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Brewery uses oysters to help local industry

A brewery in Wales has created an oyster stout brewed with locally caught oysters to help revive the area’s once thriving industry.

The Pilot Inn in The Mumbles overlooking Swansea Bay also has its own brewery and decided recently to create a stout using oysters in the mash in a collaboration with the Mumbles Oyster Company which is trying to revive what was a flourishing, traditional industry.

It is called “Oystermouth Stout”, a reference to the local fishing port where the crustacean’s beds used to be.

Head brewer, Rob Turner, said: “When I heard about oysters being reintroduced into Swansea Bay I was inspired to brew a beer to drink with them. The reintroduction of oysters has really been the catalyst for the ideas behind this recipe.

The recipe for the beer was created alongside Dr Andy Woolmer from the Mumbles Oyster Company.

A number of oysters are dropped into the wort during the fermentation and, according to Turner, “the effect on the flavour of the beer is very subtle but it is an essential twist that helps it go well with oysters.”

As the brewery explains on its website, although oysters are now considered something of an expensive delicacy, they were once very common fare for people in seaside communities.

Furthermore, the most common accompaniment would be stout or porter – hence the sobriquet “oyster stout” – not Champagne or other white wines as is now usually the case.

The Mumbles Oyster Company is planning to lay 10,000 young oysters on the old beds to kickstart the historic trade.

It is hoped that initiatives such as the new beer will help drive interest in the project.

Adding oysters to the mash is not a completely new idea but nor is it the weirdest of ingredients to go into beer as our previous round-up of bizarre additives shows.

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