History of Porter

Porter became the most popular style in London in the 1700's, being attributed to a brewer called Ralph Harwood, who created a beer that could recreate the flavour of the Three Threads. The blend that Harwood created was called Entire, but it became so famous among London porters that it started to be named after them. At the same time, from the 1720s and until the early 20th century, stout—or more specifically brown stout—was another denomination for strong porter. In the first 1800s the use of the terms porter and stout had a geographical bias, being porter mostly used in the Manchester region and stout mostly in the London region, but the term stout is also found in Manchester newspapers, always referring to a strong kind of porter. Already the second half of the 19th century, the only observable difference between porter and stout was the amount of water—less water was used for stouts, so their ABV was higher. By the end of the 19th century, stout recipes started to diverge more from porter, as less roasted malt was used in favour o brown malt, and stouts started to be sweeter. After tax rises and restrictions in the WWI, their strength started to decrease, being the stout strength dropped to the same level porter had before the war, while porter decreased even further. This lead to public opinion to believe that porter was a softer version of stout. From a modern perspective, nowadays porters are considered to have more sweet-chocolate character in contrast with a more bitter-fruity touch of the stouts.

What is a Porter ?

Porter is a moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and some bitterness. May have roasted flavour—but not burnt—, and often has a chocolate, caramel and malty character. Color is brown to dark brown, and aroma is moderately low bready, biscuity malty.

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