The humble stout is one of the most underappreciated beer styles. Though it is flavorful but not too heavy, many people don’t give this beer style the credit it deserves.
However, on the first Thursday in November, beer lovers around the world enjoy their favorite stout on International Stout Day.
In this article, I will walk you through the history of International Stout Day. Besides just the history of the day, I’ll offer some stouts you should enjoy, and great places to drink a pint on this festive day.
For good measure, I’ll finish off this article with frequently asked questions about stouts and International Stout Day.
History of Stouts and International Stout Day
The stout gets its start in the 17th century in England. As a beer style, the stout was originally called a stout porter. The name for this beer came from the higher alcohol amount in these dark porter ales. Over time, the porter was dropped, and we are left with the stout we know today.
Stouts are brewed using water, barley, dark malts, hops, and yeast. The color of the stout comes from the roasted grains. These dark roasted grains give more sugar to the beer’s wort. During fermentation, yeast consumes these sugars, forming alcohol. With more sugars, stouts tend to have more alcohol than other beers.
Depending on the brewing process some stouts are very light and low in alcohol. Favorites like Guinness are surprisingly low in alcohol, making them easy to enjoy. Today the stout is a varied beer style. Craft brewers are experimenting with different ingredients, like lactose or oatmeal. The resulting beers are the popular milk and oatmeal stouts.
On International Stout Day, many breweries feature a series of stouts and offer tastings, flights, and specialty brews that highlight the versatility of this dark, malty, and robust beer style.
Celebrating International Stout Day in 2023
In 2023, International Stout Day will be celebrated on November 2nd. The fall is an ideal time to enjoy a stout. I like to move from crisp Oktoberfest beers to the warm and robust stout as the weather cools. These cooler days also make for fall festivals to celebrate the stout that features tastings, brewing demonstrations, and food and beer pairings.
I like to try a new local brewery on International Stout Day. I look for spots that have used unique ingredients or barrel aging to bring a new life to the humble stout.
International Stout Festival 2023
It makes sense that the International Stout Festival would be held at the home of the world’s most popular stout. The Guinness Storehouse plays host to the International Stout Festival each year.
This festival gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy a variety of stout styles, stout-based menus, and a range of beer-focused experiences.
Celebrating International Stout Day in 2024
Yes, it is more than a year away, but it is never too early to plan for the future. As with most years, 2024 is sure to bring some amazing stout-based celebrations and parties for International Stout Day.
If, like me, you enjoy stouts and look forward to the festivities of International Stout Day, mark November 7, 2024 on your calendar, and start planning for your favorite breweries and celebratory experiences.
What to Drink on International Stout Day
Clearly, on International Stout Day, you need to be enjoying a stout. But, if you are just starting to build your knowledge of beer, you may not have a favorite stout to enjoy on International Stout Day.
To help you with your decision-making, I’ve put together a list of my favorite stouts to enjoy on International Stout Day.
Truely, you cannot go wrong with breaking open a Guinness on International Stout Day. This is the most well-known stout in the world and has one of the longest beer histories.
Brewed in the same place since the 1800s Guinness is the standard for what a stout should be like. If you aren’t satisfied with just enjoying a Guinness at home, make plans to enjoy a Guinness at the International Stout Festival held at the Guinness Storehouse annually.
Murphy’s Irish Stout
Guinness is an English stout, but this beer style is also popular in Ireland. If you are curious about how these two countries make stouts differently, try Murphy’s Irish Stout.
This beer is a perfect session beer, with a super low 4% ABV. It’s a close second to Guinness when it comes to popularity. You should have little problem finding this stout in the import section of your local store.
Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout
Samuel Smith’s is another English beer maker that has been around for a long time and is well-known for its brewing traditions. Their oatmeal stout is a great stout to enjoy on International Stout Day.
The addition of Oatmeal gives this stout a mild texture that is a surprising pairing with flavors of toasted nuts, campfire, and smoke.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
If you want to experience a stronger stout example for International Stout Day, a good choice is the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. This stout is very big in flavor and texture.
The profile of this stout is heavy on dark malts which give a unique combination of sweet and bitter to the beer. This imperial has a fairly high ABV, but you will never know it, thanks to a smooth flavor with minimal hints of higher alcohol content.
If you aren’t sure you want to commit to just one stout option, head to your local brewery and ask for a stout flight. On International Stout Day, many craft breweries will offer a few choices. Enjoy a small sample of the stout offerings, and decide for yourself which style and flavor is your favorite.
International Stout Day – FAQ’s
When is International Stout Day?
International Stout Day is celebrated every year on the first Thursday of November. In 2023 it will be celebrated on November 2nd. In 2024 look for International Stout Day celebrations on November 7th.
What is the Difference Between Guinness Draught and Stout?
Guinness Extra Stout and Guinness Draught are different beers, but also the same beer. Both are the original Guinness Irish Stout. The Extra Stout version uses carbon dioxide to carbonate the beer.
Guinness Draught is nitrogenated, meaning that it uses nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide for a creamy foam. Both beers will taste similar, but you will notice a difference in how the beers feel in your mouth.
I find a lot of enjoyment in celebrating International Stout Day. The first Thursday in November is the ideal day to celebrate this flavorful, dark, and robust beer style.
November is the perfect time to transition from your crisp and refreshing summer beers to something heavier for winter. The best way to make this transition is to celebrate International Stout Day with a pint of your favorite, locally brewed stout beer.