Irish Porter: A Global Evolution

Come and discover the fascinating story of Irish Porter beer, the evolution and slow divergence of it from its London original, which appears to be a trend repeated all over the world. As a result of its displacement, Porter has adapted to its new environment in surprising and interesting ways - a story worth hearing.

The Evolution of Irish Porter: A Historical Overview

Irish Porter is a beer style that began in the city of London in the late 1600s. It has since diversified and spread across the world, with many variations of the beer being brewed today.

The story of Irish Porter’s evolution begins in the 1700s when London brewers began producing different types of “Brown Beer”, a style of beer brewed with brown malt. This new style of beer was strong and dark, earning the nickname “Porter” due to its popularity with manual laborers in the docks and streets of London.

Porter quickly gained popularity throughout the British Isles, becoming a favorite style of beer for many English and Irish pub patrons. While not the most popular style of beer in the British Isles, Porter still held a special place for drinkers for its strong flavor and intense kick.

Porting Porter to Ireland

In the early 19th century, Irish brewers began to experiment with the Porter style in hopes of creating a beer similar to the popular English versions. These brewers used roasted malts and higher levels of hops to increase the strength, dark color, and intensity of the beer. These experiments produced the first Irish style of Porter.

See also  Epic Ales: Challenging Beer Tradition

The Irish Porter quickly gained popularity and began to spread throughout the country. It was a favorite among Irish immigrants in the United States and Canada, earning it the nickname “Irish Red” due to the reddish hue generated by the malt used in the brewing process.

Modern Irish Porter

Today, Irish Porter is brewed in many countries around the world and is a popular style of beer with craft brewers. It has adapted to the different environmental conditions and ingredients found in each brewing location. As a result, it has developed its own distinct flavor varieties. Some examples of modern Irish Porter include:

  • Guinness – A dry and heavily roasted merlot style of Porter.
  • Beamish – Malt dominant and slightly sweet.
  • Murphy’s – A chocolate-malt dominated Porter.
  • Kilkenny – A creamier style of Porter.

The evolution and slow divergence of Irish Porter from the London original is a story that’s been repeated across the world. Displace a beer and, like a plant, it will adapt to its new environment.

Classic Irish & English Porter

The original styles of Porter were brewed in London in the 1700s. These beers were brewed with brown malt, giving them a dark, reddish color and flavor. These beers were also relatively high in alcohol, with some reaching alcohol levels of 10 percent or more. Some classic examples of English Porter include:

  • Fullers London Porter – Dark brown in color, with a malty, roasted flavor.
  • Young’s London Porter – A sweeter Porter with a roasted, chocolate flavor.
  • Sharp’s London Porter – A lighter, drier Porter with a robust flavor that compliments food.
See also  Exploring the Magic of Mikkeller's Book of Beer

Traditional Irish Porter was also brewed in the 1800s with a combination of roasted and pale malts. These Porters were slightly stronger and darker than their English counterparts, and are considered to be the foundation of modern Irish Porter. Some classic examples of Irish Porter include:

  1. Murphy’s Irish Stout – Roasted, creamy, and slightly sweet.
  2. Beamish Irish Stout – A dry and heavily roasted Porter.
  3. O’Hara’s Irish Stout – A full-bodied, complex Porter with a deep, roasted flavor.

Irish Porter Today

Today, Irish Porter continues to be a popular style of beer, with many breweries making their own versions. As with any style of beer, each brewer will have a slightly different interpretation of the style, resulting in a variety of flavors and strengths. Some modern Irish Porter examples include:

  • Focals Irish Porter – A dry, light-bodied Porter.
  • Beoir Irish Porter – Roasted, malty, and chocolatey.
  • Rascal's Irish Porter – A lightly roasted, to
HomeBrewBook ©️ All rights reserved