Porter Beer Recipes

Porter is a category of dark beers that tend to have malt character that is roastier than English brown ales, but less than stouts. While all the styles are referred to as ales, Baltic porter is often times brewed as a lager.

Brown Porter

Thames Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the May/June 2014 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy online archive and other exclusive member benefits!

A London porter benefits from the proper water: alkaline with a dose of sodium and chloride. Thames water was revered as producing better porters and that character is evidenced in the water profile. The somewhat elevated alkalinity of the London porter profile helps keep the mash pH slightly higher than in typical pale beer brewing, enhancing the flavor quality of the dark malts.

A London porter would likely be characterized as a brown porter using BJCP style guidelines. The malt bill for a brown porter is largely 2-row pale malt with modest percentages of roast and crystal malts. According to Brewing Classic Styles, the secret to a great brown porter recipe is the inclusion of brown malt. English hops are preferred to meld with the malt bill.

Read More

Beer

English Porter

Peppermint Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the November/December 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

Recipe courtesy of Mike Volpe

This porter is packed with peppermint, thanks to the use of peppermint tea bags. It's balanced with roasty chocolate malts, coffee beans and flaked oats that will ensure every porter lovers' satisfaction.

Read More

Beer

Baltic Porter

Odin’s Beard Baltic Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Justin McClenahan of Silver Spring, MD, member of the The Brewing Network, won a gold medal in Category #6: Strong European Lager with a Baltic Porter during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. McClenahan’s Strong European Lager was chosen as the best among 269 entries in the category. Read More

Beer

English Porter

‘Sket English Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Ryan Celia of Easton, PA, member of the Lehigh Valley Home Brewers, won a gold medal in Category #12: Brown British Beer with an English Porter during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Celia’s Brown British Beer was chosen as the best among 259 entries in the category. Read More

Beer

Porter

Mid-Sember Knight’s Dream American Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Matt Knight of Milford, CT, member of the Brew Haven, won a gold medal in Category #14: American Porter & Stout with an American Porter during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI with the help of Mike Joshi. Knight and Joshi’s American Porter & Stout was chosen as the best among 304 entries in the category. Read More

Beer

Brown Porter

Eubayanus Brown Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe was originally featured in the March/April 2016 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association to get your Zymurgy magazine subscription and access to the digital archive!

In his article "Uncharted Territory: S. Eubayanus," Jared Spidel dives into a little known—and hard to get—yeast called Sacchormyces eubayanus. Spidel was on a mission to understand this newfound strain, so he decided to set up a homebrew competition to see how S. eubayanus works in various different styles. This brown porter recipe earned competition entrant Chris Clair the best-of-show title.

Check out the Zymurgy magazine article (March/April 2016 issue) to learn how to get your hands on S. eubayanus!

Read More

Beer

Robust Porter

Crow Peak Brewing Co. Pile ‘O Dirt Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer was named Pile 'O Dirt because of the ridiculous amount of dirt Crow Peak Brewing had to build their original brewery on to get them out of the flood plain. This porter is very dark in color with a nice tan head and complexity due to the variety of specialty malts used.

This homebrew recipe is featured in 51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!

Read More

Beer

Robust Porter

Reuben’s Brews Robust Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

One of Reuben's Brews year round beers, this robust porter was one of the first beers brewed when they opened in 2012. Brewmaster Adam Robbings came up with the recipe as a homebrewer and he won gold the first three competitions with the very first batch!

This homebrew recipe is featured in 51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!

Read More

Beer

Robust Porter

Big Timber Brewing Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This well balanced, yet complex porter from Big Timber Brewing Company derives all of its flavor from loads of specialty malts. It was one of three beers available when the brewery opened in 2014. The recipe has remained virtually unchanged, and this beer and can only be found in West Virginia!

This homebrew recipe is featured in 51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!

Read More

Beer

Brown Porter

Holy City Brewing Pluff Mud Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Holy City Brewing's Pluff Mud Porter presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh.

This homebrew recipe is featured in 51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!

Read More

Beer

Baltic Porter

Black Hole Sun Baltic Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

The following recipe was featured in the January/February 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of homebrewers Rafa Palacios and Sergio Medina from Cádiz, Spain. Zymurgy editor-in-chief Dave Carpenter loved drinking this beer at the 2018 annual meeting of the Associación de Cerveceros Caseros Españoles (ACCE), the Spanish homebrewers association. We contacted Rafa and Sergio, and they kindly shared their recipe. Lace up your Docs and brew a batch of Black Hole Sun today. You won’t regret it.

Read More

Beer

Porter

Flubadub Gansett Porter (all-grain)

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the September/October 2018 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Six issues of Zymurgy magazine are published annually and are included in American Homebrewers Association (AHA) membership. Join the AHA to enjoy Zymurgy and many more member benefits.

