History Lessons...

I can't add anything new about the history of beer styles but I can collect other people's takes on them and that's what I've done here...


What Fuller's say: "The origins of Porter date back to London in the early nineteenth century when it was popular to mix two or three beers -- usually an old, well-vatted or "stale" brown ale -- with a new brown ale and a pale ale. It was time-consuming for the pub owner to pull from three casks for one pint, so brewers in London tested and produced a new beer, known as entire, to match the tastes of such mixtures. Using high roasted malts, entire was dark, cloudy and hoppy. It was also easily produced in bulk and ideally suited to the soft well water of London. Very quickly, it became popular among the porters working in Billingsgate and Smithfield markets. Gradually, the beer took on the name Porter in recognition of its greatest 

What BeerAdvocate say: "Porter is said to have been popular with transportation workers of Central London, hence the name. Most traditional British brewing documentation from the 1700’s state that Porter was a blend of three different styles: an old ale (stale or soured), a new ale (brown or pale ale) and a weak one (mild ale), with various combinations of blending and staleness. The end result was also commonly known as "Entire Butt" or "Three Threads" and had a pleasing taste of neither new nor old. It was the first truly engineered beer, catering to the public's taste, playing a critical role in quenching the thirst of the UK’s Industrial Revolution and lending an arm in building the mega-breweries of today.
Porter saw a comeback during the homebrewing and micro-brewery revolution of the late 1970’s and early 80’s, in the US. Modern-day Porters are typically brewed using a pale malt base with the addition of black malt, crystal, chocolate or smoked brown malt. The addition of roasted malt is uncommon, but used occasionally. Some brewers will also age their beers after inoculation with live bacteria to create an authentic taste. Hop bitterness is moderate on the whole and color ranges from brown to black. Overall they remain very complex and interesting beers."

What Michael Jackson say's about porter in general and Meantime's London Porter specifically: "They say this style of beer was called Porter because it refreshed and energised the muscular men who worked through the night in markets like Billingsgate, Smithfield and Covent Garden to ensure that we had fresh food next morning. Porter is a London style of beer that has been having a revival among connoisseurs. To be the real thing, it should be made by a London brewery. This tall, dark, handsome bottle comes to you from London's youngest brewery: Meantime, in Greenwich. It's a muscular brew, but deceptively lean and smooth. It has a nutty maltiness in the middle and a lingering, bittersweet, black chocolate finish. If you have been up all night, give yourself a lift: have Porter with breakfast. (But not for breakfast.)"

What the Wikipedia introduction to porter say's: "Porter is a dark style of beer originating in London in the 18th Century. The name came about as a result of its popularity with street and river porters.The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined. The name "stout" for a dark beer is believed to have come about because a strong porter may be called "Extra Porter" or "Double Porter" or "Stout Porter". The term "Stout Porter" would later be shortened to just "Stout". For example, Guinness Extra Stout was originally called "Extra Superior Porter" and was only given the name Extra Stout in 1840."
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