Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Bayshore, Oysters & Beer



Flying Fish's Exit 1 Bayshore Oyster Stout, the third installment in the Cherry Hill brewery's limited-batch Exit Series beers, ships to New Jersey distributors and retail outlets this week.

We're gonna go out on a limb and say that this brew will go quick, faster than the two previous Exits, 11 and 4, the latter of which winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver last month. (Folks at Flying Fish think their titular ingredient may be a learning curve for some beer drinkers.)

Why do we think Bayshore Oyster Stout will be a hot exit? Well, the first two are craft beer movement fusion styles: Exit 4 is a big Belgian trippel given an American accent, while Exit 11 is an assertively hopped wheat ale. But Exit 1 is a more accessible beer style, even if the category does command some explanation or clarification thanks to the bivalve in the name.

Although Belgian brews of all stripes are quite popular these days, for some folks the bigger ones can be a challenge, and for others at total turnoff. (A month ago, while at one of the Jersey brewpubs, we overheard a couple of guys who'd just walked up to the bar talking about Belgian beer, with one of them describing the taste as "turpentine." Then they both proceeded to order the house light beer. C'est la vie.) And wheat can't be beat for some really great flavors. (Remember a year or so ago when Budweiser called on comic Rob Riggle to suggest a cloudy beer was inferior? Wonder how that wheat'd up Bud Light fits within that assertion?)

But this member of the Exit lineup is a stout (an export one). It's big, but not too big; yet it doesn't shrink, either; plus, we're heading into colder weather, a time when people go for a heartier beer ... like a stout. And those oysters from Jersey's Delaware River Bayshore that were added to the kettle? A fishy idea and taste? Hardly. But they are a flourish, with the calcium from their shells making for a dry signature to balance some sweetness in this beer and back up the roastiness that's customary to stouts.

On top off all that, Exit 1 is traveling a path paved by Exits 4 and 11, so there's some beforehand buzz welcoming the next spot on the Jerseyana map that the Exit Series explores.

That's why we think this one could be an exit Flying Fish will have to revist, maybe even become a beer version of pork roll, so to speak, you know, that instantly identifiable slice of New Jersey that Garden State residents embrace like offspring and expats pine for and even have shipped to them cross country.

About the video
First, a word of thanks to Bivalve Packing Company in Port Norris and Eric Powell from Rutgers University's Haskin Research Lab, also in Port Norris. Additionally, gratitude goes to oysterman Everett Marino, beer writer Lew Bryson, the folks at Flying Fish and Profile PR in Philadelphia.

Aside from highlighting Flying Fish's latest specialty brew, the video sketches a past-to-present look at New Jersey's oyster industry, which was a booming trade during the early part of the 20th century. As the waters of bayshore and the Maurice River have risen, the oyster industry has receded. But it's very much hanging on, thanks to some effective management practices applied to the fishery.

In a word, it's still a Jersey pearl.

5 comments:

BeerGuru said...

Jeff - super video. Got to try some of the stout with oysters. Great pairing - one of the first food beer combos I remember reading about (one of Michael Jackson favorite pairings I remember). Almost Imperial in its assertiveness.
Cheers
Kevin

pell said...

Great video. Very informative and I love the stout. Just picked up another bottle. I agree that this is the best of the Exit Series... so far! Enjoy a Jersey Brew.

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

Loved the video! Haven't gotten to take Exit 1 yet, but had 4 and 11 and liked them both. Been doing a lot of research about the oyster industry in SJersey, and your video was very well done. Thank you. - John

Brad Chmielewski said...

Nice episode!

Don't see many Oyster Stouts here in the midwest,. I've only had one or two would love to try more.

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