What Is A Porter Beer?

When people think of the world of beer and the different forms that the drink comes in, there are lots of brews that come to mind straight away. Lagers, ales, and stouts are popular choices among the beer drinking crowd and are seen in pubs and bars all over the world.

However, there are lots more that people might miss if they didn’t know about them beforehand.

What Is A Porter Beer?

Porter beers are a great beer for those to enjoy, however, they definitely aren’t known nearly as well as the other types of beers frequently seen throughout the world of alcoholic beverages.

But, what are porter beers? What do they taste like? 

Follow our guide to find more out about the beverage so you can decide for yourself if you think it’s something you’d like to try in the future. After all, there are many forms of beers out there just waiting to be tried!

What Is Porter Beer?

As you might’ve guessed, porter beer is a type of beer that is drunk in lots of different places around the world. With lots of hops, this type of beer has a very distinct taste and has a very malty finish. 

Coming in a dark color, porter beer has a dark appearance and definitely looks heavy. Being first made in London, England, this particular beer has been around for hundreds of years.

First introduced during the early 18th century, this beer has been a fan favorite for a long time.

As we mentioned, the color of this particular beer is dark, reminding many people of a stout beer. This is no coincidence!

Stouts and porter beers have been closely linked for hundreds of years, with stouts originally being called stout porters, before the name was shortened. 

For example, Guinness was originally called Guinness Extra Superior Porter. The most popular stout in the world, this wasn’t actually called Extra Stout until the early 1840s. 

What’s The Difference Between A Stout And A Porter?

Many describe a porter beer as a dark beer revolving around malty, cloudy vibes and tones. However, the flavor isn’t all there is to this beer.

With a relatively thick and dark presentation, this beer is definitely for those who love a thick ale or a dark drink to enjoy. 

Stouts on the other hand are fairly strong with a bitter and hoppy finish. On top of this, they are also dark and tend to be highly roasted, with hints of chocolate and coffee in certain types of stout, such as Guinness.

These tend to be creamy and similar to an ale, whereas, porter beers are a bit more complex.

If you’re a fan of one of these, then you’re bound to like the other! With very similar qualities and some differences, it all depends on what you enjoy most about the drink.

If you enjoy the darkness of a stout, then you’re more than likely going to enjoy a good, cold porter beer.

What Do Porter Beers Taste Like?

What Do Porter Beers Taste Like?

We just touched on this question, but it’s always good to dive into this area a bit more so you can understand exactly what to expect when drinking a fine porter beer.

At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy the taste of a beer, then it’s very unlikely that you’re going to drink it very often.

There are different types of porter beers, so the flavor is bound to vary from beer to beer, however, there are certain flavors and qualities that are a mainstay throughout porter beers of all forms.

They are very malty, and this is probably the main thing you need to consider. If you don’t like drinks with lots of malts, then you probably won’t like porter beers.

Very complex with flavors and tones, they are very dark and provide the drinker with a wonderful aftertaste that is bound to allow the tongue’s taste buds to dance with flavor.

Different Types Of Porter Beers

The Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guide (BJCP) and The Brewers Association Style Guide (AOB) recognize different types of porter beers in the modern world.

We’ll have a look into a few of these now so you can determine which type suits you best.

Styles Recognized By BJCP

This one is relatively short, with Pre-Prohibition Porter being the main one that this program recognizes individually.

An American take on an English porter style, this beer type was actually promoted by George Washington and has been around for hundreds of years.

Styles Recognized By AOB

Robust Porters are a very dark version of the beer and have a lot of fruity esters present throughout the drink. These are great for those beer drinkers who love a fruity finish to their beverage.

Smoke porters are another type of porter beer that is recognized by the AOB and mixes a smoky aroma and malt flavor to have a very unique and distinguished finish.

These are usually dark brown or black in appearance and look very dark.

Porters Recognized By Both

English Porters, or Brown Porters, are the original form of this beer and have been around since the very start of this journey.

Coming in at a medium-brown or a darker shade, this beer is great for those who don’t wish to have smoky flavors present.

American porters are a great alternative to the latter and are seen everywhere around the world. Usually stronger than the English version, these are nice for those who look for a stronger drink.


Porter beers are a great drink and have their own defining qualities that make them stand out from different beers. Because of their smoky and malty flavors, they’re great for people who want a bit more of a kick to their beer.

Because of this, many people compare them to stouts as they have a distinct similarity to the popular beer.

However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that there are definitely some differences that make them their very own unique drink that needs to be tried!

Robert Kaser
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