What are the differences between a porter and a stout? This is something you probably asked yourself before at one point like I have. Many brewers have gotten into arguments and received a wonderful black eye for giving their opinion on the subject. This article will ease the confusion without the the black eye… I hope.
What is the difference between a porter and a stout?
The History Of It All (sort of):
Greetings! I am Focious’s most trusted minion, Trubling and I am being forced to write this. So let’s get right into it.
In the early 1700s (A.D. duh) London, both the porter and the stout rose up from some lucky brewers basement. These beers of course became popular REAL quick and was being sold all over Europe. These beers came in three classifications; Pale, Amber, and Browns. These were further categorized by alcohol strength as; Small, Common, and Stout. (Stout being the strongest of course.)
Ordering a porter during this time you would receive a “Common” brown ale (I will assume you know what that is.) If you were to order a stout you would find out that it would look the same but it would be called a “Stout” brown ale meaning a strong brown ale.
The Modern Era:
I am sure you have had a stout before reading this so you know what one tastes and looks like these days. Much like in history both the Porter and the Stout can look the same, however both being much darker in color now.
The difference between a Porter and Stout now is based on the malt the brewer uses. A porter normally uses chocoate malts which obviously gives the Porter a chocolate note and a Stout typically uses roasted barley which gives it a pronounced coffee note
In the past all Stouts and Porters originated from Brown ale which where brewed using brown barley. The differences between the two however were the strength in alcohol and now in the modern era, it’s the type of malt they use… That is it… seriously… it’s that simple.
Well I hope I helped cleared up the confusion between the two styles and if not… well I tried.