Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our first drink in California

Stephanie has been doing an exceptional job with her newly re-branded blog. She has been promising that I would eventually contribute, but I've been too busy watching the Braves lose 1-run games.

Stephanie has filled everyone in on the food from the first day of our California trip, and I'm here to mention something about the booze. She informed you that we lunched at the Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. Over numerous plates of bivalves Jonathan and I have recently been discussing the numerous (and perhaps innumerable) beverages that pair well with oysters. Of course, champagne, chablis, and muscadet are favorites, but we both also enjoy the briny creatures with stouts (i.e. black, roasty beers).

Although it may seem an odd pairing, oysters and stout have been enjoyed together for centuries. In fact, some breweries have produced an "oyster stout" by combining the liquor from the oysters with the boiling wort (perhaps it was based on a bad pun or just a drunken accident, but it worked). As it happened, the HIOC had on tap the Oysterhead Stout from Magnolia Brewery in San Francisco. Like most modern versions, this one probably wasn't made with oyster liquor but was merely meant to accompany the shellfish. In any event, it worked well - medium-full bodied, with a roasty, slightly sweet palate. The beer's richness was a fine counterpoint to the crisp oysters, and it's the smart choice in these still-cool months. Save the champers and chablis for the months without Rs.