Porterhouse Oyster Stout
The Porterhouse Brewing Company is a chain of public houses in Ireland and London, England. It was founded in 1989 by Liam La Hart and Oliver Hughes and now has 5 premises. New stateside this year (there seems to be an influx of Irish beer stateside, or is that just my recent experience?) with 3 beers, Irish Stout, Oyster Stout and Irish Red, I picked up the Oyster Stout because I keep hearing so much about the style, probably because it is one of the hippest things in beer this year and my proximity to Harpoon, whose Oyster Stout has been all the talk.
The Porterhouse website says, “Brewed with fresh oyster. A smooth drinking aromatic stout with a discernible but unidentifiable aromatic aspect. Not suitable for vegetarians.” What? Oyster in beer? Well originally, “particular stouts were thought to go especially well with oysters. They were therefore known as oyster stouts.” Then, people took this seriously! According to the Washington Post, Harpoon uses the following process “The freshly harvested whole oysters — Muller used 100 per 25-barrel batch — were suspended in mesh sacks in the brew kettle. They spent 15 minutes simmering in the barley broth before they were removed (and eaten). “The oysters opened up, so we got a little of the liquor inside and the calcium from the shell,” says Muller.” One can assume that Porterhouse does similarly.
The Porterhouse Oyster Stout is more porter like. Granted it is a fine line between what we call porters and what we call stouts but I think they would be better off calling this an Oyster Porter. It is light in body and not as dark as most stouts (US or otherwise) No fishy flavour here. A bit bitter for me in this style. Not as balanced as I had expected. Not bad at all though.
The coolest thing about this beer was the cap! Seriously fun to open. I have not seen one of these before it is a pull top. You yank the loop and it comes off like the top on a tuna can but then pulls the whole thing. Much lower profile than regular pop tops. The cap does say “Off kilter” which makes me wonder if they are trying to look like Dogfish Head, “off centered” or what is up with that.
If anyone sees that Harpoon Oyster Stout, (or the Dogfish Head Oyster Stout for that matter) I’m looking for a bottle!