Ben: Oysterhouse Brewing Company was the smallest brewery we visited, as it was basically a side project for the Lobster Trap restaurant and oyster bar. As I waited for what was to become the most delicious shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted, I was able to see the three or four barrels behind the bar, next to the kitchen, comprising the entirety of the brewery, which opened in 2009.
Jill: Just as one wouldn’t expect a seaside-themed restaurant in western North Carolina, no passerby would suspect that this place would house a brewery. With decor and menus appealing to a high-end palate (and wallet), the Lobster Trap conceals its little pearl well. Luckily, my travelling companion had thoroughly scoured the entire internet for information about Asheville and her beers, so pursual of Oysterhouse (and the lovely meal the search produced) was always on our list. The story of how Oysterhouse came to be is very Ashevillian in nature. Someone said, “I’d like to do this,” and someone else said, “Go for it,” and as a result, I got to eat a tray full of oysters on a trip that was supposed to be primarily about beer.
Ben: The variety of beers available fairly standard for the most part, but all were quite delicious brews. They featured the Patton Avenue Pale Ale, a nice citrusy American Pale Ale, an India Pale Ale, which was basically a hoppier and slightly more alcoholic version of the Pale, and their Moonstone Stout.
Of all three, the Moonstone Stout set itself apart the most, as it is brewed with actual oysters. While this, perhaps thankfully, does not impart a fish-flavor to the beer, there are distinct notes of mineral in the flavor of the beer from the shells used. The beer is otherwise a solid, delicious Irish Dry Stout—roasty and extremely smooth.
Ben’s Favorite beer: Moonstone Stout