Exploring the Paradox of Pale Stout

Are you tired of the same-old, dark stouts? Try the newest trend in stouts- the Pale Stout! This style of beer might sound like a contradiction in terms, but its roots can be traced back to the original meaning of the stout beer. So, if you want to try something new and exciting, don't miss the chance to try Pale Stout today!

What is Pale Stout?

Pale Stout may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it's just as valid a beer style as its dark, hoppy cousin Black India Pale Ale. The idea to create a lighter version of Stout beer didn't originate too recently. The original meaning of Stout beer derived back in the early nineteenth century.

Stout is a type of dark, malty-rich and heavily hopped beer. Indeed, no other beer style has as deep a relationship with hops as Stout. Traditionally, Stout beer has been linked to British brewing, although there are plenty of examples of American and European Stouts.

History of Stout

Stouts have been around for centuries and have been enjoyed in a variety of forms and brewed in many variations. Its popularity first started in Europe during the Middle Ages when English and Irish brewers produced dark beers for the working class. It was made with heavily roasted malts, which gave Stout its unique appearance and flavour.

At the end of the 18th century, the advent of black patent malt gave Stout its trademark dark colour, body and flavour. This process, patented in 1817 by Daniel Wheeler of Southwark, England, marked the beginning of the commercial brewing of Stout beer.

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Characteristics of Pale Stout

Pale Stout is an iconic beer style that is surprisingly light in colour while still possessing the distinct roast and malt character of a traditional stout. The beer can also have either an assertive or mellow hop character, depending on the brewer's preference. A Pale Stout will typically be darker than an IPA or pale ale, but not as dark as a Stout. The style has a high level of carbonation, a light to medium body, and a moderate hop flavour with low to moderate bitterness.

Pale Stout has all the roasted malt character of a traditional Stout, but with a lighter colour and body. It can be a light to red-brown colour, but not as dark as a porter. The hop character may be quite assertive, or it may be relatively subdued, depending on the brewer's preferences.

Flavour Notes

Pale Stouts are known for their balanced flavour and drinkability. The woody, almost smoky notes of roasted barley and the slight nuttiness of black malt can be found in expensive beers, while hops provide subtle bitterness and a complex aroma. The hop character can range from floral, citrus, and herbal to spicy and earthy, depending on the variety used.

The malt character of a Pale Stout is slightly more pronounced than in a traditional stout, and it can provide either a light-bodied, crisp beer with low hop bitterness, or a robust, full-bodied beer with a moderate to high hop bitterness. The hop character of a Pale Stout should be balanced with the malt character.

What to Look for When Drinking Pale Stout

When drinking a Pale Stout, look for aromas of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and faint hints of hops. The taste should be smooth, with a light to medium body, a malty sweetness, and a decent hop presence. Balanced hop bitterness and malt sweetness will linger in the finish.

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Unique Characteristics of Popular Pale Stouts

  • Milk Stout – This type of Stout beer is brewed with milk sugar, giving it a creamy, sweet flavour.
  • Oatmeal Stout – Oatmeal is used to create a fuller body and creamy texture. It also lends a grainy flavour and aroma.
  • American Pale Stout – This type of Stout is brewed with a combination of American hops, giving it a citrusy, piney aroma and flavour.
  • Imperial Stout – Imperial Stout beer is a full-bodied, robust beer with an intense, malt-forward flavour and high alcohol content.


Pale Stout beer is a lighter, more sessionable version of a traditional Stout. It has a light to medium body, a moderate hop character, and a distinct roasted malt character. Pale Stout is a great choice for those looking for a beer that won't weigh them down but still has all the flavour of a classic Stout beer.

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