Beer Guide part 3 - Strong Pale Ale, Stout, Porter, & Irish Stout

In part two of this series, we covered European Wheat Beer, American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, and Blonde Ale. In part three we will cover a few more beer types and give you a quick rundown of some key differences between them.
Today, we're going to examine:
  1. Strong Pale Ale
  2. Stout
  3. Porter
  4. Irish Stout

Strong pale ales are made with a large amount of pale malts and have an alcohol strength that's generally at least 5%, though typically found to be higher at 7% or 8%. Some are even as high as 12%, though some brewers have been pushing the alcohol strength even higher!
American strong ale is yet another broad category of ales used in America to describe ales that are of 7% alcohol or higher. Beers that meet this criteria are also known as double IPA's, barley wines, or old ale depending on the style.
[caption id="attachment_779" align="alignright" width="333"]Stout Beer Photo Credit: George Kelly[/caption]
Stout is a dark beer produced with roasted malt or barley. Hops, water and yeast are additional ingredients used in the production of stouts.Traditionally, "stout" is the generic term used to refer to the strongest (or stoutest) porters, which are usually 7%, even 8%, alcohol.
The word "stout" was originally used in England, to mean "brave" or "proud". Later,post-1300's, the word took on the connotation of "strong." It was first used to describe a beer in a document from 1677  which was found in the Egerton Manuscript. The word was used in context to describe strong beer.
Another beer type, Porter, originated in London in the early 1720s. With its strong flavor, this beer style quickly became a hit in London of the 18th century. Porters were known to take longer to spoil than other beers, increase in alcohol content with age, and were significantly cheaper than other beers. The fact that it withstood spoiling, even in hot temperatures was an extraordinary benefit in a time when electricity and refrigeration were not available.
Irish stout (dry stout) generally refers to a beer that is very dark or rich in color and is often characterized as "roasted" or "coffee-like" on the palate. Known as Leann Dubh (black beer) in Irish, the most well-known names in stouts are Guinness, Murphy's and Beamish.
That wraps up part three of the Beer Guide Series. Check back often in order to make sure you don't miss the upcoming installations of the Beer Guide!
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