We’ve been doing a lot more beer reviews lately, and we’ve got a bunch coming up too. They’re all different kinds of things: stouts, porters, ales, and on. And I didn’t really know what any of those things are, in terms of specifics or a definition, so here’s what I found out.
Porters are English beers from London. According to Wiki, all Stouts are Porters, but not all Porters are Stouts. According to Crate Style and Louis Gunnz Beer they’re both offshoots of dark ales. According to Beer On Wheels, Syracuse Blog and Funny Junk they’re the same thing. According to Hoppy Brewing Company they’re distinct and equal members of the top fermenting side of the family. Ain’t taxonomy grand?
Okay, so, that’s what it is, now what is it made of? Stouts are dark ales made from brown malt (says Wiki, see above). Malt is cereal grains, soaked in water to start germination and then dried out with hot air. In Single Malt Scotch and most beer the “malt” is malted barley. You can take normal malt and toast it to make it darker, which is what they’ve done here.
Right, so what is treacle and what does it do? Treacle is a by product of sugar refining – it’s where the brown from brown sugar goes when you make refined sugar (not really). It’s added to the wort during the boil, as it caramelizes the remaining complex sugars into more savoury tones (for darker treacle/molasses – using golden syrup produces sweetness).
One last thing – beer seems to most commonly split into Ales and Lagers, which are distinguished by whether they are top- or bottom-fermenting, which is further specified by what kind of yeast you’re using. The whole thing comes down to what kind of fungus eats your grains.
Here’s what we thought:
Simon – bubble gum, coca cola
Ryan – red grape, nibs, butterscotch
Simon – root beery, a little thick
Ryan – anise, cocoa, cherrywood
Try it? Yes! Buy it? Yes!