The history of Stout beer

Most Americans regard Stout as thick, dark, and very strong beers. It is also a common misconception that these black beers are more potent, simply because of their appearance.

There are many variations of stout beer style. Some are dry and some are sweet, others are very hoppy and some stout are breaking records in terms of alcohol content for a beer. All have this common characteristic of a roasted flavor that distinguishes them from all other beer styles. Usually, this roasted character comes from the use of roasted barley, which is barley grain that has not been malted, but very kilned. The process imparts a unique character to the grain and creates flavors ranging from unsweetened chocolate to the bitter taste of coffee.

In the late 1700s, some English breweries produced a large amount of very black and very strong beer, which was exported abroad, especially in the Baltic region. This variation was called the  Imperial Russian Stout . Brewed at an extreme strength, around 8-11% alcohol, and packaged for months or even years before being eaten, these beers were very popular in the Russian imperial court.

The first stout was officially marketed in the 1730s. Early versions of this drink were from Ireland, popularized by the Guinness Company.

Stout beer is made up of many types of malt. Other variants can be used such as oatmeal, which gives a soft character and a creamy foam to the beer. Irish Stout are the most famous types of this beer. They have an international reputation thanks to their extreme quality.

However, since the early 2000s, it is Quebec that holds the title of the best producer of stout beers in the world. In fact, over the last 10 years, microbreweries in Quebec have been the most influential in the world of beer internationally. In the past, Quebec microbreweries were inspired by the techniques of Belgian and German brewers. Today is the opposite.

Quebec producers have developed their own beer styles and have even created their own yeast strains. Stout beers from Quebec even made such a difference when, in 2011, La Criminelle beer, from the microbreweries La voie malte, won the best stout of the year award. This 10% black beer has broken new ground with unique flavors and a fine use of malt and hops. Other Quebecers such as the Stout Impériale of the microbrewery La Barberie and the Vache Folle, the microbrasserie Charlevoix have also received numerous awards in international competitions. There is no doubt that in the coming years, Quebec will be recognized as the main resource in the world of quality beers, along with Belgium and Germany.