About Stout and Porters from USA

About Stout  and  Porters from USA
US: From Pilgrims to Pale Ale Beer has occupied a central position in American culture from the start. This was true even before the craft-brewing revolution, which dramatically increased the beer choices available to consumers. Beer predated the arrival of Europeans to the New World. Columbus noted on one of his expeditions to Central America that the inhabitants drank a fermented corn beverage, while the Aztecs of Mexico produced a beer-like fermented drink made from agave pulp and corn, the ancestor of modern pulque. Of more direct relevance to the beer-drinking history of the Americas is the fact that the Pilgrims on the Mayflower were well provisioned with beer when they set off toward the New World. In fact, their landing choice of Plymouth Rock was dictated by an onboard crisis - the beer supply was running low, and they might be forced to drink just water. Beer has always been a staple of American life, albeit with an ill-conceived pause during National Prohibition. One might argue that many things, including beer, suffered in the headlong dash for the ever more processed and stable foods that defined the post-World War II world of prosperous America. By the mid-1970s, if an ale or lager with flavor was your choice of beer, outside regional holdouts such as Anchor Steam Beer in San Francisco, the Yuengling ales and porters in Pennsylvania and the Augsburger line of lager beers from the Huber Brewery in Wisconsin, there was not much in the way of alternatives to an imported European brew. This situation began to change in the late 1970s, when the tiny New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma, California began brewing a line of English style ales, stouts and porters. Other pioneer craft breweries as Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California and Pyramid Ales in Washington State soon followed. What we now call craft breweries were originally referred to as boutique breweries, after the new generation of small, local “boutique” wineries that started opening in the 1960s. Their beers were promoted as “all malt” beers, made only from barley malt, hops, water and yeast, to distinguish them from the mass-produced national brands, most of which contained high percentages of barley malt substitutes called “adjuncts” (corn, corn syrup and wheat primarily), which provided fermentable material but resulted in blander brews. The rapid growth of craft brewing spread from California and the Pacific Northwest, where interest in high-quality foodstuffs has always been closer to the cultural mainstream. The American beer renaissance originally focused around the production of ales. This can likely be explained by a number of factors. The first and succeeding generations of home brewers who "went commercial" were inspired by the ales of England, which had been relatively easy to reproduce at home. Home-brewed ales do not require the additional cooling and storage vessels needed for high-quality lager beer production. In a market well-supplied with pale lager, it was a much surer marketing prospect to introduce an amber-colored, hoppy ale rather than a pale-hued lager, even if brewed to exacting German-style purity laws. In more recent years craft lager brewers have begun to catch up, with such breweries as the Capital Brewery in Wisconsin, Bayern Brewing in Montana and Trumer Brauerei Berkeley in California in the forefront. Nowadays, virtually every existing style of beer, along with a few new ones, are being produced in American craft breweries. Craft Beers in Today’s Beer Market On a national basis, craft-brewed beers are well on their way to becoming a national staple. According to 2012 figures compiled by the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, craft-brewed beers grew 15%, totaling over 13 million barrels, and amounted to 6.5% of the total volume of beer sold in the United States. Sales totaled $10.2 billion out of a U.S. total beer market of $99 billion. In some regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, the craft beer market share is now over 20%. Some brewing industry analysts are now predicting that the craft beer share of the national beer market will grow to 20% by 2020. By the end of 2013 the total number of craft breweries (including brewpubs) in the United States was over 2,500. Brewpubs In a world where beer distribution is a tough business that has broken the heart of many a start-up brewer, the brewpub can still offer the rewards of good profitability. Brewpubs, of course, do not have to distribute their beer beyond their premises. In this commercial setting, brewing can be immensely profitable in the right location, and virtually all major cities now boast a number of thriving brewpubs. Typically, you can expect a standard range of amber ales, English-style brown ales, pale ales, stoutsand/or porters. Because of space restrictions, brewpubs generally tend to focus on brewing ales, rather than lagers. All such beers may or may not be named after the brewer, his mood at the time of brewing, his dog, or his first-born child - the naming of beers being possibly the greatest exertion of creativity in a brewer’s working life. The savvy beer hunter should always keep an eye out for cask-conditioned, hand-pumped ales at brewpubs. A brewpub that has made the effort to set up this style of English beer-dispensing system, not as exotically rare as it once was in the United States, is demonstrating a serious approach to ale dispensing that should show itself in the beer that is being brewed. Brewpub brewmasters typically have a lively special event and seasonal schedule that can traverse the entire spectrum of beer styles. Expect to find imperial stouts and barley wines in winter, kölsch and wheat ales in summer, a mandatory Oktoberfest in September, and possibly a maibock in springtime. The only limitation is one’s imagination, which is generally not lacking in this vibrant and growing industry.

