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All about porter beers
What is a porter?
Porter beer was the first mainstream ale in the history of brewing. In the 18th century, its popularity brought the activity of brewing from small-scale pubs to large industries. This beer type has a dark brown hue, typically darker than the color of an ale, and each variety has a slightly different but striking flavor profile.
Porters have a low International Bittering Units (IBU) rating of between 18 and 35, which results in a not-so-hoppy aroma. They also have a moderate alcohol content, with an alcohol by volume (ABV) value of 4% to 7%.
History of the porter beer
Porter ales were born in the 18th century, in the era of the Industrial Revolution. There are two different legends about its invention. Some say that brewers grew tired of having to mix existing beers to fit the preferences of their customers, so they invented a new style that included a mix of the characteristics of all existing styles. Others state that some brewers in London faced harsh competition, so they invented porter, a higher-quality beer, to attract consumers.
Types of porter
There are two types of porter: British and American. British porters are the most common on the shelves of craft beer stores, and they tend to feature notes of malt, toffee and caramel. There are two subcategories of British porters, which are brown and robust porters. The latter have a darker hue and a higher ABV value.
American porters can feature almost any flavor note. Many brewers in the United States like to incorporate different flavors into their porters, including chocolate, coffee, vanilla and fruits. There are also bacon porters if you dare.