REPLY FROM HUNTER BEER CO
RE; OYSTER STOUT
In my last post about the”HUNTER BEER COMPANY “OYSTER STOUT” 10TH ANNIVERSARY 4.5%” I said I couldn’t remember the story about it so I emailed the brewery and this was their response, which I hope they don’t mind me re-printing here, in order to make the story complete. Looking at their website it seems as though they have twelve beers on the go which must make a visit worthwhile. I wonder if I go in the new year will the Christmas Pudding Beer still be available?
Hunter Beer Co. brews an Oyster Stout each year to celebrate St Patricks Day;
- Oysters are added to the boil and vigorous boiled for 90 minutes to kill unwanted micororganisms;
- The first version was 300L of a dry Irish stout with 6 oysters, in their shells, added to brew;
- The 2nd version was a 600L (full batch) of a not so dry Irish Stout with 12 oysters, on a half shell, added;
- Since then we have a tradition of a different brewer creating their own stout recipe and adding 12 local oysters on a half shell;
- When I had a crack I made a big foreign export stout and you couldn’t taste the minerally oyster character at all (but, some people have a reaction to oysters and their wee will pick up a distinctive oyster odour);
- My favourite batch was a smoked oyster stout created by Craig Wealands, who now has his own brewery, the Thirsty Crow in Wagga;
- This year was the tenth year we have brewed an oyster stout for St Paddy’s day and we wanted to do something a little different so instead of adding a dozen oysters we added 10 dozen oysters. I was bit frightened of over doing it so we left out the shells.
Leaving out the shells wound the minerally, slightly salty character back way more than we anticipated and as you found it made for a beer that upfront was quite easy going.
I always recommend that people drink the beer by the end of the following winter; I find the shells impart a metallic flavour that becomes less pleasant with time. (Each time I have done a side by side comparison of last year’s batch with a fresh batch the fresh batch is always a more drinkable beer.)