May 22, 2013

Stout stuff: Portland's newest brew adds notes of bivalve

Bunker Brewing and Eventide Oyster have teamed up to produce a new stew ... er, brew. Dirty Pearl, anyone?

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Eventide Oyster Co. at 86 Middle St. in Portland is having an oyster stout release party at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Press Herald file photos

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Eventide Oyster Co., pictured here, is teaming up with Bunker Brewing to produce a new brew.

And it’s not just oysters they’re brewing beer with

Lobster boiled in beer – doesn’t that sound good?


Apparently it is, according to the makers of Redhook’s new Black Lobstah Lager, a whimsical New England take on an old world oyster stout.


Black Lobstah Lager is made with live whole lobsters from the Portsmouth Lobster Co. The lobsters were immersed in the boiling wort during the last 10 minutes of a 75-minute boil, according to Andy Schwartz, the Redhook brewer who oversaw the brewing of Black Lobstah Lager.


“We chose this time to add the lobsters for two reasons,” he wrote in an email. “First, and foremost, is because it is, not coincidentally, just about the perfect amount of time to cook a lobster. And trust me, they were delicious afterward.


“Second, by limiting the amount of time in the boil, we don’t lose any of the flavor and aromatics due to evaporation out the kettle stack, thus retaining all that lobster brininess and goodness. We also used a splash of custom made, fresh lobster stock to enhance the briny quality that harmonizes so well with the roasty quality of the Black Lager.”


Black Lobstah Lager is available only in New England, both on draught and in 22-ounce bottles. In Portland, it can be found at Whole Foods Market, Free Range Fish and Lobster, and Sam’s Smoke Shop.

– Meredith Goad, Staff Writer




WHEN: 5 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Eventide Oyster Co., 86 Middle St., Portland

INFO: 774-8538


“You really want to eat them,” Smith said. “You really think that they’re going to be good, but they’re not good.”

Last week, Smith and Sorensen got the first taste of their creation, just before they started putting it in kegs. It was a thick brew with plenty of body, and while it didn’t taste at all like the oysters you eat in an oyster bar, it had a certain minerality and a slight brininess on the finish. I was more impressed with the Dirty Pearl after tasting Redhook’s Black Lobstah Lager (see sidebar), a new beer fashioned after an old-world oyster stout but made with lobsters instead of oysters. The lobster brew was briny but didn’t have nearly the flavor of the Dirty Pearl.

Smith said he hopes more smokiness will come forward in the oyster stout during carbonation.
The majority of Dirty Pearl will be sold at Eventide, but some of it will also go to Sonny’s and Local 188, two restaurants owned by Bunker investor Jay Villani.

Smith said that eating oysters with stout is “one of those amazing experiences,” and that actually adding oysters to the beer as an ingredient – a process called bridging – will bring that experience to the next level.

“If you like oysters and then have them with a stout, it’s one of those moments,” Smith said. “It’s like when you have perfectly seared foie gras with a sauterne. It’s that moment of ‘Oh, these are meant to be together.’ ”

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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