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Trudging the Road to Beer Rock Stardom – Part Zwei

May 4, 2010
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Who doesn’t love the slimy and salty oyster sliding down to your stomach? Let me rephrase that. It seems the people at Harpoon Brewery of Boston, MA love oysters, or at least love them enough to make a beer using actual oysters in the brewing process. Correct, you read that right.Odd. Maybe. But, nonetheless worthy of a tasting. Luckily, the beer was available at The Pony Bar (www.ThePonyBar.com), and other variations can be found in New York City by using Beer Menus (www.beermenus.com).

Before I elaborate on the beer itself, I would like to explain a little bit about how this beer is brewed, and of course a general introduction to beer brewing itself. The wort is the mostly liquid mixture of fermentable sugars in which yeast is added to actually create the alcohol. Wort is usually made from mashing malted barley (steeping malted barley (and sometimes other ingredients) in hot water to extract the fermentable sugars). After the wort is extracted by mashing, it is boiled and hops are added (for flavor, aroma, and preservation).

Enter Harpoon Brewery people. To impart the flavor of oysters in the beer, it is boiled when the wort is boiled. Finally, the yeast as added and the wort is allowed to ferment and then bottled after a few more simple steps.Simplified version of the traditional process:

  1. Malted barley + hot water = fermentable sugars (a.k.a. wort)
  2. Boil wort + hops = wort that is ready to have yeast added
  3. Wort + yeast + a long time = alcoholic beer
  4. Beer + bottles + (priming sugar) + time = good naturally carbonated beer

Now for the beer details, Joe style:It looks like a stout. It smells like a stout. It sounds like a stout. It feels like a stout, at least in my mouth (that’s what she said). So, is it a stout? Of course.

  • Appearance is almost black (at least in the dark bar)
  • Aroma is coffee and espresso like
  • Mouth feel is quite full, slightly creamy (oh boy oh boy)
  • Flavor is malty, roasty, and coffee like… except for right at the end, WHAM! You experience the tiniest bit of briny and seafood like after taste. So subtle and so damn sexy…
  • Overall impression – huzzah!

In my honest and humble opinion, most people would not even taste the oysters, and drinking it would give you some damn good bragging rights. “Hey baby, I just had an oyster stout, made with real oysters… for realsies.”As with any other stout, this makes a great after work drink, just be careful and don’t go chugging it.

In terms of food, stouts are traditionally quite phenomenal with chocolaty desserts, and of course, this version is great with oysters due to the complementary tastes!

Put on Dave Brubeck’s Take Five or some jazz, and you might have yourself a fantastic evening.

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