The word “stout” used to refer to strong beers way back in the late 1600s to early 1700s. These were stronger, full-bodied varieties of porters, usually called “stout porters.” Porters originated in London and became extremely popular among porters (which explains the name), since its flavor was so strong, it didn’t go bad as quickly, tasted great in the heat and was cheaper than other beers. Along with porters, “stout” was used to describe strong versions of all different types of beers. It still wasn’t it’s own style. In the UK, someone could use it to describe a strong pale ale (“stout pale ale”). Weird, right? As time went on, “stout” was only used to describe porters.
1. It has less calories than beer. Thick and frothy, and with an alcohol content of up to eight per cent, it’s understandable why stout is often misunderstood as packing more calories than other types of beer. The truth is, a mug of stout can have up to 50 fewer calories than other brews.
2. According to researchers from the University of Wisconsin in the US, stout possesses antioxidants not found in other lagers. What’s more, it also contains traces of iron. It turns out the high-temperature roasting process that is required to develop the smooth finish of dark malts also fuels the formation of antioxidants.
3. What really differentiates a stout from other beers styles is its standout, roasted flavor. This flavor comes from roasted barley, which is made by highly kilning barley grain that has not been malted.
4. Stout is perfect with full-bodied foods like steak because they have caramelised and roasted flavours that match perfectly with the char on the meat.
5. Another good reason to chug stout with food is that the flavinoids in dark beer can reduce the risk of blood clotting.
6. Drinking stout with meals can help fight the free radicals that are triggered when the body begins metabolising food.
7. The first known use of the word stout for beer was in a document dated 1677 found in the Egerton Manuscript, the sense being that a stout beer was a strong beer not a dark beer.
8. Originally, the adjective stout meant “proud” or “brave”, but later, after the 14th century, it took on the connotation of “strong”.
9. Dry Irish Stout is probably the one that comes to mind when you think of a stout. Dry Irish Stout beers include Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish. Though many mistakenly believe these beers have a high ABV because of their dark color, they usually are 3.5-5.5% ABV. This allows them to be incredibly drinkable. The Dry Irish Stout is usually medium bodied and features the trademark deep black color of a stout.
10. Milk stout, also called sweet stout or cream stout is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose cannot be fermented by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and energy to the finished beer.
11. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers, along with other stouts, such as Guinness.
12. Milk stout was also claimed to be prescribed by doctors to help nursing mothers increase their milk production. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson’s.
13. There is no major difference between a stout and a porter. In fact, a stout is just a stronger porter.
14. There are 8 different types of stout:
- Milk stout
- Dry or Irish stout
- Oatmeal Stout
- Chocolate Stout
- Oyster Stout
- Imperial Stout
- Baltic Porter
15. Oysters have had a long association with stout. When stouts were emerging in the 18th century, oysters were a commonplace food often served in public houses and taverns. By the 20th century, oyster beds were in decline, and stout had given way to pale ale. The first known brewery to use oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1938 by the Hammerton Brewery in London, UK. The brewery was re-established in 2014 and is once again brewing an Oyster Stout.