Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the first St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, September 25 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “History on the Half Shell” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of St. Michaels’ historic district for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront restaurants.
The two organizations have been partnering together since 2012, when Fordham launched its Rosie Parks Oyster Stout brand, made in honor of the museum’s recently restored oystering skipjack, the Rosie Parks.
Beginning in September, the brewery will be offering the stout in 12-ounce bottles, packaged in six packs, with draft also available in select Maryland, Virginia and Delaware locations. Tours and tastings will also be offered at Fordham’s headquarters in Dover, De. A portion of the stout’s sales are being donated to the non-profit museum.
The September 25 Oyster Crawl begins at 4 p.m., with participants joining CBMM’s Director of Education Kate Livie for a brief “History on the Half Shell” talk in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium. During the program, the museum will offer tastings of local, farm-raised Choptank Sweets, shucked and served by a Chesapeake waterman. To kick off the event, each participant will receive a commemorative tasting glass, as well as a 12-ounce bottle of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout.
From there, participants will take a brief walking tour along the St. Michaels harbor to sample oyster and stout pairings at the waterfront Crab Claw Restaurant, St. Michaels Crab & Steak House, Town Dock Food & Spirits and Foxy’s Harbor Grille.
Oysters will be prepared in a number of ways, including Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Casino, and raw on the half shell, with participants offered stout samplings and five plated oysters at each location.
“The stout is designed to pair well with oysters,” said Fordham Brewing Company President Jim Lutz. “This year, we’re producing 100 barrels of the one-batch stout, which is brewed with Chesapeake Bay oysters and shells to give it a slight briny taste.”
The skipjack Rosie Parks was built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, and was named for their mother. CBMM purchased the sailing workboat in 1975 from Captain Orville, after 20 years dredging oysters along the Chesapeake Bay. Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races. She is now a floating exhibit and ambassador of the museum, with participation planned for this year’s skipjack races.
The cost for the St. Michaels Oyster Crawl is $65 per person, or $55 for CBMM members, with limited participation and registration needed by Monday, September 22. To register, call CBMM at 410-745-4941. The event is generously sponsored by the participating restaurants, as well as Kelly Distributors of Easton, Md. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or www.fordhambrewing.com