Style Details

Pre-Pro­hi­bi­ti­on Porter
His­to­ri­cal Beer
BJCP Style Code
27 A7
Medi­um to dark brown, though some examp­les can be near­ly black in color, with ruby or maho­ga­ny high­lights. Rela­tively clear. Light to medi­um tan head which will per­sist in the glass.
Base grai­ny malt aro­ma with low levels of dark malt (slight burnt or cho­co­la­te notes). Low hop aro­ma. Low to mode­ra­te low levels of DMS accep­ta­ble. May show low levels of cara­mel and bis­cuit aro­ma. No to very low esters. Light adjunct (lico­ri­ce, molas­ses) aro­ma accep­ta­ble. Diace­tyl low to none. Clean lager pro­fi­le acceptable.
Grai­ny base malt fla­vor, with low levels of cho­co­la­te or burnt black malt notes, along with low levels of cara­mel, bis­cuit, lico­ri­ce, and toast notes. Corn/DMS fla­vor accep­ta­ble at low to mode­ra­te levels. Ame­ri­can hop bit­ter­ness low to mode­ra­te and Ame­ri­can hop fla­vor low to none. Balan­ce is typi­cal­ly even bet­ween malt and hops, with a mode­ra­te dry finish.
Medi­um light to medi­um body, mode­ra­te car­bo­na­ti­on, low to mode­ra­te cre­a­mi­ness. May have a slight astrin­gen­cy from the dark malts.
Over­all Impression
An Ame­ri­can adapt­a­ti­on of Eng­lish Por­ter using Ame­ri­can ingre­di­ents, inclu­ding adjuncts.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Two and six row malt (or a com­bi­na­ti­on of both) are used, along with low per­cen­ta­ges of dark malts inclu­ding black, cho­co­la­te, and brown malt (roas­ted bar­ley is not typi­cal­ly used). Adjuncts are accep­ta­ble, inclu­ding corn, bre­wers lico­ri­ce, molas­ses, and por­te­ri­ne. More his­to­ri­cal ver­si­ons will have up to twen­ty per­cent adjuncts. Lager or ale yeast. Empha­sis on his­to­ri­cal or tra­di­tio­nal Ame­ri­can bit­te­ring hops (Clus­ter, Wil­la­met­te, Cas­ca­de), though finis­hing and fla­vor hops may vary.
Com­mer­ci­al­ly bre­wed in Phil­adel­phia during the revo­lu­tio­na­ry peri­od, the beer gai­ned wide accep­tance in the new­ly for­med mid-Atlan­tic sta­tes, and was endor­sed by Pre­si­dent Geor­ge Washington.
Also some­ti­mes known as Penn­syl­va­nia Por­ter or East Coast Porter.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Steg­mai­er Por­ter, Yueng­ling Porter
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.046 - 1.060 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.016 SG
18 - 30 SRM
4.0 - 6.0 %vol
20 - 30 IBU