Book Reviews

The Handbook of Porters and Stouts

This tome was created by several contributors, but mainly written by the two authors.

It deals in minute detail with porters, Baltic porters, the family of stouts, (i.e coffee-, chocolate-, Irish-, imperial-, milk-, oatmeal- oyster stouts and a few more styles). Porter style beer has been brewed for a long time, and evolved over centuries to become dark brown, and somewhat more alcoholic than midstream ales.

By the 18th century, London brewers came up with new “improved” version that captured the imagination of hard working and thirsty porters working the docks of the harbour. The history of porters, stouts, and all other types of dark, deeply flavoured beers is fascinating.

Dark and alcoholic beers lost their popularity from the industrial Age to the new “wave” of beers in the final decade of the 20th century. Fortunately, American craft brewers saved porters and stouts from extinction by valiant efforts. Young adventurous beer drinkers willing to pay a little more for tasty beer were the salvation.

Craft brewers gradually expanded their portfolios by including stouts and eventually oatmeal-, coffee-, and many more stouts to entice more consumers. In this memorable volume, more than 300 porters, Baltic-, specialty- porters, stouts, coffee-, imperial, milk-, Irish- stouts and many more are described. This is a fine effort to introduce flavourful, high-octane beers to a new generation while expanding their clientele of regular beer aficionados.

All North American publicans and beer aficionados would benefit from this highly informative book.

Highly recommended

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