Today November 3rd is International Stout Day.

About International Stout Day –
International Stout Day is a worldwide celebration of the iconic beer style, Stout. Taking place in homes, pubs, breweries and restaurants; it’s all about celebrating the craft beer revolution, relishing in this beloved beer style, sharing your photos, tasting notes and events with the world.

Stout History –
Porter was first recorded as being made and sold in London in the 1730s. It became very popular in the British Isles, and was responsible for the trend toward large regional breweries with “tied” pubs. With the advent of pale ale the popularity of dark beers decreased, apart from Ireland where the breweries of Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish grew in size with international interest in Irish (or dry) stout.

“Nourishing” and sweet “milk” stouts became popular in Great Britain in the years following the Second World War, though their popularity declined towards the end of the 20th century, apart from pockets of local interest such as in Glasgow with Sweetheart Stout.

With beer writers such as Michael Jackson writing about stouts and porters in the 1970s, there has been a moderate interest in the global specialty beer market.

Originally, the adjective stout meant “proud” or “brave”, but later, after the 14th century, it took on the connotation of “strong”. The first known use of the word stout for beer was in a document dated 1677 found in the Egerton Manuscript, the sense being that a stout beer was a strong beer. The expression stout porter was applied during the 18th century to strong versions of porter, and was used by Guinness of Ireland in 1820 – although Guinness had been brewing porters since about 1780, having originally been an ale brewer from its foundation in 1759. Stout still meant only “strong” and it could be related to any kind of beer, as long as it was strong: in the UKit was possible to find “stout pale ale”, for example. Later, stout was eventually to be associated only with porter, becoming a synonym of dark beer. During the last part of the 19th century, stout porter beer gained the reputation of being a healthful, strengthening drink, so that it was used by athletes and nursing mothers, while doctors often recommended it to help recovery.

Because of the huge popularity of porters, brewers made them in a variety of strengths. The beers with higher gravities were called “Stout Porters”. There is still division and debate on whether stouts should be a separate style from porter. Usually the only deciding factor is strength.