Style Details

Name
Ame­ri­can Por­ter
Cate­go­ry
Ame­ri­can Por­ter and Stout
BJCP Style Code
20 A
Appearan­ce
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.
Aro­ma
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.
Fla­vour
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.
Mouth­feel
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.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A sub­stan­ti­al, mal­ty dark beer with a com­plex and fla­vor­ful dark malt cha­rac­ter.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
May con­tain several mal­ts, pro­mi­n­ent­ly dark mal­ts, which often inclu­de black malt (cho­co­la­te malt is also often used). Ame­ri­can hops typi­cal­ly used for bit­te­ring, but US or UK finis­hing hops can be used; a cla­shing citrus qua­li­ty is gene­ral­ly unde­s­i­ra­ble. Ale yeast can eit­her be clean US ver­si­ons or cha­rac­ter­ful Eng­lish varie­ties.
Histo­ry
A stron­ger, more aggres­si­ve ver­si­on of pre-pro­hi­bi­ti­on por­ters and/or Eng­lish por­ters deve­lo­ped in the modern craft beer era. His­to­ri­cal ver­si­ons exis­ted, par­ti­cu­lar­ly on the US East Coast, some of which are still being pro­du­ced (see the His­to­ri­cal Beer, Pre-Pro­hi­bi­ti­on Por­ter). This style descri­bes the modern craft ver­si­on.
Comments
Alt­hough a rather broad style open to bre­wer inter­pre­ta­ti­on. Dark malt inten­si­ty and fla­vor can vary signi­fi­cant­ly. May or may not have a strong hop cha­rac­ter, and may or may not have signi­fi­cant fer­men­ta­ti­on by-pro­ducts; thus may seem to have an “Ame­ri­can” or “Bri­tish” cha­rac­ter.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Anchor Por­ter, Bou­le­vard Bul­ly! Por­ter, Deschu­tes Black But­te Por­ter, Foun­ders Por­ter, Gre­at Lakes Edmund Fitz­ge­rald Por­ter, Smut­tynose Robust Por­ter, Sier­ra Neva­da Por­ter
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.050 - 1.070 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.012 - 1.018 SG
Color
22 - 40 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 6.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
25 - 50 IBU