Around Maine

An Inside Look at Maine Oyster Company’s Basecamp

April 16, 2021

When it comes to oysters, there really is a lot more than meets the eye. And the same is certainly true with Maine Oyster Company, especially at Basecamp.

Sure, you may know them because of their restaurant in Portland, but they also have an oyster farm in Phippsburg that I had the pleasure of visiting in late October.

It was a warmer than normal fall, so the opportunity to learn how to shuck oysters, check out the farm, and even enjoy some grilled lobster rolls hot off the grill was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Here’s your inside look at MOC’s Basecamp!

Welcome to Basecamp

One of the gorgeous views you'll see at Basecamp

Phippsburg isn’t technically that far from Portland but it can feel like it’s a whole other world away. In today’s climate, this isn’t a bad thing at all.

In fact, it was a much needed escape. Who wouldn’t want to learn more about oysters, aquaculture, and how Maine’s seafood industry really works?

Not to mention finally getting to learn how to shuck an oyster! I mean, living in Maine this was really inevitable. In fact, I’m a little surprised it took me this long to learn how to shuck one.

Oysters as far as the eyes can see

We spent our day at Basecamp with John Herrigel, who has been a key component of Maine Oyster Company since day 1 and is also someone I’ve known for quite some time. At one point, I worked for him when he was a realtor, but the oyster life definitely suits him!

To start, we got on his boat to see the oysters, learning a little bit about Phippsburg and the area along the way. Granted, I don’t exactly know what I thought an oyster farm would look like, but it was surprising to see it right in front of us when we arrived not even 10 minutes later.

Got oysters at Basecamp?

Yes, there were pretty much oysters as far as the eye could see. So it makes sense that millions of oysters come out of Maine every year. For many people, when they think of aquaculture and seafood in Maine, the first thing they think of is obviously going to be lobster.

But oysters in Maine are gaining popularity, and it’s in no small part due to oyster farms like Maine Oyster Company. And for the record, there is nothing sweeter than an oyster that’s fresh out of the water not even two minutes before that you get to shuck yourself!

You haven’t lived until you’ve had a grilled oyster

Yes, those are oysters on the grill you're looking at..Basecamp has it all!

After a quick tour of the farm, it was time to head back and eat. I mean, let’s be honest here, eating is usually my favorite part of any event, and this was no exception.

To start, there were oysters that we shucked ourselves while the grill got going. Not only were the buns for the lobster rolls being grilled but so were some of the oysters! I mean, why not?

The finished product..Basecamp feeds you good!

The grilled oysters were then served with a little bit of melted butter and a touch of lemon. They were sweet, a touch briny, and delicious! Before our day at Basecamp, I’d never tried a grilled oyster or really even considered that you could grill them. Now, it may be one of my new favorite ways to have them, unless they are on the half shell and fresh from the water. That’s always my favorite, but each to their own, right?

Lobster rolls, anyone?

After we had our fair share of grilled oysters, it was time to eat some lobster rolls! Fresh lobster is seriously one of the best things about living in Maine. Sure, the blueberries are great, and I love a boat ride on a hot summer’s day, but nothing beats lobster in the summer when it’s fresh and just a tiny bit sweet.

Love lobster rolls? Basecamp has those too!

That sweet flavor is a sure-fire sign that your lobster is fresh! It’s the lobster weather that makes living here worth it in my opinion. So anyway, we enjoyed plenty of lobster rolls on freshly grilled buns, along with some chips on a perfect fall day.

Not to mention that where Basecamp is located basically looks like the setting for a postcard or something you’d see in a movie. It’s just that beautiful! Combine the views, the fresh food, and good company and you’ve got great times you’ll never forget.

Want to check out Basecamp for yourself? Tours and experiences are now available for the spring and summer, so learn more about it here! You can even order oysters straight from the farm to your door from MOC as well, so what’s not to love?

Whether you visit the restaurant (which is a must!) or you check out Basecamp for yourself, there’s plenty of oyster love to go around!