The Best Dark Beers: A Journey into the Dark Side of Brewing

by Karl S Updated on May 25, 2023

When it comes to beer, there’s a rich, delicious world beyond the pale. Welcome to the realm of dark beers, where the flavors are intense, the colors are deep, and the experiences are unforgettable.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best dark beers, their unique characteristics, and why they are considered the best.

The Best Dark Beers to Try

Let’s dive into the world of dark beers and discover some of the best ones you should try.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter


This award-winning rich porter isn’t too heavy nor complex, making it a great choice for those new to the style. It boasts flavors of chocolate, coffee, and dried fruit.

Zero Gravity Extra Stout


This beer stands out for its use of Irish-style extra stout, which is pretty unusual to see outside of Ireland. It offers notes of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt.

Alaskan Smoked Porter


This beer has a cult following thanks to its unique smoked meat taste and aroma. It’s a perfect choice for those who enjoy a bit of smokiness in their beer.

Bell’s Expedition Stout


Known for being one of the first Russian imperial stouts brewed in the United States, this beer boasts chocolate and dark fruit flavors and a high ABV.


How to Brew Guinness and Hack a Clone

No list of dark beers would be complete without Guinness. This world-renowned stout is beloved for its smooth, creamy texture and rich, malty flavor.

Here’s how to brew Guinness at home.

What Makes Dark Beers Special?

Dark beers get their color and flavor from roasted malts. The amount of dark malt used affects the beer’s final color and taste, with more adding complexity like coffee, chocolate, and caramel notes.

Different methods can also deepen a beer’s color, including longer brewing processes or barrel aging in charred wood barrels.

Pairing Dark Beers with Food

Dark beers pair wonderfully with a variety of foods. Pork dishes or steak would benefit from a dark beer pairing, while aged cheeses like blue, Gouda, or sharp cheddar would also suit its rich sweetness.


Dark beers offer a unique, rich, and satisfying drinking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or a curious newcomer, there’s a dark beer out there for you.

So why not take a journey into the dark side of brewing and discover your new favorite beer?