The Maine Beer Box will be serving up beers on the mountain! On October 26, the Maine Brewers’ Guild is hosting the Maine Beer Box International Beer Fest at Sugarloaf Mountain where the world’s biggest kegerator will serve beer from dozens of Maine brewers and Canadian brewers.
The Maine Beer Box is a forty-foot refrigerated shipping container with 78 beer taps and a self-contained draft system. And on one of those taps? Sebago’s oyster stout collab with Upstreet Craft Brewing from Prince Edward Island.
Upstreet is a B-Corp certified company with three locations across two Atlantic provinces and beer in all four provinces. Our brewers first met the Upstreet crew at the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week this past spring. Our paths crossed again at the Halifax Seaport Beerfest in August, where the Maine Beer Box made an appearance. And yet another common tie: DME, the company that made Sebago’s brewhouse, is based in Upstreet’s hometown of Charlottetown.
So collaboration seemed inevitable. Hogie, Upstreet’s head brewer and co-owner, came down to the Sebago brewery with production manager Joel Walker. The beer brewed on the pilot system is an oyster stout, a first for both breweries. Upstreet brought down malt from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, plus fresh oysters from Colville Bay. We added local grains from The Hop Yard in Gorham and the Maine Malt House. Local oysters came from O’ Oysters, who shucked them for us AND brought a variety of sauces for us to try out the ingredients. #qualitycontrol
The brewers used the oysters in different ways. Whole oysters went into the boil during brewing and got added to the kettle again toward the end. The oyster shells were added to the mash to clarify the beer.
Hogie’s excited for the as-yet-unnamed stout. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think we’ll get a lot of nice toast and sweetness from the base stout. Like in cooking, adding shellfish can enhance the flavors with a briny flavor, not necessarily a salty one. And the calcium carbonate from the shells should boost the body of the beer.”