Overview for the American Porter

The American Porter is a malty dark brew whose palate is complex and flavorful dark malts and varying hops. Historically, it’s an aggressive variant of the English Porter and Pre-Prohibition American Porters. It’s more assertive than an American Brown Ale but not as strong or bitter as the American Stout.

Style Expectations

A substantial, malty dark beer with a complex and flavorful dark malt character.


Medium brown to very dark brown, often with ruby- or garnet-like highlights. Can approach black in color. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer, but when not opaque will be clear (particularly when held up to the light). Full, tan-colored head with moderately good head retention.


Medium-light to medium-strong dark malt aroma, often with a lightly burnt character. Optionally may also show some additional malt character in support (grainy, bready, toffee-like, caramelly, chocolate, coffee, rich, and/or sweet). Hop aroma low to high, often with a resiny, earthy, or floral character. May be dry-hopped. Fruity esters are moderate to none.


Moderately strong malt flavor usually features a lightly burnt malt character (and sometimes chocolate and/or coffee flavors) with a bit of grainy, dark malt dryness in the finish. Overall flavor may finish from dry to medium-sweet. May have a sharp character from dark roasted grains, but should not be overly acrid, burnt or harsh. Medium to high bitterness, which can be accentuated by the dark malt. Hop flavor can vary from low to high with a resiny, earthy, or floral character, and balances the dark malt flavors. The dark malt and hops should not clash. Dry-hopped versions may have a resiny flavor. Fruity esters moderate to none.


Medium to medium-full body. Moderately low to moderately high carbonation. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth. May have a slight astringency from dark malts, although this character should not be strong.


High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea

American Porter  •  Ballast Point Brewing Company

High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, an American Porter by Ballast Point Brewing Company is luxurious and complex with a fine balance of sweet and earthy. Read More

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

American Porter  •  Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is an American Porter by Great Lakes Brewing Co. that’s robust with hops, roast, chocolate, and dark fruits. Read More

Hotbox Coffee Porter

American Porter  •  Oskar Blues Brewery

Hotbox Coffee Porter, an American Porter by Oskar Blues Brewery has a pleasant coffee aroma with a nicely balanced palate of roast, hops, and chocolate. Read More

Anchor Coffee Porter

American Porter  •  Anchor Brewing

Anchor Coffee Porter, an American Porter by Anchor Brewing has a robust and complex palate of coffee, floral hops, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Read More

Bell’s Porter

American Porter  •  Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Bell’s Porter is an American Porter by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. that’s wonderfully executed with flavors of coffee roast and dark chocolate. Read More

Coconut Hiwa

American Porter  •  Maui Brewing Company

Coconut Hiwa is an American Porter by Maui Brewing Co. whose use of coconut is slight, but an otherwise straightforward representation of the style. Read More

Campout Porter

American Porter  •  Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.Garage Project

Campout Porter is an American Porter by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Garage Project that wonderfully balances flavors roast and sweet. Read More

Early Riser Coffee Porter

American Porter  •  Boulevard Brewing Co.

Early Riser Coffee Porter, an American Porter by Boulevard Brewing Co. delightfully blends flavors of coffee roast and dark chocolate. Read More

Vanilla Porter

American Porter  •  Breckenridge Brewery

Vanilla Porter is an American Porter by Breckenridge Brewery that blends sweet vanilla bean and chocolate with roast and nut. Read More

Last Snow

American Porter  •  Funky Buddha Brewery

Last Snow is an American Porter by Funky Buddha Brewery that masterfully blends chocolate, coconut, and coffee roast flavors. Read More


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