Top pub and brewery team up to create new oyster stout to aid Solent restoration project

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BREWERS have teamed up with a nationally-renowned village pub to create a beer that tastes good and does good.

From today, the Blue Bell Inn in Emsworth will serve its new Bishop Slayer oyster stout in a bid to raise cash for the Solent Oyster Restoration Project.

Joe Ross from Staggeringly Good Brewery with Morven Robertson, UK project manager of the Blue Marine Foundation, and Giles Babb, landlord of the Blue Bell Inn

Joe Ross from Staggeringly Good Brewery with Morven Robertson, UK project manager of the Blue Marine Foundation, and Giles Babb, landlord of the Blue Bell Inn

The maritime initiative, pioneered by the Blue Marine Foundation, aims to restore the Solent’s once-prosperous oyster population by 2020.

To aid its cause, the Blue Bell Inn launched the quirky beverage last night – which has been produced in partnership with Fratton brewers Staggeringly Good.

Giles Babb is the landlord of the venue, which scooped a national Best Pub award in 2016.

Mr Babb said: ‘We are really pleased to launch our new oyster stout alongside Staggeringly Good.

Bishop Slayer Oyster Stout

Bishop Slayer Oyster Stout

‘This has been something I have wanted to try for a while. To have the opportunity to create and serve this product and support the restoration project at the same time is fantastic.’

Once the largest oyster fishery in Europe, the Solent’s waters were closed to farming for the species in 2013 after their stocks crashed.

It is hoped cash made by the Bishop Slayer will have an impact on plans to reintroduce five million of the molluscs into the waterway over the next three years – while simultaneously revisiting an infamous piece of Emsworth history.

Mr Babb said: ‘In 1902, the Dean of Winchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend William Stephens, died of food poisoning after eating an oyster at a banquet in Emsworth – this is where our beer takes its name.

‘This tragic incident dragged the village’s reputation through the mud, but now we hope it can give our beer-lovers an interesting talking point.’

Joe Ross, lead brewer at Staggeringly Good, said: ‘Drinkers can rest assured Bishop Slayer does not taste like seafood!

‘Oysters have been traditionally used in stout for years and they give this one a beautiful, rich taste and a deep sense of character.

‘And at 5.6 per cent, it’s not too heavy either. We’re really happy to be part of the cause.’

Bishop Slayer can also be bought from the cask at the Wheelwright’s Arms in Havant and in 330ml cans from a number of merchants.