Forget about fowl and their offspring, what about the real question: Which came first the porter or the stout? Much of the written beer history of that time was spotty at best. One of the first mentions of either one was in the early 1700s. It referenced a brewer’s description of a porter, or “entire” beer. These beers were more robust than the common ale and had a darker color, higher alcohol and higher hopping rates. The name probably came from the beer’s biggest consumer, the porters, or the laborers of that time.
In the 1750s, Arthur Guinness began making beer in his brewery in St. James’s Gate, Ireland. The London porters were becoming as popular in Ireland as in England, so the brewery began producing this type of beer.
They eventually produced and marketed a “Guinness Extra Strong Porter” which eventually was termed a “Stout Porter”. At some point the word porter was dropped and the beer was known simply as “stout”.
The Dugan Oatmeal Stout was made with about 5% flaked oats. giving it a rich body and creamy thick head. That nearly constitutes as breakfast, doesn’t it? It was named in loving memory of a long time patron and friend of the Calistoga Inn, Ray Dugan. Next time you want to relive a small piece of European history, stop by and try a pint of Calistoga Porter side by side with the Dugan Oatmeal Stout. Enjoy it while it lasts. Cheers!