One thing that I love about our lovely city of Toronto is our propensity to collaborate and come together to support one another. Every year, Rodney’s hosts a fantastic fundraiser event to support Environmental Defence, who is Rodney’s long time charitable partner. It was our privilege to be a part of the pre-launch event to the official 26th Annual OysterFest that Rodney’s Oyster House will host on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
469 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 1K4
When it comes to charity, the more the merrier. This year, Amsterdam Brewhouse also participated in the event by not only graciously providing the space for the pre-launch but also contributed their very own oyster stout and delectable snacks for the evening. We were right in the middle of the action in the fermentation chamber and witnessed the shucked oysters being thrown into the big goblet. The sweet oyster aroma in the room was in full force. Ian from Amsterdam Brewhouse was explaining to us the beer making process but I was too consumed in getting close to the goblet to show you guys these pictures!
And now the delicious part comes! The folks from Rodney’s set up 2 tables for us and shucked different plates of oysters to taste. They were also paired with different beers, one of which was the last keg that Amsterdam had!
According to Julius (Rodney’s), there are approximately 300 types of oyster species in the world and there are primarily 5 found in North America. Later on, Kelly (Rodney’s) gave me a detailed mini-lesson on the different grades of oyster. Using Rodney’s own proprietary system, oysters are sorted based on size and quality. Quality, in particular, refers the oyster’s attributes in shape and looks. Standard is the common grade while Choice is top quality. In terms of size, bigger gets a high grade. In descending order, the Rodney’s grades are: King, Queen, Prince, and Duke.
Prepared for us that evening was four of oysters and three types of beers. There were about 320 oysters in total consumed that evening, with about 100 oysters that went into the beer stout.
The first oyster I tried was a Kusshi Gold from British Columbia. It was medium size and very smooth in texture. Paired with the Kusshi was the Ezra beer that has a fairly light flavour that complement the Kusshi well. The second oyster was a Prince oyster that was very refreshing and a little bit heftier, paired with the Rye Baltic Porter. This was the beer on its last keg—extremely rich and strong in flavour, with spices flowing and 8% alcohol content that forced me to sip it gently rather than my usual gulp. Lastly, we tried a Duke oyster and a large Queen oyster from Maine. Paired with those was the Wild Ghost, which was a mushroom lettuce flavoured beer that is a bit saltier to give it an edgy flare. This craft beer is also rare in its kind due to the use of wild yeast in its fermentation process.
Alongside the oysters, we also had some great mussels booked with curry sauce and mixed vegetables and a table of sliders to complement our oysters and beer. As a lover of seafood, needless to say, I was a happy camper that evening.
If you are drooling just thinking about this—do yourself a favour and buy a ticket to the official OysterFest taking place on Sunday, July 20 at Rodney’s Oyster House. Advanced tickets are $32 which includes 2 drink tickets and 5 oysters plus a DJ to spin some tunes to make your taste buds and feet dance—this is a steal so don’t miss out!! Plus, you’ll be supporting a great cause as portion of the funds raised will go towards Environmental Defence. Are you sold?
Thanks again to Environmental Defence for inviting us to the pre-launch, and Rodney’s and Amsterdam BrewHouse for the great food, beer, and fun!
Environmental Defence (environmentaldefence.ca) is one of the most effective environmental action organizations in Canada where government, business, and people are challenged and inspired to ensure a greener and healthier life for all.
Click here to purchase tickets to the official 26th Annual OysterFest at Rodney’s on July 20, 2014!