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What is considered a stout beer?

Stout beers are a staple in many bars, pubs, and restaurants and have a well-established history. Stouts first appeared in the 1700s, and as of today, stouts are widely available in over 120 countries. But what makes a stout stand out? How does this brew differ from ale? Are there different types of stout to choose from? Lucky for you, BrewDog is on hand to answer all your stout-related questions.

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What is stout?

Stout is a part of the ale family and is usually a very dark beer. A stout is typically thicker than a traditional ale due to using malt and smoked barley in its brewing process. You may have even heard a stout be referred to as a ‘meal in a glass’, due to its thick texture and rich, strong taste. However, a strong taste doesn't mean a bitter taste. Instead, it is often compared to flavours like coffee and chocolate.

A stout also looks different from a traditional ale. Unlike the clear crisp look of real pale ale, a stout is a textured and opaque dark brown colour with a large frothy head. It truly has an individual look to match its signature flavour.

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Where does stout come from?

Much like its flavour, stout has a rich and well-established history. Originally called Porter, the beer became popular in the 1700s as it was cheap, lasted longer than other beers, and it stood strong against changing temperatures and heat. The definition of the word 'stout' means brave or strong, and the malty dark brew took this name on due to its bold dark taste.

As popularity grew, so did the brewing strengths and the beer became available in varying ABVs. Its popularity continued through the years and was still a leading favourite even after the first world war.

While not as popular as it was in years, stout is still readily available worldwide; its brewing process is a tourist attraction in cities such as London and Ireland, and stout beer has grown to include several flavour types as strengths.


10% off

Black Heart


Stout ‧ 4.1% ‧ 12 x Can (440ml)

Was £15.50
15% off
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Rattle & Rum


Stout ‧ 7.4% ‧ 4 x Can (440ml)

15% off
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Stout ‧ 6% ‧ 4 x Can (440ml)

Was £14.99
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Dog I

Stout ‧ 15.3% ‧ 1 x Bottle (330ml)

10% off
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St. Patricks Beer

Stout ‧ 12 x Can

Was £38.73

What type of stout will suit your taste?

Much like the world of craft beers, there are different stouts to suit different tastes and preferences. flavour, aroma, and texture are important considerations when picking your preferred pint. Here are a few options to consider.

The first and likely the most well-known stout is dry or Irish stout. This is a very dark drink with a roasted flavour. With notes of coffee, smooth texture, and a deeper flavour, this is a sure choice for those who like a bold drink.

A second option to sample would be the milk stout. The clue is in the name, as these stouts use lactose in their brewing process and therefore contain more sugars for a sweeter taste. Also, these stout beers usually have lower alcohol content. With all of this in mind, milk stout is a perfect choice for those with a sweet tooth.

If at this point, you are still looking for something different, you could be adventurous with the choice of an oyster stout. These stouts originated at a time when oysters were a common and popular food. The stout is not suitable for vegetarians, as it is brewed with oysters in the barrel. This brew is the perfect pairing with its namesake with a saltier taste.

A fourth option for you to sample is an Oat Stout. Much like the previous stouts listed, it is named after its brewing ingredient, with this stout having a proportion of oats in the barrel. Due to its oat content, this tasty beverage has a creamy taste. While not as sweet as a milk stout, this is a fantastic pairing with a dessert, cake, or cookies.

If you are a fan of chocolate, then a Chocolate Stout might be the best choice. This tempting tipple uses roasted dark malts in its brewing process for its smooth velvety finish and taste. In some cases, the brewer may sometimes choose to put some chocolate in the barrel as part of the brewing process. This drink is an indulgent choice and a great way to treat yourself.

Lastly, Imperial stout is an alternative choice if you are still searching for that perfect pint. Like an Irish Stout, these beers have a bold and dark flavour. Due to their Russian brewing history, they usually have a higher ABV than other stouts and are sometimes called 'Russian Imperial stouts'. These hearty drinks make an excellent choice for those wishing to savour a strong-flavoured pint.

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How to pour a stout

No stout beer tastes its best unless it is poured with care and consideration. Luckily, the steps can be easily laid out, so you can ensure your stout experience is sensational.

Firstly, a tulip pint glass is the best choice to hold your stout beer. Stouts have smaller gas bubbles, which are better retained in a shaped glass.

The second step is about angles and follows the same direction as pouring a traditional ale. Make sure your glass is angled at 45 degrees, and pour as you slowly tilt your glass upright. When upright, pour into the middle of the pint to create a head on your pint that is roughly 1 inch to an inch and a half thick. As with all pint pours, prevent the spout from touching your pint or the glass bottom; this way, you will get the best results.

The last step is the most important, take your glass and enjoy the first sip of the perfect pint you have just created. Now that you are a certified stout expert why not treat yourself to one of BrewDogs great stout options!