This weekend, I drove to Lewiston – yes, on purpose – and stopped by Baxter Brewing Company for a release of a new collaboration beer. The event featured the release of Daughters of Poseidon – a Black IPA brewed with local oysters. Baxter Brewing Company collaborated with DC Brau – a relatively young brewery in the Washington DC area (the first production beer in DC, in fact). When planning the beer, the brewers were both looking for ingredients local to their respective breweries. The answer? Oysters.
And not a few, either. The one-time batch contained 800 pounds of whole oysters and was brewed identically at each of the two breweries. The only difference were the oysters used – DC Brau they included Rappahannock Oyster Company’s Olde Salt Oysters in the mash, and in Maine they sourced Glidden Point Oyster Company‘s oysters from Pemaquid.
According to a press release on the beer, the founders of both breweries met at the 2012 American Craft Beer Festival held in Boston, MA, and have become friends. A collaboration beer seemed to be the next logical step (as it often is in the brewing industry).
At the release event a tower of 4-packs of the beer, in brightly printed cans filled the front tasting room. The room beyond the shop had picnic tables, a tasting bar setup, and oysters available to eat. $1 ticket bought a tasting pour of the beer, 2 tickets puts an oyster on your plate. I ended up spending $8 (two oysters, 4 samples, if anyone’s counting) but you could do more or less depending on how hungry you were.
The signature orange pull-tab on new cans of Daughters of Poseidon.
Local oysters were on hand to be enjoyed with Daughters of Poseidon - or any of the other beers that were pouring.
Rolling out the Baxter carpet.
The dark, rich blackness of Daughters of Poseidon.
Drinks and oysters were managed with tickets.
A tower of beer!
The beer itself was a dark, but hoppy concoction. It poured a dark brown, with a dark brown head, and had an aroma that reminded you that this is definitely not a stout – but has a much more bitter and almost bright quality to it. There is a hop bite that “black” or “dark” IPAs bring to the party – so stood out from its more malt-forward oyster stout cousins. It is described as having a “hint of brine” but I was unable to tell if I was picking that up from suggestion or if it was really there. It certainly doesn’t taste like oysters, though – and that’s more than okay with me. What I liked is that there was almost a charred taste to it, without being overly bitter. It also got even better as it warmed up, which was a pleasant surprise.
The Daughters of Poseidon label is beautifully drawn, and features Poseidon holding out a pearl-laden oyster in an outstretched hand and sporting a pretty sweet trident in the other. It is sold in 4-packs of 16 oz cans – the second time in which Baxter has released the taller cans (the first being the ‘On the Count of 3’ anniversary beer).
If you see it, snag it. Baxter Brewing Company founder Luke Livingston told me it will be “around until it’s gone” (meaning it won’t be brewed again and is of limited availability). It is mostly being canned and sent to the states in which Baxter is distributed – with a few draft accounts picking it up as well.