Another quick post to catch up on the recent interest in porter, with Zythophile’s excellent report on possible geographic differences in the use of the term and Ron Pattinson’s equally fascinating posts, like this one on historic porter grists, earlier this week. Their focus has been on British and Irish porters, though just a couple of weeks ago Boak and Bailey posted some tasting notes on Baltic porters, a Continental off-shoot that is usually much stronger, while still retaining some of the characteristics of the English original. (At least in the sense that they’re both dark.)
Though we’re far from the Baltics, a few such porters are produced in Central Europe. The Czech Republic’s brewing laws limit the term to those beers made with barley malt and with an original gravity above 18° (resulting in a strength around 7% ABV or more). Pardubický Porter, for many years the lone exemplar, is brewed at 19° and has 8% ABV; similar Czech brews have recently appeared from Pilsner Urquell and Kout na Šumavě.
In Germany, the term can apparently be used for beers that are much closer to a conversational tone, like Lausitzer Porter (4.4% ABV).
This marks at least one instance where the Czechs have no problem trouncing their neighbors to the west.