International Stout Day Date in the current year: November 7, 2024

International Stout Day If you love dark beers, don’t forget to celebrate International Stout Day. Observed annually on the first Thursday of November, it was established to give stouts the recognition they deserve and raise awareness of the different variations of stouts.

Stout is a dark ale (warm-fermented beer) that comes in a number of variations. The word stout was first used for beer in 1677 to describe strong beers. Throughout the 18th century, the adjective stout could be added to any kind of beer to indicate it was strong. At some point it became solely associated with porters; stronger porters, typically 7-8% ABV, were referred to as stout porters.

The histories of porter and stout are intertwined, and even today it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between porters and stouts. Both terms are used almost interchangeably to describe dark beers. For example, Guinness Extra Stout used to be called Extra Superior Porter; Guinness adopted the name “stout” for its beers in the 1840s. Overall, stouts tend to be stronger and more full-bodied than porters.

Modern stouts come in a number of variations. The most popular ones include dry stout, imperial stout, oatmeal stout, milk stout, and chocolate stout. Dry stout, also known as Irish stout, is the style that most people associate with stout. Guinness is arguably the most famous brand of dry stout. Imperial stout is a very strong stout (over 9% ABV) inspired by the “Russian Imperial stout” that was brewed by the Anchor Brewery in London for export to the court of Catherine the Great of Russia.

Oatmeal stout is brewed from a mixture of barley and oats. The oats don’t give the finished beer an oatmeal taste; they are used to add smoothness and body to the stout. Milk stout is a stout that contains milk sugar (lactose), which adds body and sweetness to the beer. Chocolate stout doesn’t actually contain chocolate; it is made with dark malt that gives the beer a noticeable dark chocolate flavor. Some breweries even brew so-called pastry stouts, intended to mimic the flavor or aroma of various sweets and desserts such as brownies, s’mores, and donuts.

International Stout Day was launched in 2011 by Erin Peters aka The Beer Goddess, a beer writer from Southern California. Sadly she passed away from ovarian cancer in 2021, but her legacy lives on through her writing and through International Stout Day, a holiday celebrated by thousands beer lovers around the world.

To celebrate International Stout Day, breweries, bars, pubs, and restaurants organize beer tastings, beer and food pairing classes, and various promotions. If there are no events near you, you can celebrate International Stout Day by going out to your favorite pub and enjoying a stout or two, joining your friends for a pub crawl to find the best stout in town, buying stout from your local craft brewery, or even cooking with stout (this beer style is great in meat stews and brownies). And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #InternationalStoutDay.

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