Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Maybe it's my fault. I should have insisted on a full explanation on the label.

1914 Whitbread Porter and SSS Stout. That's where my recreation brewing career started. I pitched an idea to an importer and found a brewer. What was that idea? You need to understand my motivation  to get beers brewed first. 

Frustration. Frustration with stupid arguments with brainwashed geeks about beer history. In particular, the difference between Porter and Stout. How best to demonstrate that historically they were just different strength versions of the same thing?

Easy. Get someone to brew a Porter and Stout recipe from the same year from the same brewery. That's the core of my recreation idea. Release a brace of brews whose relationship taught something about beer history. Either two related styles from the same year or the same style from different years.

I thought it was a pretty groovy concept. At least two others agreed.

I hoped the beers would be drunk side by side and my point would be clear. Fat chance. Not necessarily the fault of the punter. No guarantee they could find or afford both.

Judging by these comments on ratings sites, my efforts were in vain.

"Billed as a stout on the chalkboard at the Shelton Bros event - you could/should bump this up into the 'imperial porter' category."

"Lists as an imperial stout but does feel more porter like."

"Really a flavorful malty porter."

"The mouthfeel leaned more towards a Porter than a stout"

"The label describes this beer as a porter, but it definitely isn't. It is somewhere between a light, chocolatey quad, a Belgian stout, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale."

"Think brown porter."

"The result is an old fashioned porter/stout which has a lot in common with current (imperial) brown ale style, so I think they definitely got the point with this recipe."

"it feels lighter in body than a porter. More like a brown ale"

"I’m getting modern porter here."

"The bottle we had said porter, but we believe it to be the same. Nice rich RIS"

"Great stout that may actually may be an exceptional Porter."

"turns out i put the 1914 porter here by mistake.. opps"

"drinkable in quantity if i were into porters masked as thin imperial stouts"

"mouthfeel i find a little thin for my liking more like a porter"
Incidentally, if you want to learn more about Porter and Stout, the differences between them and even the recipes for the two 1914 beers, you should buy my book "Porter!" . There's a 20% discount on the hardback until the end of October.


The Beer Nut said...

"The bottle we had said porter, but we believe it to be the same. Nice rich RIS"

Hard to know if they should be banned from drinking beer or writing things on the Internet. One of the two.

Velky Al said...

Only one of the two?

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut,

that one struck me, too. I can't believe anyone could mistake the one for the other. And especially not the Porter for an Imperial Stout.