Originating in the United Kingdom, porter is a beer made with deeply-roasted malts which gives it a dark color. It was a blend of three styles: an old or stale ale, a new ale, and a weak ale. It was aged in barrels and was sometimes referred to as an “Entire Butt” which means entire barrel.

Sir Arthur Guinness’ first mass produced beer was a porter that came in two strengths and marked with X or XX. This was renamed to Guinness Extra Stout Porter. From the porter came a darker, creamer ale know as stout.

The porter has seen a revival in the last 20 years with microbreweries like Sierra Nevada which makes a traditional porter.

porter

Here is a nice diagram of all beer types arranged in a sort of family tree. Michael Jackson also has a decent beer styles section on his Beer Hunter site.

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