Uptown Teams Up Gigantic Brewing for 2017 Collabofest

Uptown Brewing is very excited to have been paired with Gigantic Brewing for Collabofest 2017, hosted by Base Camp Brewing. Collabofest pairs local breweries together to collaborate and brew two unique beers especially for the festival. The goal being not to just brew great beer have a fun event for the community but also foster "unity and camaraderie within the Portland craft beer community."

After plenty of brainstorming (and beers) the group landed on doing a play on surf and turf. The end decision was to brew an Oyster Stout Brewed on Gigantic’s system and a Mushroom Saison brewed at Uptown.

 Uptown's Tyler Staples brewing the oyster stout with Gigantic Brewmaster Van Havig.

Uptown's Tyler Staples brewing the oyster stout with Gigantic Brewmaster Van Havig.

Gigantic Brewing founders and Master Brewers Van Havig and Ben Love sourced oysters from Nevor Shelfish Farm outside of Tillamook, OR.  Twelve dozon live oysters were carefully cleaned and then added to the boil to percolate for over an hour. The oysters were harvested from Netarts Bay, which is restively shallow and replenishes its water every few tides. This creates a high-salinity fresh water environment where oysters can grow slowly and retain a clean salty flavor.  You may be asking yourself, “Why do I care about the fresh yet relatively high salt content of Netarts Bay?” Because the Gigantic brew team added 45 liters of the bay water or "oyster liquor" used to transport the mollusks from the coast to their SE Portland brewery, for an additional briny punch to the brew.

For those not familiar, the Oyster Stout style was not simply formulated by a modern brew-master looking to stand out in the craft beer industry. It has long standing roots in coastal UK towns where oysters on the half shell were as common as bar nuts and enjoyed with beer, often times a stout. A stouts sweet and bitter qualities can pair nicely with the brininess of an oyster and were added in various ways to the brew as early as the 1920’s.

After the addition of raw meat to the“Turf” collaboration with Gigantic was quickly dismissed with a laugh, the crew eventually landed on mushrooms. After a bit of quick research this blogger has determined that unsurprisingly there is no long and storied history of mushroom beers. Although, FoodRepublic.com did write an article on mushroom beers about a year ago. They related the new trend to, “the earthy equivalent to an oyster stout.”

 Preparing to add the Pacific NW Oyster Mushrooms

Preparing to add the Pacific NW Oyster Mushrooms

Uptown’s head brewer Tyler Staples, said the decision to go with a Saison was simply a rational one. “Saisons typically have an earthier, spicy tone that can really lend itself to the “turf” side of the collaboration no matter what we decided to use to enhance the beer.” Yet the decision to use oyster mushrooms was an obvious one. Oyster mushrooms grown in clusters are prized for their delicate texture and mildly sweet taste.  The intent is to enhance the herbacously spice of a Saison with an earthy and subtle sweetness with the addition of Oyster Mushrooms post fermentation.

The results? You’re going to have to head to Base Camp’s Collabofest this Saturday to try both! They’ll be available on tap at Uptown after this weekend.