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 might have something exciting in the works coming just before Christmas *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.
This European porter is almost black in colour, brewed with lager yeast and cold fermented. Strong stuff!
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.
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. Put October 4th in your calendars cause we’re bringing out our very own smoked porter, Smog Rocket!
Loads of porters are brewed with chocolate malts. It doesn’t get better than that, right?! Oh, wait, yes, it does, cause we’ve made one too! Keep your eyes peeled on our website on November 6th for some chocolatey goodness that will blow your minds as we expand our Christmas Beer selection.
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):
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?
Big, bold and beautiful, imperial stout has some intense flavours. Think roasty, burnt malt with dark, dried fruit and a bittersweet finish.
Oatmeal stout features oatmeal flavours. Sounds weird, right? But somehow, it works. You just have to try it to believe it.
Milk stout, or cream stout, is dark and sweet with a coffee and cream flavour. Ugh, perfection!
Look, there’s only so much we can tell you about stout and porter. But really you need to taste the difference yourself. Head on down to our Taproom in London and give them a go!
If you’re still reading, here’s our IPA vs Pale Ale guide!