Back the present day and the situation looks more hopeful. The reintroduction of native oysters to the oyster beds off Mumbles is reviving interest in the history of the local oyster fishery and in the gastronomic joy of eating oysters. Local businesses and the local community are already drawing on the inspiration of the return of the native oyster to develop new products and revive old traditions.
Oyster StoutContrary to the modern day perceptions of oysters as the food of the rich or as a rare treat, in Victorian times oysters were an everyday food for people living around British coasts. More often than not Victorian oysters were washed down with a good pint of stout, and not a delicate French Chablis or Champagne, hence the term “oyster stout”. To celebrate the restoration of the Mumbles Oyster and to mark the beginning of the traditional oyster season The Mumbles Brewery has teamed up with the Mumbles Oyster Company to brew an oyster stout much like those enjoyed when the shellfish were more common fare.
Oystermouth Stout follows a recipe researched and developed by Head Brewer at Mumbles Brewery Rob Turner with the help of Andy Woolmer of the Mumbles Oyster Company. Although stout is more commonly associated with Ireland and a certain brewery in Dublin it was once brewed by local breweries around the British Isles each with its own character. In addition to a few tricks of Rob’s own, Mumbles Brewery’s Oystermouth Stout has a special addition which adds a certain character of its own: oysters from the Mumbles Oyster Company!
Mumbles Oyster FestivalFollowing the inaugural event in 2012 at the very beginning of our work to restore the Mumbles oyster the Mumbles Development Trust has organised a 4 day oyster festival in 2013 to celebrate the Mumbles Oyster and Inshore Fisheries of Mumbles, Gower and Swansea Bay! The festival includes an 'Under the Sea' parade by local school children, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, sea shanties, a 20 piece big band, and a raucous oyster themed gig by two local bands. Oysters and other local seafood will be on sale throughout the festival as will Oystermouth Stout.
Oyster Blues – a song about reviving the oyster fishery:
Swansea based singer-songwriter Patrick Ellis penned a song calling for the revival of the oyster fishery in Swansea Bay back in 1997. He recently contacted us at Mumbles Oyster Company to play it to us. We love it and we are glad that we are fulfilling his dream. Maybe it’s all his idea anyway, inspiring us at a drunken gig 10 years ago.