Harvey’s Black Porter Stout 4.8% abv.
Stout and Porter are now fairly interchangeable terms to describe a black beer made with roasted barley. Originally, stouts were stronger versions of porters and the term porter became obsolete. The rise of craft brewers over the last 20 years has meant than many have turned to creating older styles of beer. Stout used to mean just one thing and that was Guinness or perhaps Murphy’s. Now many small craft brewers will offer a bottled stout or porter and a few do a cask conditioned version.
Harvey’s Black Porter Stout, which is now available in 330 ml. cans pours a black colour and has a roasted coffee aroma. This is a very smooth, rich drink with a real depth of flavour. Hints of coffee and chocolate come through. This beer has none of the harsh acrid tastes of some stouts. This is a beer to sip slowly in order to appreciate its complex taste. Stout traditionally goes with shellfish, especially oysters. It would also goes well with a casserole.
Harvey’s have been brewing in the picturesque Sussex town of Lewes since 1820. They are one of only 34 breweries established in the UK before 1973 that are still independent businesses. All the rest were swallowed up by big corporations and their breweries closed down. Harvey’s occupy a prominent riverside location in the centre of Lewes and are the oldest brewers in Sussex. They have a very fine bottle shop in the High Street where you can buy around 20 different styles of their bottled and canned ales. Harvey’s own 48 pubs in the South East of England and supply cask ale to several hundred Free Houses in the South.
Cole Porter (1894 -1964) was one of the leading song writers of Broadway musicals. This genre is now known as the Great American Songbook and his songs have been covered by great singers from Ella Fitzgerald to Rod Stewart. A band that probably liked a drop of Porter or Stout were the Celtic Punk band, The Pogues. In 1990 they teamed up with the late, great Kirsty McColl (1959 -2000) and recorded one of Cole Porter’s best known songs, “Miss Otis Regrets”. There are hundreds of versions of this classic song but I particularly like this poignant version. Pour yourself a glass of Harvey’s Black stout and listen to the immense talent of Kirsty who deserves to be remembered for more than, “There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”.