oysters + porter

“One can almost imagine the beer as the knife that cracks the oyster open – there seems to be a primal connection between them. The flavour of the oyster is magically magnified and fills the senses”

Garret Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table

If you were to look through the photos on my phone you would know a couple of things about me – I really like beer, I really like cheese and my dog is very cute. Another thing I really like, but don’t indulge in as much as in used to, is freshly shucked oysters.

Jerry Fraser: King of Oysters
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I get my oyster fix from one man – the King of Oysters, Jerry Fraser. If you know Jerry then I don’t have to say anything more, you already know that he is one of the nicest people on the planet. If you live in Perth and like oysters but have never met Jerry then I’m staring at you with my mouth open in sheer surprise. I have also put links to the left so you can pay Jerry a visit for the best oyster experience of your life.

A great read from last year by The Food Pornographer – When an oyster hater met the King of Oysters

These days Jerry spends much of his time at The Print Hall in Perth’s CBD, right in the heart of Brookfield Plaza, aka where the majority of Perth’s new bars spung up a couple of years ago. Here you will find Jerry at his shucking bar with all you need to indulge your oyster fetish.

2011: Jerry Fraser and I at Five Bar
2011: Jerry Fraser and I at Five Bar

My partner and I visited The Print Hall on Friday night and happily pulled up a bar stool at Jerry’s oyster bar. We had come straight from dinner at Mt Lawley’s Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting, a delicious meal that I was very tempted to follow up with some cheese however my craving for cheese flew out the window the minute I saw Jerry. I had a new craving – oysters and porter.

“One can almost imagine the beer as the knife that cracks the oyster open – there seems to be a primal connection between them. The flavour of the oyster is magically magnified and fills the senses”

Garret Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table

The Print Hall pour all the Colonial Brewing beers since they are owned by the same folk, this also includes The Raffles in Applecross and East Perth’s The Royal on the Waterfront, so it is always nice to go in and get a pint of one of my favourite Margaret River beers.

The Colonial Porter is stupidly smooth, like Barry White kinda smooth with light roasty flavours that flirt with chocolate and coffee, all held together by a soft malty sweetness.

The smoothness does not stop with the beer, the oysters almost creamy texture is divine and it’s briney, salty nature melds so nicely with roasted flavours.

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“This isn’t some newfangled foodie gimmick,”

Adam McDowell, National Post: Why you should pair oysters with stout this St Patrick’s Day

It is interesting to think that this pairing is actually a very traditional English/Irish combo. Oysters were once in abundance in both England and Ireland and considered the food of the working class, a pretty far cry from today’s associations with luxury and indulgence thanks in part to their now limited supply. Also considered to be for the working class were porter beers which, as the story goes, were so named after their popularity amongst London porters, men employed essentially to carry heavy things from point A to point B. Being the working class in England in the 1700s looks rather appealing if they had oysters and porter on hand 24/7, that is of course ignoring the scarlet fever, typhoid and other nasty diseases that probably killed you at age 20.

Moving away from the traditional stout and porter pairing the beer world is still, if you’ll forgive me, your oyster for matching to oysters. A saison, a gueuze and even a bold IPA are all suggested in this great article from Serious Eats along side some suggestions for those who might like their oysters fried or grilled. Further, I found this oysters and porter article on nytimes.com with a recipe for fried oysters if you feel so inclined.

However, if you’re anything like me the you’ll love the indulgence of ordering a dozen freshly shucked oysters from the best man in the business and sitting at the bar with your only concern being what beer to choose next …

A dozen of Jerry's finest

Weekend Reading #1

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there is excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

The Beeroness | Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze
Jackie Dodd – author of The Craft Beer Cook Book & her website ‘The Beeroness – Have your beer and eat it too’

Recipes regularly drop into my email inbox from The Beeroness which keep me both hungry and entertained in equal amounts. This recipe is screaming out at me, begging to be made – gooey caramelised flavours, tender meat and beer sauce – it’s too good to simply leave to words. I’ll be making these bad boys very soon. If you beat me to it I’d love to know how they turned out!

Topped with some melted butter and ready to bake! It might not look all that pretty but the result is yummy
I’ve tried many great recipes from Jackie’s book – here’s the start of her tasty beer bread

The Splendid Table | The 7 Flavour Categories of Beer: What they are, How to pair them
American radio show food focused since 1994

When sometimes an IPA isn’t your run-of-the-mill IPA it is really great to read an article, or even a beer menu, that is categories by flavour rather than by style. This article uses seven different flavoured descriptions to breakdown beer styles and pinpoint the foods that can work best with them.

Draft Magazine | Brewery to Watch: Big Alice
American online beer magazine

A short article on New York’s newest nano-brewery Big Alice Brewery that takes a “farm to kettle” approach to brewing. Imagine visiting the farmers market, taking back hand fulls of the freshest, in season produce and then making your beer from there. Well, that’s what these guys do …

Love Beer, Love Food | Stone’s New Saison & A Summery Seafood Treat
Lindsay is a Certified Cicerone, home brewer and serious home cook

Bringing together Stone’s latest Saison with her own zesty, fresh vinaigrette dressing for oysters. Read her story and get the recipe here.

Oysters by Jerry Fraser
I love oysters and no one does oysters like the King of Oysters Mr Jerry Fraser

The Herald Sun | Alehouse Rock: Melbourne Brewers are Getting Crafty
Latest Melbourne and Victorian news

In the days leading up to Good Beer Week this article was published in The Herald Sun. At it’s core it is an article about the growing craft beer scene in Melbourne but broken down from the points of view of brewers, retailers, bar owners and a chef.