A tale of evolution

The Story of Stout


Deep, dark, and malty, Stout stands out against other beer styles aesthetically and in its flavor. Thanks to its quality and the wide-reaching influence of Irish culture, Stout holds a special place in the hearts of beer enthusiasts around the globe and is firmly recognized as one of the world's leading beer styles. With all that in mind, how about we discuss Stout's origins and how it became so widely known and enjoyed?


Stout's origins

While Stout is now firmly associated with Ireland, its history actually goes back to the 18th century in England, where it emerged as a variation of Porter. Porter, a beer style made from brown barley, emerged in the early 1700s in London, where it was popular among the city's working class—a widely held theory being that Porter was named after the working porters in London who regularly drank it.

Later, during the same century, Porter started being exported to Ireland, where it proved to be a hit. As a result of its popularity in the Emerald Isle, a growing number of Irish brewers began making their own efforts at brewing Porter, including the famous Arthur Guinness, who was already brewing other beer styles by this time. Initially, Irish-brewed Porter was essentially just a more alcoholic version of an English Porter. It was referred to as Irish Stout Porter to distinguish it from its English namesake, with 'stout' being a term that referenced a stronger, more robust beer. However, in the 19th century, Irish Stout Porter began to develop its own distinctive style. Roasted and unmalted barley started being used instead of brown barley, leading to the beer exhibiting a defining deep, dark color profile that set it apart from English Porters.

Becoming a globally-recognized beer


Stout today

Today, Stout remains the third most-consumed beer style in the world behind Lager and Pale Ale. That's not bad going when you consider what an international phenomenon beer is and the variety of beer styles that exist! Guinness remains the largest Stout brand in the world and one of the biggest global beer brands full-stop. 

Gone are the days when Stout production was solely in Ireland. You can now find Stout brewers worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, Japan, and many others. However, if you wish to keep your Stout Irish, there are still a wealth of Stout breweries there, including large commercial breweries and smaller craft breweries. Wherever you choose to get your Stout from, you won't be short of options!

Stout sub-styles


Using the right beer glass for your Stout

With such rich, pronounced characteristics following years of fine-tuning, Stout deserves to be enjoyed at its best. In 2014, we introduced the Spiegelau Stout Glass to do just this.

After prototyping hundreds of glass shapes working in collaboration with Left Hand Brewing and Rogue Ales, our expert panel selected the design that best accentuated the roasted malt, rich coffee, and chocolate notes that define the stout beer style. And, with its elegant curved design and trademark Spiegelau crystal structure, it does it in style.

It's been a long journey for Stout from its humble beginnings as London Porter. With Stout breweries worldwide, an iconic brand in Guinness, and a place as the flagship beverage of the ever-popular St Patrick's Day, we'd say this journey has been quite the success.


Spiegelau Craft Beer Glasses