English-Style Brown Porter
As one of the oldest continually made beer styles in the world, the English-style Brown Porter dates back to the early 1700s. Sadly, Porters popularity declined entirely around the 1940s in England when many decided instead to put all their energy into brewing Stouts. Porters died with the Prohibition, but were revived in the 1970s in America post-Prohibition by Anchor Brewing. The home brewing era and microbrewery revolution of the 1980s also brought back Porters.
An English Brown Porter unsurprisingly has a dark brown hue, which can sometimes be black or have a red tint to it. The English Brown Porter recipe calls for any combination of British Pale Ale malt, Brown malt, Crystal malt, and Chocolate malt. These malts deliver nutty, chocolatey flavors, and medium malt sweetness. The often-used Fuggles hops offer a medium to low aroma and flavor and contribute a medium overall hop bitterness. The beer style has no burnt character is best described as soft and sweet. Compared to other Porters, the English Brown Porter distinguishes itself by having a restrained roast, alcohol level, and hop forwardness.
Although it is darker, the English style Brown Porter is not automatically stronger. The complex and overall interesting beer should have a malt forward hot chocolate-like flavor, with hops that never exceed a moderate level. The beer's ABV usually ranges from 4.5-6% and is best served in a Nonic pint glass. The best food matches are roasted and grilled meats, anything barbequed, steaks, mashed potatoes, and more.
We have had the pleasure of featuring the English-Style Brown Porter from Wooden Cask Brewery and hope to feature more in Brown Porters in our craft beer club in the future.