Every fall people start asking me to explain the difference between a porter and stout.  The answer not much, but a whole lot.  The history of these two beers have crossed paths, and I am sure someone could write a book on the history of porter alone.  Here is a quick summation of the difference and the similarity.

  • Both are dark, bitter and have roasted coffee and chocolate flavors.
  • Stouts will be darker and more intense.
  • Porters will have a lighter body.
  • Stouts will have a bigger head.
How is that for a crash course?  Now you should know there are variations of both these styles, but for today I think you have learned enough.  If you really want to know more, drink a porter then drink a stout.  Get a sampler and try them side by side.  The only way to really begin to know beer is not by instruction, but by living it.  Now please, go drink some beer!



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