International Stout Day happens in

International Stout Day happens in

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About Stout - A History Lesson

Before going into the history and description of Stouts, one must first give props to its predecessor, the Porter.

Porters, a dark ale favored among London's working classes, was first developed in the early 1700s. Street and river porters provided an eager market for this new, energizing beer. The word "stout", after the fourteenth century, had taken on as one of its meanings "strong", and was used as such to describe strong beers, such as the Porter. "Stout" as in stout porter, was the strong, dark brew London's brewers developed and the dark beer that gave us what we think of today as the typical stout style.

The first stouts were produced in the 1730s. The Russian Imperial Stout was inspired by brewers back in the 1800's to win over the Russian Czar. "Imperial porter" came before "imperial stout" and the earliest noted use of "Imperial" to describe a beer comes from the Caledonian Mercury of February 1821, when a coffeehouse in Edinburgh was advertising "Edinburgh Ales, London Double Brown Stout and Imperial Porter, well worth the attention of Families".
Guinness had been brewing porters since about 1780 and are famous for their Dry or Irish Stout. Oatmeal stout beer is one of the more sweeter and smoother of the stouts. And for proof that we live in an evolving society, there's Oyster Stout and Chocolate Stout. The first known use of oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1929 in New Zealand.
Originally, stout meant "proud" or "brave", but morphed into the connotation of "strong" after the 14th century. Why on earth should this brave and strong beer style not have its own day of celebration?

Stout Styles

  1. American-Style Stout
    Low to medium malt sweetness with hints of caramel, chocolate and/or roasted coffee give it a big roasted malt aroma and flavor, sometimes bordering burnt coffee. The sweetness helps balance the bitterness of the roasted grains and hops. The majority of the character that defines American Stout comes from the specialty malts. Try Rogue Chocolate Stout, Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout or Sixpoint Diesel Stout. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.5-7% (5.7-8.8%)
    Bitterness (IBU) 35-60

  2. American-Style Imperial Stout
    A derivative of the Russian Imperial Stout, this full-bodied style is robust and higher in alcohol content. The bitterness is moderate to very high. It has a very notable malt character, and lends itself to strong flavor additions like chocolate and coffee. Many of these are barrel aged in bourbon or whiskey barrels. Try Deschutes The Abyss, The Lost Abbey’s Serpent’s Stout or Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.5-9.5% (7-12%) Bitterness (IBU) 50-80

  3. British-Style Imperial Stout
    Copper to very dark brown, this high alcohol content style has a rich, malty flavor, usually noting toffee or caramel. Hop aroma can be subtle to moderately hop-floral, -citrus or -herbal. The high alcohol content is evident in this type of stout, especially in the finish. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.5-9.5% (7-12%) Bitterness (IBU) 45-65

  4. Sweet Stout (Milk/Cream Stouts)
    This English style of stout has a mild roasted grain aroma, often with coffee and/or chocolate notes. Hop bitterness is moderate (lower than in dry stout). Historically, they are known as "Milk" or "Cream" stouts, as the full body of this beer was originally borne from incorporating milk/unfermented sugar before bottle. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson's, who claimed that "each pint contains the energizing carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk". Chocolate, malt sweetness and caramel are dominant flavor profiles. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 2.5-5% (3-6%) Bitterness (IBU) 15-25

  5. Oatmeal Stout
    This style is a smoooooooth number. A medium to full bodied style, the sweetness of this beer makes it a good companion with desserts and hearty, meaty meals. With complexities of roast, coffee, cream, and sweet malt, the oats make the mouthfeel soft and silky. Oatmeal stout was first recognized for its nutritional value and was popular in England with nursing mothers and athletes. Oatmeal Stout fell into relative obscurity in the mid-20th century, until about 1980. Try Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout or Firestone Walker Brewing Velvet Merlin. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.0-4.8% (3.8-6%)
    Bitterness (IBU) 20-40

  6. Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
    Through the use of roasted barley, this classic style has the signature dry-roasted character. Dark black in color and one of the more drinkable styles, they tend to have a lighter body. Great examples of this iconic style are classic Guinness Draught, Moylan's Dry Irish Stout, Ommegang Stout, Murphy's Irish Stout and Victory Irish Stout. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.2-4.2% (3.8-5%)
    Bitterness (IBU) 30-40

  7. Foreign (Export)-Style Stout: TBD
    Foreign-style stouts have an initial malt sweetness and caramel flavor with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. It’s a special style of stout that is similar to a Dry Stout in that they have a malty sweetness and notes of caramel, but it’s higher in alcohol with a very pronounced roasted character. There’s no hop profile here. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is an exceptional example of this style. Creamy body, molasses dominate with roasted malts & chocolate flavor, this is a delicious stout. Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.5-7.5% (5.7-9.3%) Bitterness (IBU) 30-60
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