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August 16, 2021

Beer guide: Craft porters

Few things will keep you warm and nurtured through the depths of winter like a rich, malty, smooth dark brew.

  • Words: Luke Teakle
  • Pictures: Johnny von Einem

A stout is the obvious winter drinking choice – and for good reason, South Australia has some admirable products in this category (shoutout to Coopers Best Extra).

But hiding in stout’s shadow is a lesser appreciated younger sibling – the porter.

Perhaps this is because of the style’s origin. Jeff Goodieson of McLaren Vale’s Goodieson Brewery tells us it originates from the early 18th century.

Parched porters in industrial England couldn’t afford a pint of stout, so the publican would water it down and charge the workers less.

A porter is essentially a ‘smaller’ stout. It has many of the same characteristics: dark colour, full body and notes of chocolate and coffee, just toned down a little.

Porters are also lower in ABV, making them ideal for a winter session around a campfire. 

Below are our favourites for the next time you’re in your Uggs and looking for something to sip.


Lobethal Bierhaus: Red Truck Porter

The craft beer veterans up at Lobethal Bierhaus have long stuck to their guns with the Red Truck Porter. The beer is as true to the style as you could hope for, with a lusciously full body that defies its paltry 5.2% ABV. There are lingering flavours of dark chocolate and the slightest hint of caramel.


Little Bang: May Contain Traces of Panther: Chocolate Porter

This Brian Fantana of a beer goes down a treat 100 per cent of the time. May Contain Traces of Panther will make you feel like Ron Burgundy himself, sipping by the fire in your mahogany-clad library.


Watsacowie Brewing Company: Ethel Porter

The Ethel Porter from Yorke Peninsula’s Watsacowie brims with choc-coffee aromas, with a delicious, full mouthfeel
to match. There is the faintest hint of smoke at the end of each sip, making it dangerously moreish.


Goodieson Brewery: Brown Ale

Labelled a brown ale, Jeff says this beer’s technically a ‘robust porter’, meaning it has a slightly higher ABV. Marketed as a ‘year-round’ beer, the smooth brew is a truly tasty drop and especially fitting during winter.


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