Join the Dark Side. The Rise of Craft Stouts and Porters

The craft beer scene has seen a marked rise in the popularity of darker beers in recent years, with trends looking like they’re going to skyrocket. Our resident lover of the darker stuff Jen, has been thinking about just why this is.

What’s happening with craft brewing at the moment?

More and more breweries are beginning to experiment with the flavours in darker styles of beer. For example you can get marshmallow, coconut and mocha flavoured porters as well as chocolate and treacle flavoured stouts. There is also some experimentation with ageing darker beers in barrel which if proves successful will open up a whole new world of possibility for flavours and complexity.

Why do you think they’re trending?

I think it’s due to the broader scope of darker beers on the market at the moment. Higher alcohol beers are on the rise as well as the general notion of ‘drinking less but drinking better.’

Darker beers tend to fit into this higher alcohol category with some imperial stouts hitting ABVs of around 10-12%.

Why do you prefer Dark beers?

I enjoy the richness of the creamy chocolate and coffee flavours that you tend to find in porters and stouts. I find the bitterness in the hops in IPAs to be a bit much for my palate.

I also think that darker beers can have an extra complexity and structure to them. They also have a broader horizon of flavours that lighter craft beers sometimes struggle to achieve.

Which is your favourite?

One of my favourite beers is the Miss Scarlet’s Revolver from Sonnet 43 Brew House, which is a local brewery to me based just outside of the city of Durham. It is a coconut mocha porter, which is as full on as it sounds! I love the hit of coffee you get on this beer as well as its smooth texture and subtle aftertaste of coconut.

I have also recently tried an ice-cream porter from Northern Monk Brewery. Unfortunately this was a limited edition line and I wasn’t able to get my hands on many cans as we sold out of it so quickly! It had a delicious creaminess, full body and excellent texture.

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