Saturday May 12, 2012 was the first annual Sip & Slurp: Beer & Oyster Pairing Competition. Wine World (blog sponsor) and Taylor Shellfish teamed with breweries to offer this tasty and fun event for Seattle Beer Week.
The classic beer pairing with oysters is a stout or porter. On our advice, Wine World sought out a diverse assortment of beers with an emphasis on Washington beers. 17 beers were entered into the competition ranging from light to dark, local to international, nano brewery to larger craft brewery and even a sour beer.
Every guest received 8 free beer taste tickets. The hardest part of the evening seemed to be deciding which 8 beers to try with their tickets!
- Boulevard Brewing Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
- Boulevard Brewing Dark Truth Stout
- Brasserie DuPont Saison DuPont
- Diamond Knot Brown Ale
- Diamond Knot India Pale Ale
- Elysian Split Shot Espresso Stout
- Epic Ales Desert Ale
- Epic Ales The Fuj
- Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter
- Flyers Pacemaker Porter
- Fremont Brewing Summer Ale
- New Belgium Trip Series Farmhouse
- New Belgium Trip Series Pink Peppercorn IPA
- Odin Freya’s Gold
- Pike Brewing Post Alley Porter
- Pike Brewing XXXXX Extra Stout
- Port Brewing Old Viscosity
Taylor Shellfish was shucking fresh Kumamoto and Shigoko oysters for $1/each. Tender and scintillating fresh, the oysters were a taste sensation in the mouth. Delicious alone, the oysters were even better when paired with beer!
Guests voted with star stickers for the best beer to pair with the oysters. Although many suspected a stout or porter would take the top honors, it was Boulevard Brewing’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale that came in first followed by New Belgium/Elysian Trip Series Pink Peppercorn IPA. The New Belgium Trip Series is a collabeeration project with Elysian Brewing. I wouldn’t have guessed that an IPA would be a favorite to pair with oysters, but this IPA boasts a great balance. The bitterness of the hops doesn’t overwhelm the oyster and the pink pepper corns add just the right amount of punch.
I am thinking that those Elysian brewers must spend some time eating oysters because they scored with their other beer submission as well. The Elysian Slip Shot Espresso Stout was the third favorite beer to pair with those Taylor Shellfish oysters. The first time I tasted the Elysian Slip Shot Espresso Stout I thought it would be a shoe in to win this oyster and beer pairing. The Slip Shot is a milk stout and that bit of sweetness element, balanced with the coffee bitterness, was a nice contrast to the texture and taste of the oyster.
Other popular Washington beers to pair with the oysters were the Epic Ales Fuj, Fremont Brewing Summer Ale, Flyers Pacemaker Porter and Pike Brewing’s Post Alley Porter and XXXXX Extra Stout.