A stout was considered a workman’s beer in the 19th and early 20th century. Born out of the success of London porters, stouts were stronger with a fuller and creamier body hence the name. The style traveled beyond England resulting in Irish Dry Stouts and a variety of sweeter and stronger interpretations out of Belgium.
Stout was the staple beer of the laborers in the Flemish textile factories, the Walloon coal mines and on the docks of the Flemish harbors, where physical labor was exhausting, and 12-14 hour days the standard. These Belgian stouts are milder, which means sweeter than Irish stouts.
Stouts had a very manly image with muscular arms pictured on the publicity posted posters. Today, however, the sweeter and rounder undertone, with a complex taste and aroma of the best Belgians stouts, attract a lot of female drinkers.