The word ‘stout’ has been used since the late 1600s to refer to strong, hearty beers. However, this traditionally dark beer also has a number of surprising health benefits.
What is Stout?
Traditionally, what sets a stout apart from other beer varieties is its strong roasted flavor, which comes from roasted barley. Within this rich category of beer, individual styles can range from hoppy to dry, with ABVs varying just as wildly.
Types of Stout
There are eight standard types of stout.
- Milk stout has a sweeter profile, with more unfermented milk sugars.
- Irish stouts, made popular by Guinness, are dry beers, with a low ABV.
- Porter was originally a dark beer created in London that was a blend of medium, pale, and dark ales.
- Oatmeal variety is actually brewed with oatmeal, giving it a full body and slightly sweeter taste.
- Chocolate versions of this beer are named for the color of its roasted malt, but brewers do occasionally add actual chocolate to the brewing.
- Oyster stouts were originally brewed using an oyster concentrate, but now brewers just add a handful of oysters to the barrel to impart that unique flavor.
- Imperial stouts, originally crafted for the court of a Russian Tsarina, is traditionally very dark, with a high ABV.
- Baltic Porter is a regional version of Imperial stouts and is very popular in Eastern Europe.
Benefits of Stout
While all alcohol should be consumed in moderation, these thick and rich beers can provide surprising benefits.
- Stouts typically have fewer calories than lighter beers.
- The flavonoids in dark beer can help reduce blood clotting.
- Dark beers contain nearly twice the amount of antioxidants of light beers, due to the unique roasting process.
Stout vs Porter
- While it is controversial in the craft beer world, most experts agree that historically, porters and stouts are the same thing, but don’t tell that to a beer connoisseur!
- “Stout” originally referred to any strong beer.
- When porters became popular in 19th century England, brewers used the term “stouts” to denote the different strengths of their porters.
As with all alcoholic beverages, overconsumption of this delicious beer variety can lead to the following:
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
The daily recommended intake of alcohol is one drink for women and two for men.