The History of Stout with Ron Pattinson – BeerSmith Podcast #277

by Brad Smith on March 6, 2023 · 0 comments

Ron Pattinson joins me to discuss the history of Stouts in the British isles including London Stout, Irish Stout and other variants.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (50:17)

  • This week I welcome back Ron Pattinson. Ron is the author of dozens of books and articles on historical beer brewing including his most recent effort to document British brewing during World War II. You can find his articles and purchase his books from his blog which is Shut Up About Barclay Perkins.
  • Ron discusses the three major books he’s been working on including the upcoming book on Stous.
  • We talk about some of the historical variations of stout and their regional origins.
  • Ron explains why “Stout” originally meant strong beer, and did not necessarily denote a beer that was dark in color.
  • We discuss the earliest stout records we have which are from the 1700’s, as well as what that beer might have looked like.
  • Ron talks about the invention of Black malt in the early 1800’s and how it revolutionized the production of stouts and porters.
  • Ron shares his thoughts on some of the exotic 4-5 mash techniques used and we speculate about what the brewers may have been trying to accomplish.
  • Ron talks about the use of both parti-gyle brewing (more than one batch from one mash) as well as blending the finished beers to deliver a better overall product.
  • We briefly discuss the rise of lagers in the US which had little impact on England.
  • Ron explains how stouts were weakened and modified during both WWI and WWII to compensate for very high taxes and severe supply shortages.
  • We discuss the surviving stouts post-war including sweet stout, milk stout, Irish (dry) stout and others.
  • Ron closes with a discussion of the popularity of stout today and his final thoughts.


Thanks to Ron Pattinson for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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