The two beer giants joust for your dollar every day in the supermarket, but which is the best overall? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Jester King and Porter, the two most popular American beer brands available today.
The King (Jester King) Vs. The Porter
Jester King began as a small brewery in Houston, Texas, in 1980. It expanded to include locations in other states before settling on its current home base in Louisiana. At the time of writing, there are 23 locations across the country, including 12 in the state of Louisiana. These days, you’ll often see the ‘King’ depicted on cans and bottles as a jolly fellow wearing a crown and holding a sceptre. On that note, let’s take a look at how the company describes itself now:
“We’re more than just a beer company, we’re a lifestyle brand. We believe in happy hours, good food, and good company. We are committed to producing great-tasting beer and creating an environment where people can come together and enjoy themselves. Our name, ‘King’, comes from the fact that beer is a kind of entertainment and a way to experience something new. If you’ve had one too many Carpe Diems and you want to try something new, go for it, but don’t expect it to be predictable. We at Jester King are proud to offer you choices, not limitations. So go ahead and laugh, have fun, and drink up!”
The King beer is available in 12-ounces and 16-ounces bottles and cans. It features a mild to medium-bodied taste that’s highly drinkable thanks to its balanced mix of sweet and sour elements. Its label is designed in a fun, quirky manner that’s consistent with the overall whimsical vibe of the brand.
The Porter (Porter Brewing Company)
If you’re a fan of Guinness and you’ve somehow managed to avoid the lighter counterparts, then the full-bodied, dark beer porters are the ones you should try out. In fact, if you’ve tried a Guinness and you don’t like the taste, you may be able to salvage some pleasure out of a bottle or two of porter, which is also brewed by the Guinness empire.
First established in 1849, the company took its name from a fictional character created by the Irish writer Samuel Beckett. As the brand grew to include pubs and hotels across the U.S., it also established distributorships in other countries, namely Canada and Italy, which eventually led to the creation of an importer called Porter Importers Inc in 1982. These days, you can find Porter everywhere, from gas stations to restaurants, although it’s typically still served at bars and hotels in the U.S.
The good thing about this beer is that, unlike the ‘King’, it doesn’t skimp out on the taste buds, with each sip delivering a smooth, rich flavor that lingers on the tongue for a good long while. While the Guinness and the King share some commonalities, such as being available in a range of colors and packaging, Porter is a bit of an all-rounder in terms of what it offers. Its drinkers can enjoy plenty of variety with a range of styles to choose from, including Stout, Imperial Stout, Porter, and more – the list is endless!
Key Differences Between Them
As mentioned, one of the biggest differences between the two is the variety of beers they produce. While the Guinness and King are both available in many different styles, Porter offers something for everyone. Its range of offerings includes Amber Lager, Altbier, IPA, Porter, and even a Christmas Ale which it bills as the “strongest beer in the world.” A quick glance at the beer list for the Porter brand and you’ll see several options that are a far cry from the light, refreshing drinks manufactured by the King brewer.
Another big difference between the two is the can and bottle designs. The King often uses simple designs for its aluminum cans, while the Porter company went a step further and designed some of its own labels, including a skull-and-crossbones emblem which adorns the brand’s flagship product, the Dark Horse Ale.
In terms of pricing, while both the Guinness and King beers are relatively inexpensive, the Porter brand is a bit more expensive. You’ll commonly see it selling for around $2.50 to $3.50 a pint in bars and restaurants, and the price goes up from there if you decide to purchase a six-pack. (Usually, if you buy a six-pack, the price is around the same as for a pint but, sometimes, it’s a bit cheaper.)
Speaking of bars and restaurants, if you’re in an upscale establishment, you may pay a bit more for a beer than you would in a dive bar, but the variety of brands available and the experience in general are certainly something to look forward to. (Also, in those types of bars, you won’t need to spend extra on food to make the drink taste better.)
If you want to enjoy a pint of Guinness in the privacy of your own home, you might have to pay a bit more than you would for a pint in a small bar or restaurant. (At the time of writing, a pint of Guinness costs around $7.50 in the U.S.A., while a pint of Porter is $4.50.) However, considering how good both beers are, you may not mind paying a bit more for an excellent pint at home.
Which One Should You Try Out?
Based on what we just discussed, it should be clear that the Guinness and the King are the two big winners when it comes to the American beer industry. Not only are they the most popular brands, but they also offer a wide range of products, including several varieties of ale, lager, and stout. As a result, if you’re visiting the U.S., you may find it difficult to avoid drinking something made by the Guinness or King brands if you are to stay healthy.
On the other hand, the Porter brand can be found in virtually all corners of the country, including gas stations and restaurants, which makes it easy to obtain if you’re located out of state. The variety of products the brewer offers means it’s often the go-to choice for people who like something new every time they go to the bar and who enjoy trying new beers. If you’re in a bar or a restaurant that serves local brews and you want to try something new, you may need to ask the bartender for a recommendation of what’s available, or you might end up with something made by the King that you don’t like. In that case, you’ll simply have to find a gas station to buy a six-pack to make the drink more cost-effective.
In short, if you’ve tried a Guinness and you like the taste, you may have saved yourself a bundle by avoiding the other two. While the other two beers are indeed good, they don’t come close to the consistency and the depth of flavor that define a real masterpiece such as the Guinness. (And if you really like craft beers, then you may also want to give the King a skip, as it tends to only offer cheaper products that are available in many other places, too.)