* * *

Learn about Charlie Papazian's endeavor in brewing this recipe with hops grown at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

by Charlie Papazian

After 48 years of brewing, I still enjoy explorations and recreations with homebrewing. I often tell a story about the beers of the first Great American Beer Festival in 1982, which featured 22 breweries pouring 40 beers for 750 attendees. The “microbreweries” that attended that very first year were Boulder Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, River City Brewing, and Anchor Brewing.

The two beers that seem to be the most memorable were brewed by the then Falstaff Brewing Company: Ballantine India Pale Ale and Narragansett Porter. Both were distinguished by brilliant Cascade dry hopping. Both had a perfect foundation of malt character that elevated what I would call “old-school” Cascade hop flavor and aroma.

For those of you who weren’t around in those early days of Cascade hop cultivation, the Cascade hop of today is very different in character than the original cultivars we welcomed as Cascade hops in the early 1980s. A bright conflagration of citrus and pine is one way I recall experiencing it. My homegrown hops cultivated from those original cuttings still maintain those old-school characters.

The interesting thing about the Narragansett Porter is that it was once a regional brand of New England. The brewery faltered and the brand was bought by Falstaff and briefly resurrected for regionally reminiscent beer drinkers. But the version of Narragansett Porter presented at the 1982 Great American Beer Festival was different than the traditional brew of previous brewers and years.

I reviewed the 1982 Great American Beer Festival program (which I still have) and discovered some interesting information about that 1982 beer. The beer that was originally going to be sent and presented at the Great American Beer Festival was something called Ballantine Porter, and that’s what they sent us program information for. When the beers arrived, we discovered that the brewery had changed the name to Narragansett Porter and festgoers were the beneficiaries. It was a dark, medium-bodied porter with a balanced roasted, toasted dark malt flavor. The lightness of corn and a medium malt body accented the flavor and aroma experience of dry-hopped Cascade perfectly.

America’s First Dry-Hopped Beer

According to the program, which was the information given to us by the brewery, “This dark brew uses malted barley, a small amount of corn grits, top fermenting yeast and a blend of Cascade and Bullion hops. Ballantine [actually presented as Narragansett] Porter is dry hopped in storage during transfer from primary to secondary. CO2 is used to reinvigorate the hops later. … The peak for this brew is around 45 days. The alcohol content is over 6% by volume.”

It struck me that this may have been the first modern-day American-brewed beer that was dry hopped. The few existing microbrewers such as Sierra Nevada, Boulder Beer, River City, and Anchor Brewing were more likely late hopping during the brewing stage. I don’t recall that dry hopping in the fermentation/aging tanks had made its way into the process with American microbrewers yet.

I vividly recall that ʼGansett was delicious, and it has become the kind of beer I really enjoy these days. I wanted to recreate it, so I formulated Flubadub ‘Gansett Porter to replicate what I experienced in 1982. It was after I had formulated my recipe that I came across the above description, and to my delight, my recollection jived with the brewery’s description with one exception. My beer is a bit lower in alcohol content, which is where I am at these days.

Bullion hops are very difficult to get, so I substituted German Hallertauer. Their low bitterness and earthy flavors are easy to navigate. You’ll notice I add a touch of homegrown wild Colorado hops. These hops have a sulfur-like onion character and hardly any bitterness value; their IBU contribution to this recipe is only about 3 BUs. My feeling is that a blend of wild hops and Hallertauer can somewhat replicate Bullion’s character.

So, let’s cut the shuck and jive and get on with the recipe.

Charlie Papazian is founder of the American Homebrewers Association and the author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

Read More

Beer

Brown Porter

George and Aaron’s Pre-Prohibition Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

George Schwab IV of Conway, AR won a gold medal in Category 14: American Porter and Stout during the 2018 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Portland, OR with the help of Aaron McFarland. Schwab and McFarland's pre-Prohibition porter was chosen as the best among 288 entries in the category. Read More

Beer

Baltic Porter

“Storm Surge” Baltic Porter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

The following recipe appears in "The Winners Circle: 18th Annual Peach State Brew Off" by Amahl Turczyn in the July/August 2011 issue of Zymurgy magazine.

This Baltic Porter is complex but well worth the wait, per its creator Ryan Stansbury with the Brewmasters of Alpharetta homebrew club. With this recipe and a meticulous process, he won best of show at the 2011 Peach State Brew Off in Atlanta, GA.

Brewers Notes "There are two keys to brewing this beer. The first is the malt bill. It's fairly complex, and for that reason some patience is required. In my experience, the more complex the grain bill, the more conditioning the beer needs for the flavors to meld. I also recommend sourcing the debittered dark malts to keep the roastiness restrained. The other key is fermentation. The strain of yeast is largely unimportant and can be either lager or ale as long as esters are restrained. I used an ale yeast that ferments cleanly at lower temperatures just because it was available. The recipe is also fairly dry for the style, which is a personal preference, so just look for yeast that ferments cleanly, attenuates well, and can handle the higher ABV."

Read More

Beer