English Porter

BJCP 13c

Overall Impression
A moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and bitterness. May have a range of roasted flavors, generally without burnt qualities, and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile.

This style description describes the modern version of English porter, not every possible variation over time in every region where it existed. Historical re-creations should be entered in the Historical style category, with an appropriate description describing the profile of the beer. Modern craft examples in the UK are bigger and hoppier.

Originating in London around 300 years ago, porter evolved from earlier sweet, Brown Beer popular at the time. Evolved many times with various technological and ingredient developments and consumer preferences driving these changes. Became a highly-popular, widely-exported style in the 1800s before declining around WWI and disappearing in the 1950s. It was re-introduced in the mid-1970s with the start of the craft beer era. The name is said to have been derived from its popularity with the London working class performing various load-carrying tasks of the day. Parent of various regional interpretations over time, and a predecessor to all stouts (which were originally called “stout porters”). There is no historic connection or relationship between Mild and Porter.
Grists vary, but something producing a dark color is always involved. Chocolate or other dark-roasted malts, caramel malt, brewing sugars, and the like are common. London-type porters often use brown malt as a characteristic flavor.
Commercial Examples
Burton Bridge Burton Porter, Fuller's London Porter, Nethergate Old Growler Porter, RCH Old Slug Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter