Oysters and stout seem to have been happy bedfellows since stout first emerged in the 18th century. This association was as a beer and food partnership rather than a product and ingredient. It wasn’t until the 20th that breweries started to add oysters to beer.
As the 52 brews are about experiment and innovation I am taking the idea one step further and using cockles and mussels as well. I am hoping that the salts from the shellfish and shells will add sweeteness to the beer by increasing the concentration of chloride and possibly some iodine. I’m also trying to get some richness from the meat to increase the umami sensation on the palate.
The fantastic people at Rock Shellfish http://cornish-shellfish.co.uk/ were kind enough to give me the shellfish fresh from their farm at the end of the road to the brewery. There was rather too much for the brew. The rest will be steaming in boiling gueuze, in my kitchen in about an hour’s time.
I added the three shellfish to the kettle and boiled them with the wort for 20 minutes. I shared the cooked meat that was left in the kettle with Kelvin, my man in the brewhouse. We agreed that even after 20 mins in the dark depths of the boiling wort they tasted excellent, if a little bitter from the hops.
Malt: Pale Ale, Crystal, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Black, Roasted Wheat
Hops: Northern Brewer, Perle, Bramling Cross, Progress, Challenger
Yeast: Old English Ale
Fermentation: Warm and open