Zephyrhills Brewing uses fresh gulf oysters in new beer

Aw, shucks.

click to enlarge Zephyrhills Brewing's Shellfish Choice Oyster Stout is made with 50 fresh oysters from the gulf. - Pixabay
Pixabay
Zephyrhills Brewing's Shellfish Choice Oyster Stout is made with 50 fresh oysters from the gulf.

Zephyrhills Brewing Company is the latest local brewery to add shellfish to its beer. The release of the aptly named Shellfish Choice Oyster Stout — made with 50 fresh oysters from the gulf — is planned for 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday.

Located in a renovated bank building downtown, Zephyrhills Brewing announced its owner, Robert Hilferding, was brewing the oyster stout with a team of people, Adam Taylor and friends, on May 12 (see below). The bivalves' brininess, according to the brewery's Facebook event page, enhance the one-of-a-kind collaboration beer's complexity.

Yes, some breweries call their beers "oyster stouts" to suggest a complementary pairing. But that doesn't mean the use of actual oysters in the brewing process isn't a thing.

"It is said whole oysters — meat and all — were first being used by brewers in New Zealand in the early 20th century," according to the American Homebrewers Association, which recommends incorporating the oyster's shells, meat and brine into an oatmeal stout or saving the shells (just the shells) for a dry stout.

Tampa-based Coppertail Brewing Co. has made its Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout a tradition that pays homage to Florida stone crab season. Here's to hoping Zephyrhills Brewing does the same for gulf oysters with Shellfish Choice.

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