Lighthouse Brewing Co. – Desolation Imperial Oyster Stout

Lighthouse Brewing - Desolation Oyster Stout Beer Review


4 out of 5
3.7 out of 5
3.8 out of 5


3.8 out of 5


  • Brewery: Lighthouse Brewing Co.
  • Beer Style: Imperial Stout
  • Pros:

    Big, bold and strong Imperial Stout with a twist

  • Cons:

    Rather salty, little noticeable Oyster flavour

  • Conclusion:

    Vancouver inspired Imperial Stout

Lighthouse Brewing - Desolation Oyster Stout Beer Review

Lighthouse Brewing Co. – Desolation Imperial Oyster Stout Review

You may ask yourself what is an Oyster Stout? – the BC Craft Beer answer is the latest release from Lighthouse Brewing Company. In all seriousness this beer is actually made with the use of Oysters. Sourced from Desolation Sound’s Okeover Organic Oysters this bottle even has an allergy warning on the label. Don’t get me wrong there are no chunks of clam floating around but there were oysters involved in the brewing process.

Lighthouse Brewmaster Dean McLeod discusses the addition of Oysters, “Firstly, we had to choose an oyster. There are a lot of growers in BC, mostly around Cortez Island, in Barkley Sound, and Okeover inlet at the southern end of Desolation Sound. I contacted a number of growers whose oysters seemed to fit the flavour profile I was looking for, and we received a really enthusiastic response from the guys at Okeover Organics, Chris and Andre. Oyster selected, we then had to wait for three consecutive clear PSP tests for the fishery to reopen following a red tide event in those waters. That hurdle overcome, the guys brought their oysters down to the brewery, we shucked them all and then brewed with them the next day. The briny juice was saved from inside the shells and was added halfway through the boil along with the oyster meat, which we chopped just beforehand to better extract the flavour. The oyster shells went into a mesh bag that was secured to the inside of the brew kettle for the duration of the boil. The spent oysters were left behind in the whirlpool tank, and the spent shells were returned to the ocean.”

It is pretty spectacular what you can do with beer!

The Desolation Imperial Oyster Stout pours from the bottle a deep, near black colour with 2-3 fingers of head which settles without a trace on the glass. Through the head comes notes of toasted malt, toffee and chocolate – no shellfish here… The Desolation’s mouth-feel is thick, heavy and very smooth. A creamy feel is soothing and silky which can be partially attributed to the oysters. A coffee and chocolate flavour comes through up front and simply makes you want to curl up by the fire. A boozy base is hidden by the strong flavour but still warms your throat as it goes down. As far as the Oysters go there is not much actual flavour from them, other than perhaps a light saltiness, silky texture and slight undertone the obscurity is just in the name. Whether you like Oysters or not this is a beer to try – don’t let the name scare you as it is really quite nice. A strong, heavy and warming beer for a cold winter’s day. Plus, there is a story to tell!
Alcohol – 9.3%
Size – 650ml
Price – $7.99 (Craft Retailer)



Oyster photos from Lighthouse Brewery

Oyster photos from Lighthouse Brewery

About Author

Dustan Sept

Dustan Sept is the founder of Beer Me BC. His passion for craft beer drove the creation of in 2012. To learn more about the editorial team visit


  1. Andre Comeau
    Andre Comeau 22 December, 2013, 21:30

    Had the pleasure of being chosen by Lighthouse Brewing Company to have our Okeover Organic Oysters used in the creation of B.C.’s 1st oyster stout. The results have been fantastic with a very tasty brew indeed! Got to shuck some of our oysters at two seperate stout and oyster tastings and the combination is a foodies dream! To find out where to get Okeover Organic Oysters check out our website You can also find us on Facebook and on Twitter Cheers!

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