Friday, 24 May 2019

The rebirth of Porter

Porter didn’t desert the British Isles for long. It only disappeared for four orfive years, reborn through the rekindled interest in beer ignited by CAMRA. During Real Ale revival of the 1970s, two brewers introduced beers called Porter: Penrhos Court and Timothy Taylor.

The authenticity of Timothy Taylor Porter could be doubted. The recipe was based on a Sweet Stout and it tasted like it. Far too sweet. I can remember being greatly disappointed when I first tried it.

Penrhos Court was closer, but still not quite right. At least it was somewhere near the classic pre-WW I Porter strength of 1050º.

A few other brewers released Porters in the 1980’s, with varying degrees of authenticity.

There were still only a handful of breweries producing Porter. Mostly in tiny quantities. The only established breweries in that list are Timothy Taylor and the Three Tuns. Neither of those was exactly a giant. The others are new micros and brewpubs.

For me, London Porter was reborn when Fullers released theirs. Brewed from the classic combination of pale, brown and black malt, the recipe closely resembles that of their pre-WW I Porter.

Revived Porters 1979 - 1983
Year Brewer Beer OG
1979 Penrhos Penrhos Porter 1050
1979 Timothy Taylor Porter 1043
1981 Bragdy'r Defaid Du (Black Sheep Brewery) Defaid Du 1045
1981 Bruce's (Portobello) Portobello Porter 1040
1981 Pier Hotel Pirate's Porter 1035
1981 Ringwood Blackjack Porter 1036
1981 Three Tuns Castle Steamer 1045
1983 Burton Bridge Porter 1045
1983 Dempsey Porter 1034
1983 Oak Porter 1050
1983 Royal Tunbridge Wells Entire 1055
1983 Woodforde Norfolk Porter 1042
Good Beer Guide 1980, 1982 and 1984.

You'll find more information that you'll ever need to know about Porter in my excellent book on the subject:


Chris Pickles said...

Drinking porter as I read this (James Squire's).

Alistair Reece said...

It's a pity you never got to try the Blackwall London Porter I designed for Three Notch'd here, I would like to think you have approved.