Think of the limited edition cans, which feature shuckers’ photos and stats, like the aluminum version of tradable baseball cards.
In some professions, the promise of celebrity is part of the allure: actors, musicians, and nowadays, even chefs. Meanwhile, some jobs are destined for anonymity: the cameraman, the guitar tuner, and the oyster shucker. But hold up on that last one: St. Louis’s Schlafly Beer believes the people who prep our oysters haven’t been getting the credit they deserve, so the brewery is releasing a limited edition line of collectible cans featuring photos and profiles of their favorite shuckers, the aluminum version of tradable baseball cards.
Schlafly’s decision to highlight individual oyster shuckers is far from out of the blue. Next weekend, the beer brand will be holding its 19th annual Stout & Oyster Festival in the Gateway to the West. Every year, the brewery overnights thousands of oysters from both coasts and brings in a couple dozen shuckers to crack them open. That group is known as the “StarShuckers,” 25 people with different oyster backgrounds, from chefs to oyster farmers and seafood suppliers. And this year, Schlafly decided to pay tribute to the team.
“These men and women are family at this point,” explains Stephen Hale, Schlafly’s founding brewer. “We also hear from guests that they look forward to the festival for the fun, but also to see and catch up with their favorite shucker. What better way to celebrate them than to raise a beer in their honor?”
Eight shuckers, some of whom have been attending the festival since its inaugural year, were chosen to appear on eight different iterations of Schlafly Oyster Stout cans, which also features stats like “years shucking.”
“We had these beautiful photos, and someone jokingly said we should make baseball cards. It wasn’t a bad idea!” Hale continues. “Stout & Oyster Festival is a big love fest, so we hope these cans encourage guests to collect them and meet others at the festival. Go ahead and trade them with a neighbor, introduce yourself to your featured shucker and maybe grab a photo with them.”
These limited edition cans will only be sold at the festival, which takes place on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at the Schlafly Tap Room. Of course, if you can’t make it, maybe you’ll be able to find the cans on eBay at some point down the line—assuming you’re willing to shell out those huge collectors’ prices.