Stouts, Porters, Stout Porters

Stouts and porters were developed in England in the 1720’s. They are a dark, top-fermented beer and remain very intertwined to this day. Stouts are made in several varieties including dry stout, Baltic porter, milk stout, and imperial stout. In fact, Stout used to be an adjective to describe a porter as a “stout porter” before it took on a life of its own.

Stout was originally a term that described the taste of the beer, as being a “stout beer” or rich, strong beer as early as 1677.  It wasn’t until 1722 that the term stout was used as a style of beer, differentiating it from its predecessor, the porter.  More recently, the term “stout” has become more associated with the color, rather than the original “stout” taste characteristics and ABV.

Though different varieties, stouts and porters share many characteristics and are sometimes used interchangeably. “Even today, there are not many distinctions between stouts and porters, and the terms are used by different breweries almost interchangeably to describe dark ales, and the two styles have more in common than in distinction.”

Stouts are most notably recognized for their dark, color.  This comes from brewing with roasted malts, giving it a smooth, sweet, and almost chocolaty taste.  “Most people who take the plunge into the “dark side” of beer exploration are surprised to find out that stouts are neither heavy nor terribly strong.” They are often mistaken for heavy, high alcohol, high calorie beverages.  This couldn’t be farther than the truth.  A Guinness stout contains the same ABV (4.2%) as Coors Light and only 15 calories more than a Bud Light.  (110cal).

Smooth sipping stouts have staying-power and will continue to grow and evolve as they have for the last 300 years.

Sources Cited