Eat.Drink.Sleep - November 2021

Page 10

EAT. DRINK. SLEEP November 2021

Oysters and stout are a quintessential beer and food pairing first popularised in Victorian England and remain a classic combination to this day. With the explosion of interest in the global beer scene, first pioneered by American craft brewers, there are now a plethora of beer styles to pair with oysters. Of course, all oysters are not the same and their taste and texture will depend on the terroir, weather and tidal conditions – saltier oysters pair best with dark and roasty beers, while sweeter oysters work well with citrussy hops. Fortunately, high quality, innovative and award-winning American craft beer styles are readily available in the UK allowing chefs to choose the best pairing partnership.. Here’s a handy guide that will help you think outside the classic oyster and stout combination. Oysters and Pilsners – washing away the briny, salty taste of the oyster with a clean, crisp, effervescent pilsner is a winning combination because the lager acts as a thirst-quencher and palate refresher after the salty mouthfeel and does not detract from the delicate taste of the oyster. A pilsner brewed with lime and sea salt takes the pairing to a higher level as the zesty, sharp spike of lime offers a beguiling extra pop of flavour. Beer recommendation: Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager Oysters and Sour Beers – a tart, zingy sour beer will perform the same function as a spritz of lemon and enhance the overall flavour of the pairing. It’s important to avoid a beer that is so intense it overpowers the lighter flavours of the oyster

Oi, Oi! Oysters and American Craft Beer! and leaves the diner with a sour, salty, seaweedy mouthfeel. A Gose, Berliner Weisse or Lambic are good suggestions. Beer recommendation: Cigar City Magarita Gose Oysters and IPAs – choose carefully, not all exuberant hops found in most American IPAs work against the salinity of the oyster and a sweeter oyster will work best here. Try a citrussy or tropical hop-forward West coast IPA that will harmonise with the salty sweet brine and add another level of complexity to the pairing. Beer recommendation: Sierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo

8

Oysters and Stout or Porter – a sweet, malty stout with flavours of chocolate, coffee or roast will balance the briny minerality of the oyster perfectly and offer a complimentary flavour to counteract the salinity. Smooth, rich and creamy it’s no surprise stout is the most common accompaniment to oysters. Beer recommendation: Heretic Shallow Grave Robust Porter American craft beer is available throughout selected national wholesalers. More info: www.brewersassociation.org