Friday, 31 August 2012


There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought the porter style beers and stouts were becoming a bit of a rare species.. I suppose similar to the demise of the brown and older style ales.
However, what has delighted me of late, is the number of porters and quality stouts, that are now regularly available, in our local boozers. 
Porter beers originated in London, back in the 18th century. The name came about as a result of its popularity with the capital's river and street porters.
Its basically a strong stout, and both stout and porters are intertwined.
History states that 'stout' came about because a strong porter would be called 'extra porter' or 'double porter', or indeed, 'Stout Porter'.The names being eventually shortened to Stout.
An example that springs to mind is Guinness Extra Stout, that was originally called 'Extra Superior Porter' and eventually became 'Extra Stout' in 1840.
Three outstanding porters I have come across recently, include Bank Top's 'Port O'Call', Prospect Breweries'Big John' and Kirkby Lonsdale's 'Jubilee Stout'.
The Port O' Call was very recently quaffed, and is such an easy drinking beer.The Bolton brewer add vintage port to the cask, to provide its smooth,deep flavour.A delightful taste at 5% ABV.
One I came across this week, was 'Big John' from the Wigan brewer, Prospect. They have a superb range of beers and never disappoint. This brew is a full bodied stout at 4.8%, with smokey, liquorice flavours. A great tasting, dark beer. It's named after a song by Jimmy Dean, about a 6' 6'' heroic miner. Prospect always name their ales on a mining theme.  
Simon said it 'flew out' at Bridge Bier Huis 
A third of the many sampled recently, and worth a mention, was the Kirkby Lonsdale 'Jubilee Stout'. A powerful, smooth stout, with a fine, malty, liquorice flavour. However, not a session ale at a whopping 5.5%!
So just three of many, worthy of a mention. I am just happy to report there is an abundance of quality porters around. And I am sure lots of you will echo those sentiments.