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What Is Dark Beer?

Article Highlights

  • Dark beer is a type of beer that has a higher malt content and takes on a darker color than pale lagers or ales
  • Types of dark beer include Porter, Brown Ale, and Stout
  • Dark beer has been an integral part of brewing culture since the 1700s
  • Popular brands of dark beer include Guinness and Samuel, Adams Boston Lager
  • Potential health benefits of dark beer include higher antioxidant content, digestive support, lower alcohol content, and anti-aging properties.

Welcome to the world of dark beer! There’s nothing like the deep, rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture of a good dark beer.

It can be enjoyed straight from the bottle or served with your favorite meal.

In this blog post, we will look at what exactly dark beer is, its different types, its history, some popular brands, potential health benefits, and how to properly enjoy a glass. Let’s dive right in!

What is Dark Beer?

Dark beer is a broad term that encompasses many different styles and varieties. Generally, it takes on a darker color than pale lagers and ales due to its higher malt content.

Most commonly brewed with roasted barley or roasted malt, it typically has more roast flavors alongside caramelized sweetness from the malts and a lingering hoppy finish on the palate.

Types of Dark Beer

Dark beers can range from light porters to heavy stouts and include:

  • Porters – These beers have roasted malts and coffee-like flavors with hints of chocolate or caramel sweetness.
  • Brown ales – These are light-bodied beers that have slightly sweet chocolate and nutty flavors as well as some malty flavor from the roasted malts used in brewing.
  • Stouts – Typically full-bodied beers with strong coffee flavors, chocolate notes, and bitter hops.

History of Dark Beer

Dark beers have been an integral part of brewing culture since centuries ago in Europe when porters were first brewed in London back in the 1700s. Since then brewers have experimented with different malts and techniques to create a wide range of dark beers that are now enjoyed across the globe.

Popular Brands of Dark Beer

Some popular brands of dark beer include:

– Guinness

A storied Irish dry stout that was first developed in 1759 by Arthur Guinness at his brewery in Dublin’s St James Gate district. With bold coffee flavors and creamy texture, it’s one of the world’s most recognizable beer brands.

– Samuel Adams Boston Lager

An American classic pilsner-style lager developed by Samuel Adams brewer Jim Koch that has won multiple awards for its full-bodied flavor combining biscuit maltiness with hints of citrus from German Noble hops.

Health Benefits Of Dark Beer

Although drinking excess amounts is not recommended for anyone no matter what type of alcohol you consume there are some purported health benefits associated with dark beers including:

  • Higher antioxidant content than other types which could contribute to anti-aging properties as well as help fight inflammation;
  • Potential digestive support due to the presence of probiotics;
  •  Lower alcohol content when compared to other types which could mean fewer calories consumed over time;

How To Drink Dark Beer

There are many ways to enjoy your favorite dark beer – straight outta the bottle or can or served with food at your favorite bar or restaurant!

For those looking for something special, you can also try making our own ‘black & tan’ by layering half stout over half lager for an interesting combination! Here are some tips for getting the most out of your craft beer experience:

  • Serve chilled for best flavor– this ensures none of those delicate hop aromas escape;
  • Use appropriate glassware such as pint glasses (for darker lagers) or snifters (for darker ales) so you can inhale their aroma while drinking;
  • Pair with foods that compliment their roast malts characters such as steak & fries or Mexican dishes like tacos & burritos!


We hope this blog post has provided you with all you need to know about dark beer specifically what it is, its various types & flavors, its history & popular brands as well as potential health benefits & tips on how best to enjoy this style!

Now put that newfound knowledge into practice next time you find yourself at a bar ordering a pint – cheers!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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