Beer is beer, right? Not quite. There are many different types of beer, and each beer lover has his or her favorite style when visiting a craft brewery, bar or nearby beer retailer.
Stout is one type of beer that has an extensive following, and is frequently consumed on St. Patrick’s Day and at Irish pubs.
The beer information site Just Beer describes stout as a dark style beer. Stouts are typically rich and dark in color. Their flavor is described as coffee-like or chocolately. Stouts have a distinctive smooth, creamy texture that differs from most other beers.
Stout was first documented in the 17th century and was a term used to describe a very strong beer. Dark beers called porters were very popular at the time and brewers began experimenting with porters of different strengths. Those containing roughly seven or eight percent alcohol by volume, among the strongest porters, were known as stout porters. However, it would take quite a while for these porters to be known only as stouts. Even one of the world’s most recognizable stouts, Guinness, was once called a porter.
Stouts are distinguishable from porters in their ingredients. Porters use roast malted barley, according to Renegade Brewing. Stouts are made from black patent malt. Stouts are further classified into “milk” or “dry” stouts. Milk stout is a stout sweetened with lactose. Dry stouts are more bitter. Stouts also may be named as chocolate stout, oyster stout or oatmeal stout, depending on the ingredients used in the brewing process.