Milk Stout & The Handbook of Porters and Stouts

Author: Colin Enquist

Date: August 19th, 2015

Milk-Stout-And-StoutsThis month's beer and book pairing touches on my favourite style of beer - stouts. There is a section or two on porters as well. If you're into that sort of thing.

The Handbook of Porters and Stouts, written by Josh Christie and Chad Polenz, was released last year in a very pretty hardcover. It is a nice size hardcover too, one that you can hold and doesn't weigh 30lbs. That being said, the book is still thick and has lots of information on the different stout and porter styles within.

The Handbook of Porters & Stouts: The Ultimate, Complete, and Definitive Guide -

"From the Industrial Age to the new wave of beers in the 1990s, porters and stouts have always been the backwater of brewing revolutions. Often looked on as the beer of the workingman - as in actual porters and dockworkers - these brews usually started as blends of other leftover beers. They were bold, robust, hearty, and often imbibed as a meal - the first liquid lunch. But by the mid-twentieth century, they had gone out of favor. Porter was abandoned as a style altogether, save for a few brewers (only one in America).

Thankfully, over the past couple decades craft brewers have saved these styles from extinction and completely changed the landscape, massively transforming the way we see porters and stouts. They are now at the forefront like never before, with brewers large and small producing versions that range from ubiquitous to highly collectible.

The Handbook of Porters and Stouts is the most comprehensive and definitive take on what is now one of the hottest trends in the industry."

Christie also authored Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland, another great book that looks on the history of Maine breweries from the early nineteenth century to now. It is a great read even if you've never been to Maine. Also probably a pretty good guide for a beer tourist heading there.

The pairing for this wonderful book is Black Bridge's Milk Stout, which has become my go to stout in the last few months. The nice roasty chocolate and coffee notes and creaminess make this beer perfect for drinking while reading a book that gets you in the mood for more stouts. And I guess porters.

And you may think stouts are for a fall or winter night by the fire, but they are perfect for late night reading any time of the year.