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Porter vs Stout – What’s the Difference?

Porter and Stout. Both make out-of-this-world beer gifts. And both are D-E-licious! But what’s the difference? 

Well…not a lot, really. Still, we’ve written a super interesting blog about it anyway. So, wanna sound like you know your stuff next Thursday down the pub? Yeah, you do!

What is porter beer?

Porter is a dark beer. But not in, like, an evil villain sort of way. Porters are made from malted barley and brewed through top fermentation with ale yeast. This concoction results in a deep and complex, dark brown, malty-flavoured beer.


Okay, time for a history lesson. No snoozing in class. Yes, we can see you in the back there. If you’re wondering what came first, the porter or the stout, it was…porter beer! (Not quite as exciting as the chicken or the egg debate.) 

Porter is a craft beer that was first made in London in the 1700s, using one-third beer, ale and strong beer. Since most other beers back then needed to be left to age, porter was the one and only beer that could be drank right away!

Originally, it was called ‘entire’, but that sounded a bit weird, so it was changed to ‘porter’. We don’t really know why. But some people think it’s because it was ultra-popular with porters. Makes sense. 

Types of porter

Don’t be fooled into thinking there’s only one type of porter. The human race has made a bunch of different types!

English porter / Brown porter

The OG porter. You just can’t beat a classic London porter…oh, by the way, we had limited release of Dark Matter, our very own London porter, but it's now sold out! Watch this space. 

Baltic porter

This European porter is almost black in colour, brewed with lager yeast and cold fermented. Strong stuff!

American porter

America just always have to try and outdo us, don’t they? Jokes. We actually love your beer. Which is why we made Gamma Ray. Anyway, American porter is like English porter, just stronger.

Smoked porter

You’re a bunch of smart beans, so we’re sure you can guess that smoked porters are pretty smokey in both flavours and aromas. Try our smoked porter, Smog Rocket

Chocolate porter

Loads of porters are brewed with chocolate malts. It doesn’t get better than that, right?! Oh, wait, yes, it does, cause we made one too! Lost Galaxy was our take on a chocolate porter, it's now sold out, but check our limited edition beers for other porters!

What is stout beer?

Right. Onto stout beer. Stouts are black in colour with a bittersweet, roasted, coffee-like flavour. They’re actually related to porters. But stouts are like the younger, cooler, more popular sibling while porters are the eye-rolling, ‘I was here first’, older sibling. 


Stouts were an experiment. Like with all craft beers. The Irish decided that porter beer wasn’t strong enough for their liking. So, they evolved the porter recipe into the stouts we all know and love today.

You’ll normally find more stouts on tap in pubs than porters. And they’re usually everyone’s first dark beer experience. Stouts are smooth, creamy and easy to drink - it’s no wonder why they’re so loved! And they have a bit more room to experiment with different flavours.

Types of stout

Here are some of the different stouts you can chug down (um, responsibly, ofc):

Irish stout

Brace yourselves. Irish stout might be a shock to the system. Also known as ‘dry stout’, this beer has strong coffee flavours. Just like our top-secret upcoming coffee stout coming November 13th. Oops. Did we just say that out loud? 

Imperial stout

Big, bold and beautiful, imperial stout has some intense flavours. Think roasty, burnt malt with dark, dried fruit and a bittersweet finish.

Oatmeal stout

Oatmeal stout features oatmeal flavours. Sounds weird, right? But somehow, it works. You just have to try it to believe it.

Milk stout

Milk stout, or cream stout, is dark and sweet with a coffee and cream flavour. Ugh, perfection!

Coffee stout

Spresso is an ink black coffee stout made using chocolate malt and midnight oil coffee concentrate from our pals at Climpson & Sons. Check it out here

Look, there’s only so much we can tell you about stout and porter. But really you need to taste the difference yourself. 

If you’re still reading, here’s our IPA vs Pale Ale guide!