We’ve missed two St. Patrick’s Days, so we need to make up for lost time. There’s music to play, corned beef and cabbage to eat, and—most importantly—beer to drink. But not just any beer. When you’re in Manchester for drinks on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re in search of a very particular beer. That’s right, a stout from Stark Brewing Co.! You thought we were going to say a different one, didn’t you? No matter what stout you’re drinking come March 17 (though we think it should be one of ours), here’s a brief overview of what makes a stout a stout.
Dark and Delicious Origins
When we say dark, we mean the color, of course. Stouts started out as a variation of porter. All stouts are porters, but not all porters are stouts. The first known use of the word “stout” to describe beer appeared in 1677 in the Edgerton Manuscripts, referring to its strength. Brewers began making porters decades later, the first appearing in 1721. The stronger porters, 7% or 8% ABV, were called stout porters. These stout porters quickly gained popularity and stout porter morphed into its own style of dark beer.
Know Your Stouts
Like any style of beer, stout has multiple variations. Here are the three most common and how to tell them apart:
- Dry or Irish stout – That one beer you’re thinking of because it’s St. Patrick’s Day? That’s a dry stout. Coffee-like roasted barley gives it its distinctive taste and medium to medium-high bitterness.
- Sweet stout – Also called milk stout, these are usually English or American stouts. Lactose from oatmeal or milk gives this stout a sweeter flavor. Our Milly’s Oatmeal Stout is one of these if you’re looking to give one a try.
- Imperial stout – This is the strong stuff. Usually ranging from 8%-10% ABV, these stouts were initially brewed in London for Russian royalty. Imperial stouts can be hard to find, but Stark Brewing has one you might like if you’re in Manchester for drinks.
Out for drinks in Manchester? Stop by Stark Brewing Co.
If you’re in Manchester having drinks this St. Patrick’s Day, stop by Stark Brewing Co. and try one of our beers. Even if stout isn’t your thing, we’re sure to have something on tap you’ll enjoy. Not really a beer person? Not a problem. We’re a distillery, too!