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Stout or Porter...What's the Difference?

Stout or Porter, what's the difference?

This is the question we get more than any other, particularly during the colder months.  Lets have a go at unpicking this age old question below.

A Brief History of Porter

Porter is a style of beer that originated in London, England in the 18th century. It is made from a blend of malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, and is typically dark in colour and has a strong, robust flavour.

Largely credited to Ralph Harwood, Porter was originally brewed by brewery workers as "three threads" which is a mix of beer from the three casks: strong, mild and stale. It quickly become popular among the working class, particularly porters and other manual laborers, who found the strong, sustaining beer to be a perfect pick-me-up during their long days of work.

As the popularity of porter grew, it began to be exported to other countries and even inspired the creation of other dark beers, such as stout. 

When it comes to drinking porter, it is best served at a slightly warmer temperature than other beers, around 50-55°F. This allows the rich malt and hop flavours to come through and creates a smoother, more enjoyable drinking experience.

A Brief History of Stout

As with Porter, Stout (or Stout Porter as it is traditionally known) is well known for its rich, dark colour and robust flavour profile.  Again, the origins of stout can be traced back to the 18th century in Ireland and England, where it was originally made with a heavy dose of roasted barley. This gave the beer its characteristic dark colour and slightly bitter taste.

Stout can also come in a variety of flavours such as chocolate, coffee and even fruit, these are known as flavoured stouts. These are made by adding natural or artificial flavourings to the beer during the brewing process.

OK, So Where is the Difference?

On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference between Stout's and Porters, but look beneath the surface and you'll notice a few subtle differences:

  • Porters tend to use malted barley, whereas;
  • Stouts tend to use roasted barley
  • Stouts tend to have more roasted coffee flavours, whereas;
  • Porters tend to be maltier
  • Porters tend to have a lower ABV than Stouts
  • There are many variations of Stout available, including milk, chocolate, imperial and oat

We believe the best way (and the most fun) to understand the difference between these iconic English ales is to give them a go.  Take a look our range of Stouts and Porter's.


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