HenHouse Oyster Stout

Review Date 3/10/2021 By John Staradumsky

Note well: This is how I like my oyster stouts: brewed with oysters! You see, friends, not all oyster stouts are actually brewed with oysters. Blue Point New York Oyster Stout, for example, is brewed without oysters, but uses the name in the classic sense that it is a fine accompaniment to oysters (I prefer mine deep fried, thank you very much). Swales Whitstable Oyster Stout is a fine example from England, origin of the style.

I have only had a very few oyster stouts brewed with oysters as an ingredient. The most recent (and still quite a while ago) was Rogue Oyster Cloyster Stout back in 2004. That beer really  did not offer up much in the way of oyster flavor, however. The beer I’m here to talk about tonight, though, certainly does. That beer is HenHouse Oyster Stout from the HenHouse Brewing Company of Sonoma County, California.

HenHouse says:

We love the Bay, we’re of the Bay. We brew this beer in tribute to the water ways and ecosystems that have made this part of California so vital for so long. Brewed with whole oysters from the Hog Island Oyster Company (just north of the Golden Gate), California-grown malt from Admiral Maltings and an added touch of sea salt. The oysters provide calcium that brings out the chocolate and coffee notes from the roast barley and also grant a slight brine aroma. HenHouse Oyster Stout is a beer with true terroir of both Bodega Bay and California's Central Valley.

HenHouse Oyster Stout has an alcohol content of 4.8% by volume and I paid $4.75 for my pint can from Craftshack. That is not actually that bad when you consider Total Wine sells the beer for $17.49 a 4-pack of pint cans, or about $4.37 a can, though they do not sell it here in Georgia. If you live in California, you can get a case delivered for $97, or about $4.04 a can. My can is marked as canned on 08.05.20 on the label. I drank it on March 4th, 2021.

Henhouse Oyster Stout pours to a jet-black color with a medium creamy tan head of foam and a soft nose of chocolate, seashells at the beach and oyster sourness. Taking a sip, the beer is delightfully chocolatey up front, gently roasty, and underlined with softly sour, uniquely savory cooked oyster bivalve flavor (like fried but without the greasiness). The finish is dry, and a hint of day at the beach finishes this beer off nicely.

HenHouse Osyter Stout is a wonderful treat with real oyster flavor that does not overpower. I have fond memories of drinking Guinness Extra Stout and eating fried oysters with my father; if Dad were here today, I am sure he would love this beer.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, canned