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Channelling the ghost of Sir Arthur Guinness: Brewing a Guinness Irish Stout…

Without a doubt, Guinness is one of the world’s most recognizable beers. Not only is it one of the most recognizable, it has almost, single-handedly, eradicated almost every other beer in it’s style to become what seems to be the only apparent example of a Dry Irish Stout.

Guinness’s brewing history dates back to the early days of Porter, whereby the story of Porter and Stout are inextricably linked. Stout originally referred to a stronger version of Porter. The term “Stout Porter” would have been  synonymous with the brown beers, letting the consumer know of the relative higher gravity to which it was brewed. In it’s heyday, Porter would have been brewed with mostly, if not all, brown malt. With the advent of “Black Patent Malt” in 1817, brewers then had another option for making the highly popular beer. What they found was that they were able to use a grist of mostly pale malt and enough patent malt to get the same colour. Pale malt has a much higher efficiency than brown malt does, so they could use less grain, thus lowering their production costs. When roasted barley came on the scene, brewers had yet another option to use when brewing their porters and as such, the divergence of porter and stout began. Continue reading