| Alex Andrews

What is Stout?

Stout is a historic dark beer that is similar to porter

Stout is dark beer that is characterised by its inky black colour and roasted flavour. A good pint of stout looks - and may even smell - like a long black coffee with a creamy off-white head that makes the beer so visually appealing.

Stout has been enjoyed since the 18th century and the beer was born amidst the fog and bustling streets of London. It evolved from porter, a dark and malty beer that was cheap to brew and was happily glugged from pewter tankards by the market porters who worked along the River Thames.

As the popularity of porter grew, breweries started to produce variations like single stout porter, double stout porter and even extra stout porter, which varied by alcohol content and flavour intensity. Over time, people shortened these names and began to describe stout as its own distinct style of beer.

Stout is now brewed and exported all over the world. While many beer drinkers may first think of Irish Stout, the renowned beer historian and writer Pete Brown is keen to remind people that it's a beer style that is rooted in London history.

Watch the video below to learn more about stout's rich history in London:


Stout and porter are both dark, rich and flavourful styles of beer that originated in England. While they share many similarities and have evolved over time, there are some key differences between them.

  • Historical origins: Porter is the older of the two styles, dating back to the 18th century, and Stout originally emerged as a term to describe a stronger or "stouter" evolution of a porter.
  • Alcohol content: Historically, porters tended to have a lower alcohol content, typically around 4-5% ABV, whereas stouts may exceed 5% ABV.
  • Flavour profile: While both styles shared a roasted character, similar to coffee, porters are often smoother and milder than stouts. A stout can feature a more pronounced roasted malt character, along with coffee, chocolate, and sometimes even smoky or burnt notes.
  • Varieties: Although you can find brown porters and Baltic porters, there is generally less deviation in the porter style, whereas the stout style can vary greatly in terms of flavour and strength, between dry stouts, sweet stouts, oatmeal stouts and even oyster stouts.
  • Brewing technique: Traditional porters were often made with brown malt, whereas Stouts tend to be brewed with roasted barley, which contributes to their darker colour and more intense roastiness.


Although stout first emerged as a stronger version of London porter, modern stouts are now typically brewed between 4-5% ABV.

Small Beer Stout fills a much needed gap in the market by delivering the rich allure of a traditional stout at a lower ABV. Crafted at 2.5% ABV, there are roasted barley notes, balanced with a coffee aroma and a subtle milk chocolate sweetness.

While stout is often wrongly described as heavy and indulgent, our Stout Beer Stout is a gentle and mellow beer that contains just 79 calories per can.

To celebrate stout's London heritage, we are also donating 5% of every sale to In The Drink, an amazing organisation that works tirelessly protect and clean up the River Thames by ridding it entirely of single-use plastics.

Tags: history, london