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One of my favorite stouts is Oesterstout by the Schelde Brewery.

The website states:

During the brewing process, the wort of the beer is pumped across the oyster shells.

Is this what gives it it's distinct taste? In Denmark, another more easily available Oyster stout is Marston's Oyster Stout. Do all Oyster Stouts follow this particular process, or is it more of a sales pitch?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Oyster stout traditionally uses oysters as part of the brewing process, and that is the flavour that differentiates them from other stouts. While it is traditional to use oysters, some modern breweries use artifical flavours in their oyster stouts, or simply say that they are intended to be eaten with seafood.

You mention Marston's Oyster Stout, which is one example of an oyster stout that doesn't use actual oysters in the brew. From their website:

Marston’s Oyster Stout is a dark, creamy, smooth, clean tasting English stout. It doesn’t contain oysters, just called Oyster Stout as this style of ale is a great complement to shell fish dishes.

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Thanks. What about the other part of the question? "Is this what gives it it's distinct taste?" –  Steven Jeuris Feb 25 '14 at 14:14
As the name suggests, oysters are a signature ingredient for traditional oyster stouts. Does the edit help make that clear? –  James Henstridge Feb 25 '14 at 14:30
Intended to be eaten with seafood? Stout is, generally, not a style that I'd eat with seafood. –  Ryan Kinal Nov 5 '14 at 14:59

Just had a bottle of Marston's Oyster Stout two days ago (10/25/14), the label states it is brewed with oyster shells.

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If it is an Oyster stout then it probably should have contact with ACTUAL oysters. Using the shells is a cop out that is like stone soup.

Checkout new brewery Hammertown in London who do it properly: "Fresh wild Maldon oysters are then added to the boil to add a subtle extra complexity to the taste of this stout."


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