Oysters and stouts are seemingly made to be paired together. While typical oyster pairings include white wines, champagne, or a pilsner–a stout beer can actually be a better choice according to some culinary scientists. Stout beers are dark, heavy beers with chocolate, coffee, caramel aromas- made almost exclusively with a heavily roasted malt. While this may seem like an overpowering flavor to pair with oysters, they actually work well together.
The two flavors, a light oyster and a heavy beer tend to work together, blending sweet, salty, bitter, and umami flavors. The sharp brine of a White Stone Oyster, for example, will pop when paired with the toasty chocolate of a stout. Think of it like a dark chocolate bar with sea salt– they have the same effect. The sweetness of the oyster in this case also will overpower the bitter finish of the beer, leaving behind the creamy texture instead.
Here are three of our favorite stouts to pair with your White Stone Oysters:
Hardywood Oyster Stout
The Hardywood Oyster Stout is made by Virginia-based brewery Hardywood. According to their website, the stout is brewed with oysters to “create a slight meaty and briny aroma that is followed by the tasty chocolate and roasted malts. This beer has an incredibly silky mouthfeel that finished out with a malty sweetness to balance the hop bitterness.”
At only 5.5% ABV (a relatively low ABV for a stout), the Hardywood Oyster Stout is a fairly sessionable beer, allowing you to enjoy a couple of them while shucking oysters around the campfire with your friend.
Schlafly Oatmeal Stout
The Schlafly Oatmeal Stout is another great beer pairing option for your White Stone Oysters. Beginning in the late 19th century, brewers introduced oats into their beers for their nourishing and restorative characteristics, producing some of the first oatmeal and milk stouts. By the 1950s, the oatmeal stout had nearly gone extinct, but in the 1970s, brewers started making them again due to their mention in some popular literary articles. Schlafly’s recipe is based on these traditional oatmeal stout styles.
The beer has flavors of freshly roasted coffee, cocoa, and touches of raisin. Its rich, malty flavor and creamy finish are the perfect compliments to a bright and briny White Stone Oyster. The beer has an ABV of 5.7%.
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
Goose Island is an extremely popular brewery known for its high quality and flavorful stouts. The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout is a perfect beer to pair with your White Stone Oysters because of its unique and rich flavor profile. It’s made with a combination of bourbon barrels from several distilleries including Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, and Buffalo Trace. They’re aged from 8 to fourteen months and then used to ferment this delicious stout. It has flavors of chocolate, vanilla, oak, whiskey, and molasses and an ABV of 14.4%
Stouts are traditionally a fall and winter beer but can be enjoyed year round. They’re often consumed on St. Patrick’s Day as well and will go perfect with your spring oyster roast menu. Pop a bottle, shuck some oysters and enjoy!