South Park Brewing Company- San Diego (South Park)
Another new San Diego brewpub opened soft last weekend in the neighborhood of South Park. Craft beer and food visionary Scot Blair proudly opened the doors last Friday night to his newest creation, South Park Brewing Company. This seafood restaurant and craft brewery fusion is right next door to one of his other dreams-come-true, Hamilton’s Tavern.
Besides great beer being brewed at South Park on a system moved over from Monkey Paw, the other cool feature is their seafood which will be brought in from one of the region’s premier seafood purveyors, Catalina Offshore Products. Chef Dustin Harner is at the helm of the restaurant side of the brewpub.
When I visited South Park Brewing I was lucky and got to talk to head brewer Cosimo Sorrentino about the new beers, including his brilliant creation Scripps Pier Oyster Stout, which is spiked with oyster shells and filtered sea water from Scripps Pier. After hearing about its construction and that he really liked its outcome, I ordered a pint.
This style of beer was new to me, but later when I did some research I found that Victorian England brewers started adding oyster shells as a fining agent (clarifier) to the boil along with the grains and hops. Although the style has been dormant since then, oyster stout is making a comeback with innovative craft brewers like Cosimo, and here we are with this one:
This black brew has a mellow sweetness with roast and coffee aromas, similar flavors, but with a tiny bit of clean brine taste to it. Its texture is smooth and refreshing, and the pleasant saltiness complements the sweetness. Bitterness is faint. Overall, a beautifully brewed sessionable stout (5.5% ABV); perfect for pairing with fresh oysters on the half shell.
Overall, this is a very interesting beer, one which I will be going back for soon to pair with oysters. I think this beer would also pair well with any of the fresh, soft, and/or semi-soft cheeses, various shellfish, and smoked salmon. Chocolate would be nice, too.