"Basically, the premise was the combination of raw oysters with stouts," O'Shaughnessy says ― it's the very focus of the Galway Oyster Festival in Ireland. But what would a sprawling American food and music event be without deep-fryers and BBQ sauce? Expect deep-fried oysters, barbecued oysters, and festival food that'll have more in common with, say, Folsom Street than Galway: hot dogs, empanadas, tri-tip sandwiches.
Drakes Bay Oyster Farm will be the biggest supplier of the 65,000 oysters O'Shaughnessy reckons will be slurped Saturday in one form or another, though some will come from Oregon and Washington, even a few from Hog Island ― eight varieties in all. A mini oyster expo will demonstrate how the bivalves grow.
One thing Oysterfest will have in common with its Galway mentor is beer from Guinness, a sponsor. But there'll be Aussie wines from Deakin Estate, and a bar full of hard liquors ― no doubt a few vodka tonics will ease the gag reflex for contestants in the shuck and swallow contest (last year's winner slurped 124 just-opened oysters in 7 minutes). And for $20, you can attend a booze-pairing tutorial that'll demonstrate the Guinness beers, Deakin wines, even Scotch.
Now what was that about a drunken slog?
11th Annual San Francisco Oysterfest
Date: Sat., May 15, 11 a.m.
Location: The Great Meadow at Fort Mason, Laguna and Bay Streets
Cost: $30; kids under 14 free
Tickets: Buy online