Top Picks for USA

Stout and Porters

Lift Bridge Beer Company Silhouette Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
98 points
Rich mahogany color. Aromas of chocolate-covered cherry cordials, walnut confection, cocoa powder, artisan cola, well-aged bourbon, and soy sauce with an oily, vibrant, spritzy, fruity full body and a peppery, delightful, very long smoked toffee, charred nuts, mocha creme cookies, and vanilla truffles finish. A viscous, voluptuous monster of an Imperial stout that conjures memories of Italian Amaro and the finest chocolates.
4 Hands Brewing Co. Zellige Moroccan Coffee Stout
96 points
Opaque dark brown color. Spicy, exotic aromas of floral incense, moroccan spice cake, turkish cola, and spicy roasted carrots and yams with a round, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, massive, very long spiced Turkish coffee and chai, gingerbread, and menthol tobacco finish. An intriguing and exotically spicy Turkish bazaar of a flavored stout.
Awards: 2017 Best Flavored Beer
Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. Black Sheep Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout
95 points
Dark brown color. Aromas of dried figs and dates, almond butter, pedro ximénez sherry, and caramel laden nuts with an oily, crisp, off-dry medium-full body and a smooth, complex, long chocolate covered espresso beans, blackened toast with butter, chicory, and tobacco finish. A rich, smoky, and mysterious oatmeal stout that goes down like some kind of silken tar of molasses and malt.
Reuben’s Brews Foreign Export Stout
95 points
Medium brown color. Bright, roasted aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and chicory with a vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long finish that shows accents of pepper and dark rye toast finish. A great, flavor-packed stout that nails the rich export style.
North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
94 points
Ebony color. Hoppy aromas of toasted rice, tangerine, herb butter, and dried mango with a round, vibrant, effervescent, fruity full body and a warming, elegant, long cocoa powder, roasted cherry, whipped cream, lemon pepper, dried fruit, and curry finish. A craveable hoppy Imperial stout that is superbly balanced.
4 Hands Brewing Co. Madagascar Vanilla Bean Imperial Milk Stout
94 points
Opaque ebony color. Attractive, creamy aromas and flavors of coconut cake with vanilla buttercream, s’mores, salted caramel, and ruby port with a creamy, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, very long finish evoking accents of caramelized nuts, fruitcake, delicate spices, and sweet pipe tobacco finish. A fantastically decadent and flavorful vanilla stout of the highest order.
Brickway Brewery Imperial Stag Holiday Stout
94 points
Brown black color. Spicy, sweet aromas and flavors of cinnamon oatmeal with cream, chocolate graham cracker, frosted carrot and fruit cakes, and caramelized yams with herbs with a chewy, soft, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, very long finish with notes of sweet beet and cranberry relish, sarsaparilla, and peppered chocolate finish. A complex, spicy imperial stout that screams the holidays.
Awards: 2017 Best Flavored Imperial Stout
Island Brewing Company Starry Night Stout
93 points
Ebony color. Aromas of german chocolate cake, leather, banana muffins, and clove with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long old-fashioned coffee, blackened herbs, salted caramel, and black toast finish. A bold and brawny export stout that offers fruit-laced, rich flavors.
4 Hands Brewing Co. Chocolate Milk Stout
93 points
Nearly opaque brown black color. Attractive aromas and flavors of raisinettes, reese’s peanut butter bar, and chocolate sundae with a silky, crisp, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a polished, intriguing, medium-length finish with touches of honey roasted nuts, mocha milkshake, and arugula finish. A very appealing and crushable chocolate stout.
4 Hands Brewing Co. Absence of Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout
93 points
Opaque brown color. Aromas and flavors of reese’s peanut butter cup and butterfinger bar with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, elegant, long finish with elements of roasted nuts, hazelnut coffee, and spiced apple and pear finish. A delicious, wonderfully flavored peanut butter and chocolate stout.