International Stout Day – November 7, 2019

Thu Nov 7

What is International Stout Day?

International Stout Day is celebrated on the first Thursday in November each year. Stouts, developed from porters in the 1700s, have become some of the most beloved beers in many different nations. So beloved, in fact, that on November 3, 2011, stouts were given the recognition they deserve with the advent of the first International Stout Day. Like the name implies, stouts are typically strong and robust in flavor and, although they may be hard to chug, a stout is the perfect beer for sipping and savoring.

History of International Stout Day

First — a note on the (subtle) difference between stouts and porters: According to VinePair: “The only main difference many brewers still agree on is the kind of malt that should be used to brew each type of beer. Porters use malted barley and stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley, which is where the coffee flavor most people associate with stout comes from.”
 
Porters started in London during the early 1720s. The style attracted lots of beer drinkers (especially porters) with it’s strong flavor and ability to stay fresh longer. The cheaper price also helped. English breweries exported large volumes to Ireland; by 1776 it was being brewed by Arthur Guinness at his St. James’s Gate Brewery. The beer gained its customary black color in the following century through the use of black patent malt, and became stronger in flavor.
 
The first stouts were produced in the 1730s. The Russian Imperial Stout was inspired by brewers back in the 1800s to win over the Russian Czar. “Imperial porter” came before “imperial stout” and the earliest noted use of “Imperial” to describe a beer came in 1821.
 
The adjective stout meant “proud” or “brave”, but it eventually took on the connotation of “strong”. The first known use of the word stout for beer occurred in 1677. The expression stout porter appeared during the 18th century. Stout applied to any beer as long as it was strong. (For example, in the UK, one might find “stout pale ale.” Only later did stout become synonymous with dark beer.
 
Stouts come in many varieties today — including “milk,” “oatmeal,” and even “chocolate” — although these specific ingredients don’t always appear in the brew itself. But they sure sound good.

International Stout Day timeline

2019

“Gumbo Stout”

That’s correct. According to its Louisiana brewery: “The beer has a roasted and smoky flavor from the roux (fat and flour) and barley, accentuated by salt, cayenne, and black peppers.” Things are different in Louisiana.

November 3, 2011

First International Stout Day Held

Stouts are finally given their due credit and recognition.

1840s

Guinness Begins Brewing

After years of making porters, Guinness brews its first stouts, which are now the most popular in the world.

1730s

Stouts are Born from Porters

Stouts are differentiated from porters through the use of unmalted roasted barley.

International Stout Day FAQs

What’s the difference between stout and porter?

Porters use malted barley and stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley. But otherwise, they are quite similar. 
 

Does chocolate stout really contain chocolate?

Sometimes. According to the brewer of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout: “Brewed with well water, the roasted organic chocolate malt and organic cocoa impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavours and a delightful finish.”
 

Can I drink oatmeal stout for breakfast?

Theoretically, yes, but not if you’re driving to work. For centuries people drank low alcoholic beer instead of water because the fermentation process made the beer safer than water. But we wouldn’t recommend doing that with modern varieties. 
 

International Stout Day Activities

  1. Drink a Guinness

    What better way to celebrate International Stout Day than with the world’s most famous stout? Since the early 1800s, Guinness has been making their world famous stout. And while it may take years to refine the perfect pour, it only takes minutes to drink the perfect stout.

  2. Drink a stout sampler

    Say you’re new to stouts. With so many brands and varieties, it may be a little daunting to find out which stout is right for you. Luckily, many bars now offer beer flights — a tray of small portions of different kinds of beers. For the homebodies among us, you can also create your own stout variety six-pack at your local liquor store.

  3. Make your own stout

    Home brewing is all the rage these days, and a great way to celebrate International Stout Day is by creating your very own Frankenstout. Home brewed stouts make perfect gifts, and they're a great way to impress your friends when it’s your turn to host. And don’t worry — for home brewing beginners, there are many different stout-brewing kits available to make the process a little easier.

Why We Love International Stout Day

  1. Stouts are classic

    The stout as we know it today is like the little brother of the porter, which dates back to the Industrial Revolution. The word “stout” took on the meaning of strong in the 14th century and was applied to porters that were, well, strong. In the 1730s, the stout came into its own and was forever differentiated from porters through the addition of unmalted (instead of malted) roasted barley. So, in summary, stouts are older than the U.S. so respect your elders and grab a refreshing stout.

  2. Stouts are delicious

    Stouts typically have a strong, roasted malt flavor and often contain notes of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and licorice. Stouts usually are on the thicker and creamier side of beers, which make them somewhat hefty and substantial. 

  3. Stouts are good for you?

    Well, not really. In the early 20th century, stouts, and Guinness in particular, were thought to be nutritious. Blood donors, people who had just undergone surgery, and pregnant women were often advised by doctors to have a pint of Guinness. Hey, it was a different time.