It's a perfect one-two brew day punch! An oyster stout brewed on VD that is ready for the next International everybody wants to be Irish drinking holiday....St. Patrick's Day! The oysters in stout contributes an intriguing brininess and the calcium from the shell acts as an acid neutralizer, much like cream in your coffee, thus toning down the sharpness of a roasty beer. The name came from a time when I was buying oysters from Harry's Fish Shop. Well, Harry retired and the shop went away and now I'm looking for a new name...perhaps without the sexual innuendo? I was thinking McRea's Sip o' the Sea. But honestly, Dave Wills, over at Oregon Trail, had coined this name, for a beer that he never has brewed, so now after about 10 years of listening to him jibber-jabber on about his salty ale but never acting I figure the name is fair game!
Oysters and stout are not new to each other and in the 1800's there were many commercial UK breweries making them. Recently, Fort George, Dogfish Head and UpRight have brewed them and thanks to my influence, so has Flat Tail Brewing and Agrarian Ales. The latter two were brewed with my counsel and they were both big hits, here in Corvallis. For the 2015 St. Patrick's Day release, Agrarian presented the beer in the 4 possible presentations that beer can come in: nitro, cask, bottle conditioned and forced CO2. Yes, that was quite the beer drinking holiday! There is a really good New School Beer post about the history of the oyster stout, check it out for more information: http://www.newschoolbeer.com/2010/01/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-oyster-stouts.html
I'm teaching a homebrewing class on Saturday, February 18th, of which there are still openings, and we will be brewing McRea's Sip of the Sea again. I'm taking yesterday's batch up to the Pacific Northwest Homebrewing Convention, but this Saturday's brew will be served on nitro, here at the shop on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, 4:00p - 6:00p.