Jamie Davenport farms Davenport Oysters (Atlantic Oysters - Crassostrea virginica) in Cape Cod Bay near East Dennis, Massachusetts. The salinity of the area is 3.1% to 3.5% although flows from Quivet Creek may dilute it slightly. Large tides averaging 8 to 10 feet flush the area. The area has a clean sandy bottom.
Jamie starts the oyster seed out in mesh bags on steel racks and when large enough (1") he grows the oysters out on Aquatrays. Davenports range from 3" to 3.25" with a tear drop shape and full cups. The caps range from brown with a light green algae wash to darker brown with dark green to purple highlights. The cups are lightly ridged and bone white on the high points and with a light brownish green wash on the low points.
Davenports are about 85% meat and 15% liquor. The oysters have a tidal pool smell with a little meat and mushroom. They are a little less than potato chip salty with some bone broth, lightly sweet with medium umami. Davenports finish with a sweet mineral taste. The texture is firm, springy, meaty and crisp with some crunchy bits where the abductor attaches to the shell. The liquor is brothy rich and salty but as soon as you bite down the sweetness comes through and there is some butter in the chew and traces of cucumber. I start eating the Davenports with a can of Indeed Lucy Session Sour (4.2% alcohol by volume) a medium tart light beer loaded with topical fruit flavor. Lucy cleans up the oyster a little bit softening the salt down to oyster cracker levels and bringing out the light meat flavors and revealing a hint of cheese while masking some of the vegetable notes.
It seems appropriate to follow the Lucy up with a Pipeworks Glaucus - a Belgian IPA named after a mythological figure that is both man and fish. The Glaucus is palate cleansing but the Belgian yeast character improves the Davenport's lingering aftertastes revealing hints of melon, mushrooms sautéed in butter and a trace of olive. The oyster's saltiness tones down some of the Glaucus's Belgian yeast funk while the beer has a pleasant bitter accent that plays well with the oyster's sweetness. Glaucus is bone dry, does not get in the way but shows up when needed. Eating the oyster and then taking a sip of Glaucus improves both, giving the beer more dimension and bringing new flavors forward in both the beer and the oyster. The beer washes out what is necessary, leaving the essentials which mix with the beer's flavors to create something new. The marriage is earthy, rustic and yet elegant. I rate the pairing 95, have rated the beer 85 and I rate the oyster 89.