Whatever Happened to American Stout?

Looking at trends, you could get a very confused perspective on what the American drinker wants. On the one hand, IPA—whether aggressive and bitter or fruity and smooth—still rules the roost. On the other hand, aficionados wrap the blocks for the latest big, burly, rich sweet stout that tastes of bourbon, vanilla, and a Boston cream donut. So, you might think that we, as a group, would appreciate a rich, roasty pint with an aggressive slap of hops.

At one time, we did. What happened to us, and what can we do to restore the proud tradition of the American stout—while still being playful?

Early American brewing had its share of porters and stouts before lagers began to dominate the market, pushing out all but a few old stalwarts. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about craft American stout.

The Roots…

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