In this episode, we focus on the English and American Porter as listed in the 2015 BJCP guidelines. In the previous edition of those guidelines, we only knew the Brown, Robust, and Baltic variety. Whereas now, the new guidelines group the Brown and Robust variety into either the English or American category, while the Baltic was pushed into the Strong European Beer category with Doppel and Eisbocks. So, here we focus on the malt-centric, chocolate-caramel-toffee maltiness of the small-to-not-so-small versions of the style.

 

The Porter is a style with a long history. Now it is broken down into two categories, but the original version came about over 300 years ago in London and was based on a sweeter brown beer. Named for its popularity among the load-carrying working class laborers, it evolved over time due to changes in available ingredients and new processes. Eventually it became very popular around the1800s, before it nearly disappeared by the 1950s due to WWI, WWII, and changes in preference toward the light lager styles that servicemen brought home with them. But it came back around in the mid-1970s with the start of the craft beer era.  It came in a variety of ABVs and variations that used more roasted malt and was also the predecessor of the stout style due to larger stout-porter versions. These days you will find the smaller, browner versions categorized under English Porter and the higher ABV versions with more roast and body under American Porter.

 

A few great examples of this style range are referenced during the podcast sampling, but we also want to reference a few from Texas that weren't on hand, including: 512 Pecan Porter, Karbach's Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter, and of course, Panther City and Black Pepper Porter from TBI.

 

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