For those clam/oyster/beer obsessed Boston Chowhounds, rejoice! Sam Adams brewery and the MA Aquacultural Association are sponsoring a shellfish extravaganza (local hard and soft clams and oysters with Sam Adams brews) on Sunday at the Sam Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain (w/thanks to drinkboston.com):
I was looking forward to the Shellfish Shindig as a practice run for the upcoming Wellfeet Oysterfest in a few weeks.
Practice run it was and then some. A $10.00 donation to the MA Aquacultural Association gets you admission and two Sam Adams tasting tickets. The brewery was featuring its Lager and its seasonal Octoberfest. S.Pellegrino, another sponsor, was providing free bottled waters and Edible Boston was there giving out their local food magazine.
In the tent outside there were about 7 shellfish farms featuring their oysters (a few vendors had cherrystones too). All oysters and clams were a buck a piece. It was great to compare the subtle differences of the oysters even though they are for the most part in close geographic proximity of one another.
Inside was more food, some oyster po' boys and a bunch of baked oyster preparations each featuring a Sam Adams product as an ingredient. The Ipswich Bay Cultured Clam Coop had a chowder featuring soft shell (steamer) clams as opposed to the typical Quahog.
Will Gilson from Garden at the Cellar was there providing a version of his awesome mini burgers on brioche (available on the GatC bar menu). These had arugula, aioli and cheese. He was getting ribbed for not having seafood, but it was a great mini burger. All of the hot offerings were between 4 and five dollars.
Sam Adams was also having a taste-off of two experimental beers a coffee lager (which tasted a lot like a stout) and a blackberry Heffewiesen.
Truth be told, this event might even be better the the Wellfleet Oysterfest. A wider variety of oysters (although Wellfleets are one of my favorites) and not quite the drive. It wasn't too crowded whereas the Oysterfeast can be a bit of a Cluster. I would have to say that the poor weather probably had a bearing on the size of the crowd, but that just meant more oysters for me.
It was a good time and I'm glad I had a way to support our local Shellfishermen. I hope they have it again next year.
I went, too. Got there around 1:00 and it wasn't crowded at all. Good thing, too, because the outside space (where the raw oysters were) was pretty tight. Stuffed ourselves on oysters (I had two of each variety) with a few clams thrown in for good measure. It was a great Sunday lunch! Thanks to the Hounds who pointed it out.
We were surprised that it wasn't jam-packed. (But was that because of the weather or that not enough people got word?), And agree, they should have spread the aqua-famers out some, because there was plenty of room inside the brewery. Talked with Rowan Jacobsen who was there selling his Geography of Oysters, which was a nice touch to the event. Liked the Sam Adams tastings, but the Ipswich chowder was awful and pricey compared with other offerings. We couldn't even eat it, it was that bad. Gilson's burger was okay, but not sure what that had to do with a celebration of oysters? The photos the organizers were auctioning were just gorgeous too. Over all a very nice event, and one I expect will grow if they host it again.
Hi all, As one of the folks who helped organize that event, thank you all for attending! The shellfish farmers told me that they had a great time. I'll be sure to pass your feedback on to the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association and the Boston Beer Company.
We knew the raw bars would be crowded but the Boston Beer Company couldn't allow shucking inside the brewery - so we did the best we could! We'll see what can be done to get a better flow of traffic next year. The burgers, by the way, were just our effort to make sure that non-seafood loving friends of seafood lovers had something that they could eat.
At any rate, it was really wonderful to see everyone there! Thank you!
Thanks for the great reviews. I was a bad Hound, got discouraged by the rain and stayed home to do other things... including Barmy's green chile stew:
Sorry to have missed it, it sounds like all the local growers' selections were really great!