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Stouts & Porters

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Day is behind us and NFL season has officially begun, which means we’re looking for a heavier, heartier, more aggressive beer to fill our mugs this fall. So, for this week’s beer school lesson, we find ourselves revisiting the stout and the porter, two of our favorite ales.

Stouts and porters are both dark ales with rich, full flavors. In other words, they’ll make you feel something. Stouts, whose name denotes its very strength and weight, are rich, full and go down smooth. High in flavor and grain content, About.com says you may taste hints of coffee, chocolate, licorice and molasses. Porters are a little smokier and red-brown to black in color. The real difference between stouts and porters, according to the site, “has traditionally been gravity,” or the amount of fermentable and unfermentable substances as compared to the amount of water found in the brew.

Revived in the late 20th century by microbreweries all around the country, stouts and porters are, as you know, an American craft favorite. But, you might not know that while the styles originated and were wildly popular across the pond in the late 18th century, they don’t account for much of the British beer market today. Use that in your Thursday night bar trivia games.

All of this talk about deliciously rich brew leaves us thirsty (and hungry, but we’re always hungry). So, our weekly homework challenge-that’s-not-really-a-challenge-because-it’s-just-a-reason-to-drink-beer is to visit the local microbrewery in your area and taste their signature stout or porter. Then, in the comments or on Facebook, let us know where you went and the name of the beer you tried. Bonus points if you’re able to try a few of our favorites – Saint Arnold Pumpkinator, Rahr & Sons To Thee Snowmageddon or Southern Star Buried Hatchet.

As always, Pint Jockeys, happy sipping!

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