There is no doubt when the weather will get colder as we settle into the winter, brave Take center stage. And while we enjoy all of its iterations: standard stout, imperial stout, and barrel-aged strong, we think this beer-infused, chocolate-infused cousin deserves a little respect, too. Of course, we are talking about the often overlooked porter. And the best porters, my friend, will ask you to rethink your seasonal choice.
For those not uninitiated, the porter style had its origins in England like many other popular beer styles. It first appeared in the eighteenth century and was named (you guessed it) after porters – individuals charged with transporting baggage.
Confusing origin story
“Stout is a direct descendant of a porter. In the 1700s it was common to use the word ‘stout’ to refer to a bolder version of alcohol than any style of beer, in much the same way we use the word ‘imperial’ today,” says Zach Fowle, Advanced Governor and Head of Marketing Department at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company. In Phoenix, Arizona. “Porter was the most popular beer of the day, and over time, ‘stout porter’ became a popular genre. But by the late 19th century the demand for casual porters had evaporated, and the gritty porter was simply reduced to stout.”
But things have changed between the nineteenth century and today more than just our tendency to wear top hats. “Today, most brewers seem to market their beer as either gritty or porter based on sentiment, rather than any noticeable stylistic differences,” he says.
Specifically, porters are known for their deep, deep black color and for their rich, sweet flavour. If you were to drink porter and stout side by side, you might have a hard time discerning the differences between the two.
Stout vs Porter is a constant topic of debate in the brewing industry. says Rob Leitner, co-founder of East Brother Brewing in Richmond, California.
“I would risk that even among professionals, blind taste testing often yields inconclusive results,” says Leitner.
The difference between porters and brave
Lightner says porters tend to be on the milder, more chocolatey end of the spectrum, while pimples are usually a bit stronger and more roasted. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule
Fawle agrees, saying, “Portraits tend to be richer, sweeter and less bitter than pelicans, with flavors of cocoa and caramel in balance with the bitterness of dark barley. Pelican bush is usually softer, drier, more malty, and more advanced for coffee—and may even contain On a touch of acidity.”
Whether they fit neatly in the boxes or not, one thing is for sure: They both make great cold-weather drinks.
“As the nights grow, drinking a light summer beer just doesn’t seem right,” says Fowle. “Porter is the perfect way to transition into winter: warm and cozy but not too heavy, with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and pie crust that match fall and holiday weather.”
It’s the perfect time to expand your inventory. Sweet, sturdy, warm, and just right for the season, here are the best porters to drink right now.
1. Deschutes Black Pot Porter
There are few porters who are more respected than the famous Black Butte Porter in Deschutes. It’s brewed with hops Cascade and Tettnang plus two-row barley, chocolate, crystal and caramel plus wheat. This year-round 5.5% ABV is great for cold-weather drinking due to its blend of roasted barley, coffee, and chocolate. It’s a strong, sweet beer that’s perfect for sipping on a crisp autumn night.
[$10.99 for a six-pack; deschutesbrewery.com]
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