Beer Style Musings: The Porter

Beer Style Musings: The Porter

Beer styles continue to evolve. New subcategories are added every year. The good news is you don’t have to keep track of it all – leave that to the experts! All you need is to know enough about each of the major styles to help appreciate and share your knowledge when it comes to choosing your beer for the day. Today, we will discuss…

The Porter

History: The porter reportedly got its start in the early 1700s when a brewer in London combined older and newer beer together in a barrel and started serving it. The name “porter” was adopted for these beers because of the new brew’s immense popularity with the porters who carried goods around the city. Porter was the first beer to be aged at the brewery and dispatched in a condition fit to be drunk immediately. It was the first beer that could be made on any large scale, and the London porter brewers took advantage of its popularity.

Profile: Porters are dark brown or black in color with a tall foamy head. They have predominant notes of rich chocolate as well as coffee and sometimes smokiness. There can also be undertones of toffee and licorice. The flavor can be anywhere from light to full bodied and have a malty sweetness along with a modest to moderate hop bitterness.

Food Pairings: This brew has such a complex combination of mild flavors you can definitely enjoy it on its own. Of course, you can also take it to the next level by pairing it with grilled or smoked meats, strong cheese, a hearty stew, or anything chocolate. For a special treat, pour a porter over some vanilla ice cream to make a great float!

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.5%

Types of Porter: You can go further by breaking the porter category down into English, Baltic, and American with this great guide.

Let us know about your favorite porter. We are always open to trying new beers!

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