could try it. It sounded unpalatable to me, and like one of the most bizarre culinary mashups, let alone beer mashups.

But, as I walked towards their place and saw the Union Oyster House neon sign (with a random letter unlit as is the case almost every night – tonight it was the o in “union”), I thought about old paintings I’d seen depicting oysters and beer, and how it sounded reminiscent of colonial times. It might be more popular now to drink champagne with oysters (or perhaps that’s my bias from what one of my Culinary Institute instructors told me was the best to drink with them), but beer has long been a beverage of choice to accompany them. And I do like the idea of the local brewery working with the local oyster farm.

What I don’t like are stouts. For my palate they are just too heavy and malty. And I initially expected this to taste like a malty stout with salty water (i.e. oyster liquor) mixed in. Perhaps because of this pre-existing perception bias, I quickly picked up the brine and mineral which, even though they  should have tamed the maltiness, gave the beer a salty note to my palate without fully disguising the malt taste I dislike.

C suggested we should try it with oysters, which we’ll have to do. It may be one of those things that needs to be paired with right food to really show it off. Then again, I may just stick with my IPA.


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