Eat and drink for a cause this weekend at the Stout and Oyster Festival

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Oyster and Beer Festival
Club 76 will host a festival and fundraiser to celebrate oysters and beer. — photo by paumelia

Enjoy an ice-cold stout and plate of oysters this Saturday, Feb. 7 from 2 – 7 p.m. at Club 76 (2349 Mehaffey Bridge Rd. N.E., North Liberty) for their 2nd Annual Stout and Oyster Festival.

According to event coordinator Jeremy Freerks, oyster and stout are an incredibly popular food pairing, with the brininess of the oyster pairing very well with the beer’s chocolate flavors. In fact, Massachusetts-based Harpoon Brewery is known to place whole oysters in their stouts during the brewing process because of the way the beer’s sweetness and oyster’s saltiness work together.

“During the previous festival, we offered two main ways to order oysters,” said Freerks. “We stuck with what is known as traditional American style, serving the oysters straight up with Lemon and a horseradish sauce, while also offering a Japanese style. The Japanese method includes vinaigrette pickles and is generally a little more briny. Both went over very well.”

This year, oysters will also be prepared in a low country boil or over a wood fire if patrons don’t wish to eat them raw. Club 76 will be offering fresh, warm-water and cold-water oysters.

In addition to slurping down oysters and beer, attendees can enter a raffle for the chance to win hard-to-find brews. The event is family friendly, and there will be live music.

The cost to attend the festival is $20, which includes a dozen oysters prepared in any style, as well as one stout or beer of your choice in a pint glass to take home. Tickets can be purchased at Club 76 on the day of the event, and proceeds from the festival will go to the American Legion Post 1976 Veterans Memorial.

“Last year, we started several phases of this charity dedicated to current and former veterans,” said Freerks. “Members of the American Legion have been selling bricks for a future memorial. Patrons can purchase bricks and place their own inscription or name of a veteran they know on them. We’re hoping to build a walking garden and line it with the bricks we sell.”

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