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By : Beer Adelaide
June 2015
South Australia has always been renowned for brewing fantastic stouts. Since the start of the colony imported stouts were highly valued and every brewery in SA brewed a stout.

South Australia's big two breweries currently have three stouts on the market, Coopers with their Best Extra Stout and the South Australian Brewing Co. with Southwark Old Stout and Guinness.



Coopers have brewed their Best Extra Stout since the 1880's with the recipe remaining unchanged until the mid 2000's when the alcohol content was lowered due to excise reasons.


Coopers Stout is so well rated throughout Australia, that during the 1980's Swan had Coopers brew their stout. After Coopers finished brewing Stout for the Swan Brewery, Swan has never tried to release a stout since.



The South Australian Brewing Company has also has an excellent history of brewing stouts, since the original West End Brewery in the 1860's the brewery has always had a stout product in it's range.

So well known was S.A. Brewing Co's stouts Guinness chose the brewery in mid 1960's to brew Australia's version of Guinness. This was the first time Guinness Extra Stout was brewed in Australia.

Guinness was brewed in SA until the mid 1970's when production moved to the Tooheys Brewery in NSW. Just a few years ago S.A. Brewing won the contract back and all bottled Guinness in Australia is now brewed locally at S.A. Brewing.

Southwark stout has been brewed at the Southwark brewery since 1928, the current recipe for Southwark Old Stout is a little newer, being developed in the 1980's






Southwark Old Stout

Style - Foreign Stout
Strength - 7.4%
Size - 375mL Bottles
Colour - As black as tar.
Aroma - Chocolate, bourbon, fresh coffee and roasted malt.
Malt - A huge hit of roasted flavours like malt, coffee and chocolate, though there is some sweetness present.
Hops - Nice bitterness, no real hop flavour.
Overall Taste - A fantastic blend of roasted flavours offset by a nice hit of bitterness, but there is also some finer notes of sweetness and vanilla.
Overall - Southwark stout would have to be the best stout brewed by a big brewery in Australia. Big bold flavours perhaps a little thinner in body than the Coopers Best Extra Stout.








Coopers Best Extra Stout

Style - Foreign Stout
Strength - 6.3%
Size - 375mL, 750mL Bottles & Druaght
Colour - Black.
Aroma - Liquorice, coffee beans, with a hint of smoked roasted malt.
Malt - Lots of roasted flavour with malt, coffee & cocoa.
Hops - Very well balanced hoppiness. Not a huge hit of bitterness, but it increases at the back of the throat.
Overall Taste - A smooth roasted flavour with a nice balanced bitterness.
Overall - One of my old favourites, on a cold winters night, there is nothing like pouring a Coopers Best Extra, It is also more widely available compared to the Southwark and the bottled Guinness.








Guinness Extra Stout (Bottled by S.A. Brewing Co.)

Style - Irish Dry Stout
Strength - 6.3%
Size - 375mL, 750mL Bottles
Colour - Jet black.
Aroma - Roasted coffee & toasted malt.
Malt - Lots of cocoa, much less roasted flavours compared to the Southwark & Coopers.
Hops - A large amount of bittering hops, perhaps overpowering the roasted flavours a little bit.
Overall Taste - A dry finish with a lots of bitterness.
Overall - I have never understood why Australia has a different Guinness recipe to the rest of the world.
The S.A. Brewings version is very far removed from the imported cans we get at bottle shops, though it is not
S.A. Brewing fault as it is the recipe given to them by Guinness of Ireland. It is not a bad drink but nowhere as nice as the other 2 stouts.




South Australia has some of the best stouts in the country and are raved about interstate. I have known people to drive to SA just to pick up cartons of Southwark Old Stout. If you have not had a Coopers or Southwark in a while please try them again you will be pleasantly surprised.

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