If you love oysters, you've probably heard of the "R" rule, which stipulates not to eat the bivalves in months that don't contain an "R" (i.e. May to August are out). It’s tough to reconcile this concept with the fact that crisp, briny oysters on ice—the flavors of the beach in every half shell—are pretty much the perfect thing to eat all summer long. Luckily, the rule is bunk. Julie Qiu, who writes inahalfshell.com, confirms that in the modern era of refrigeration and water and harvest regulations, there are no longer safety issues related to eating professionally grown summer oysters.
So, what to drink? Beer is excellent with oysters, but the traditional pairings—like dark oyster stouts—are best suited for fall. In spring and summer, we beer drinkers want something a bit fresher with our chilled oysters. Luckily, there are plenty of options. See below for three refreshing beers that are amazing with oysters.
S.I.P.A. Session IPA from Ipswich Ale Brewery is a low-alcohol “session” IPA brewed with Simcoe, Ella and Mosaic hops, all of which are at the zesty, aggressively citrus end of the spectrum. At 3.9 percent ABV, you can drink it all day, and the hops are lemony enough that the oysters don’t need a garnish.