Get In The Fall Spirit With One Of These Bartender-Approved Porters

It’s officially dark beer weather. Which dark beer — stout or porter — is up to you. Of course, you might not know the difference. Most beer drinkers don’t.

At the end of the day, it all revolves around the malts. Stouts are usually made using un-malted, roasted barley. This gives them their toasty, coffee-like flavor notes. Porters are typically made with malted barley that isn’t roasted. This leaves porters feeling much milder on the palate — more chocolatey and caramel-like.

We’ve talked stouts a fair bit recently, so today we’re giving porters some shine. To find the best options for fall sipping, we asked some bartenders for their input. Check their answers below!

Three Floyd’s Alpha Klaus

Dante Wheat, bartender and founder of Raw Pineapples in Louisville, Kentucky

Three Floyd’s Alpha Klaus. The GOAT of Christmas beer (Christmas starts in fall IDC) is a beautifully strange cross between a porter and a pale ale.

This beer is dope, point blank period.

Resurgence Peter B. Porter

Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis

If you can locate it, Peter B. Porter from Resurgence Brewery in Buffalo, New York is a decadent treat for spooky season. Chocolate, peanut butter, and all the best parts of childhood trick or treating are what awaits your palate. A standard ABV and touches of vanilla make it a sustainable choice while greeting the costumed kiddos with full-size candy bars.

Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter

Gavin Humes, bartender at Scratch|Bar & Kitchen in Los Angeles

I’ve been interested in the Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter recently because it’s not overwhelmingly heavy. With the sour component, it has a nice sweetness that isn’t ever too much. With the tart sour notes, it’s got a really fun complexity.

Tyranena Brewing Chief Blackhawk

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Tasty #ChiefBlackhawkPorter from @tyranena

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Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

Tyranena Brewing Chief Blackhawk Porter. This is a spot-on porter with plenty of coffee and chocolate flavors. The head is a nice mocha and the viscosity is enticing.

Founders Porter

Nick Coles, bartender at Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento, California

The best porter to drink this fall would have to be Founders. The Founders Porter is perfect for fall/Halloween time. It has a sweet chocolate nose to it, with a strong, yet balanced malt.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

Roberto Berdecia, bartender at La Factoria in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Most of us have more time now, if so, I will recommend a proper porter tasting. If not, my favorite one is Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s probably because it was the first porter I tried, but the combination of the flavors is perfect for my palate.

Funky Buddha Wide Awake It’s Morning

Nestor Marchand, director of food and beverage at Plunge Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Wide Awake It’s Morning, from Funky Buddha Brewery. It is a south Florida local brewery making very good, genuinely interesting brews. It’s pretty much breakfast in a pint glass with maple, coffee, and chocolate flavors.

Anchor Porter

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@anchorbrewing 🍺👌 #anchorporter

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Eli Gay, taproom manager for NOLA Brewing in New Orleans

Anchor Porter. This criminally overlooked porter has stood in the shadows of its older sibling, Anchor Steam, for far too long. It’s the perfect blend of roast and chocolate while finishing clean. At 5.6% ABV, you can enjoy multiple in one session without palate fatigue.

Writer’s Picks:

Stone Smoked Porter Vanilla Bean

The only thing that can make a porter better is if it’s smoked. This version is full of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla sweetness paired with robust roasted malts. It will warm you up on a cold, fall night.

Creature Comforts Koko Buni

This 8-percent milk porter is so flavorful you’ll have to drink it a few times to catch all the notes. It starts with hints of coconut and espresso and moves into milk chocolate and eventually sweet cream. All in all, the epitome of “dessert in a glass.”