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Trapezium Brewing and The Boathouse create Boathouse Oyster Ale

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RICHMOND, Va. — Peanut butter and jelly. Ham and cheese. Oyster shells and beer. Wait. What?

Petersburg-based Trapezium Brewing Co. and The Boathouse restaurant, with locations in Chesterfield, Short Pump, and Rocketts Landing, have teamed up to create The Boathouse Oyster Ale.

The new brew will be featured at Friday night pop-up Trapezium Beer Dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park. Ahead of the event, Trapezium Brewing Co. head brewer James Frazer answered some questions about the new beer, the partnership with The Boathouse, and Central Virginia’s growing beer scene.

CBS 6: What’s the story behind the partnership between Trapezium Brewing Co. and The Boathouse?

James Frazer: The Boathouse is opening a really cool new restaurant in Hopewell, which is not far from us, and in a town, like Petersburg, that is up and coming. Mike Avery [the Boathouse Beverage Director] came to see us at Trapezium to try our beer and talk about a house beer we could work on together.

We kicked around ideas and decided on using the oyster shells he serves in his restaurants to create a full-circle dining experience. We also wanted to create a beer that is easy to drink that would be paired with all types of seafood, or enjoyed by itself.

CBS 6: Sounds fun. But… does the beer taste like oysters?

James Frazer: The Oyster Ale doesn’t taste like oysters, it just gets from the shells a bit of the brine and salinity which makes it taste really interesting.

It’s basically an American Blonde Ale with a touch of salinity in the back end of the palate.

Also, the oyster shells promote clarity, but also enhance some of the beer’s bitter flavor while creating a softer mouthfeel. The softer mouthfeel comes from the calcium carbonate contained in the shells.

CBS 6: What kind of restaurant partnerships have you done in the past? What makes a good brewery/restaurant partnership?

James Frazer: Trapezium has collaborated with a few restaurants in the past. Right now we’re working on a special blueberry IPA with FooDog, and we’re also doing the Red Army IPA with the Richmond Kickers Red Army fan base, which will be on sale at the games, and around the stadium. We’re really excited about that.

This will be our first house beer for a restaurant.

I feel that communication is important for the brewery/restaurant partnership, being on the same page collectively and creating a fresh idea from the ground up is a recipe for success.

CBS 6: Virginia’s craft beer scene has exploded. How have things changed since you started?

James Frazer: We opened last June, but we had conceived of the brewery two or three years before that. So much has changed in that time, and there are so many more breweries, and more coming online every day.

It’s very exciting to be part of this growing, very active community — it’s amazing to see all the ideas that are swirling around in the market, and to constantly pushing the quality of what we are doing, and trying new things out in the tap room, and making so many new relationships.

We’re a production brewery, so at the same time, it’s harder than ever to compete in distribution. That said, we are growing steadily, adding new employees and having a great time down here in the Tri-Cities market.

CBS 6: What do you want people to know about Trapezium?

James Frazer: We worked very hard when building this brewery, and this brand, to create a total brewery experience.

When you come to this building, it’s in a very dramatic historic structure, in a really cool setting in Old Town Petersburg. We’ve got a great group of people here, pushing hard to create some killer beers. We have an awesome courtyard, with an old houseboat out there with tap lines inside — it’s pretty sick.

Richmonders might not realize what’s going on down here — it’s actually really exciting.

CBS 6: What can people expect at the pop-up Trapezium Beer Dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park?

James Frazer: People can expect amazing food and beer pairings, and a great representation of two great brands working together locally, with fresh local ingredients. This kind of thing is why we got into the beer business. We’re very excited about it.

Click here for ticket information about the Trapezium Beer Dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park.