What came to be known as Baltic Porter originated in England in the 1700s through the brewing of a stronger English Porter to withstand a lengthy ship’s journey to countries along the Baltic Sea. As was the regular English Porter of the day, Baltic Porter was brewed using warm-fermenting ale yeast.
Inspired to brew it themselves, brewers in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and even Germany were making Baltic Porter by the1800s. With the advent and growing popularity of cold-fermentation and lagering in the mid 1800s, most of these brewers ultimately switched to using lager yeast. Today it is considered the “classic” method to brew interpretations of the Baltic Porter style using lager yeast and cold fermentation, although some examples continue to be warm-fermented. Baltic Porter ranges in color from a clear deep copper-garnet to opaque deep brown (virtually black). A smooth mouth-feel (lager characteristic) delivers rich, complex malts with roasty notes (not burnt), chocolate, licorice, caramel and dark fruit. Hints of malt smokiness may show, and hop spicing and bitterness are low and balancing. Alcohol strength can bring out fruity notes in the beer and warmth to the senses. Baltic Porter, whether cold or warm-fermented, is a quintessential member of the Porter-style family of beers and thus is often categorized and listed along with the other Porter styles.
|Taste/Smell||Malty, Cocoa, Coffee, Alcohol, Medium- Full- bodied|
|Alcohol-by-Volume (ABV) Range||7 - 9.5%|
|Popular Examples||Baltika #6 Porter, BOSS Browar Black Boss Porter, Okocim Porter, Sinebrychoff Porter, Zywiec Porter, Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, Ska Nefarious Ten Pin, Victory Baltic Thunder|
|Serving Temperature||Cellar, 55-57°|
|Glassware||Pint or nonic, beer mug|
|Cheese Pairing Ideas||Asiago, Brie, Colby, Gloucester, Gouda|
|Food Pairing Ideas||Roasted, smoked and barbecued foods, including beef, poultry, seafood, sausage, chili and also hearty stews|