Release #3 in our Archives series of bygone Porter & Stout recipes is an Irish Single Stout brewed to the vintage of 1880.
When thinking on Stout, most of us immediately reference the world renowned brewer from Dublin with the iconic harp logo. Indeed, Guinness is part of a long brewing history in Ireland, and Stout is the most famous style of beer in that tradition.
As mentioned in my previous post on Double Stout during the same time period, Porters were brewed in a range of strength from Single Stout Porter up to Triple or Imperial Stout Porter. Guinness produced three main varieties: Single Stout, Double Stout, and Foreign Export. After 1896, these beers became known as the equivalent Porter, Extra Stout, and Foreign Export Stout. (Source: Ron Pattinson, Shutup about Barclay Perkins) The latter two being what we are familiar with from Guinness today, at least in name.
So, our 1880 SS (Single Stout) is the standard, entry-level strength, Irish Porter of the day. Note that “SS” could also be used to denote a Double Stout, but we use it here as an abbreviation for Single Stout!
Also, keep in mind that Porter has evolved greatly over the years… 1880 Single Stout is stronger than modern day Irish Extra Stout!
(Image: Guiness brewery at St. James Gate in 1939, Source: Martyn Cornell, Zythophile)
Brewing Irish Porter
Other than strength, there are a couple of items we took into account when recreating our 1880 SS.
Irish Porter breweries abandoned Brown malt use rather quickly when Black malt came about early in the 19th century, whereas London breweries held on to the use of Brown malt much longer. Most of the color in Irish stouts at this time came from the Black malt, and the rest of the grist was Pale and Amber malt. Roasted barley, the grain that most breweries think of as quintessential for producing Irish “Dry” Stout wasn’t used until later!
We also strove to reproduce the lactic “sub-acidity” described in Irish Porter through the use of acidulated malt, which gives a lactic tang to the final product.
Drinking Irish Porter
Archives 1880 SS has a deep, dark, brown color with a ruby hue and a roasty aroma with a touch of sourdough bread and caramel.
On the palate, Archives 1880 SS has a medium-full body with cinnamon and cocoa upfront and complex vinous notes of black currant and toffee in the middle. The finish is dry and tangy despite the moderate fullness of body, which results in a nicely drinkable Porter.
Archives 1880 SS can be found on tap at the ChuckAlek Ind. Brewers tasting room and also at Urge Gastropub, Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery, and Plan 9 Alehouse. For current availability, check out TapHunter!
Thanks to Ron Pattinson for his documentation of Irish brewing history and his wealth of writings on Porter history that we referenced for this release.
Brewers, check out Ron Pattinson’s new book on brewing Vintage Beer!
Keep an eye out for more news on ChuckAlek Archives via West Coaster.