St. Patrick’s Day….another great reason for Americans to celebrate anything. It just might be the drinking-est holiday of the year for no other reason than why not. However, it has also caused the creation of the awful green beer concoction that has unfortunately taken a forefront to good beer. It sounds like a good idea, but let’s be honest, it is simply cheep beer with green food coloring. Many of us want more out of our St. Patrick’s Day celebration? We have the usual time-honored Irish beers Guinness Stout, Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Ale (pronounced Smittick, by those who know), but there are so many other selections available to tempt your taste-buds. This week we are going to introduce you to some different options for your drinking pleasure. Lets get started!
Irish Style Lager (Rogue Ales) – Rogue’s Irish Style Lager is the perfect starter beer for this day long celebration. This lighter Irish lager has a smooth flavor, a crisp apple finish and low alcohol content. You should be able to slam back several of these without getting too crazy, too soon.
Kilkenny Irish Red – Brewed in the oldest operating brewery in Ireland, and a little difficult to find at times, it’s definitely worth a try if you find it on a tap list. With an amber color, this favorite has a flavor profile often described as creamy, sweet and bitter all at once.
O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale – This selection is for the IPA lovers who have come out of the woodwork lately. This contemporary Irish microbrewery based in Dublin has put their own Irish spin on the traditional IPA. This Pale Ale combines the balance of European IPAs with the dry hopping typical in American pale ales. With a fruity, flowery and hoppy flavor, this is one to try on St. Patrick’s Day.
Murphy’s Irish Stout – A personal favorite of the author, this international favorite has been brewed in Ireland since 1856. With a dark coloring and flavor notes of toffee and coffee, this “silky-smooth” stout has almost no bitterness and an irresistible creamy finish. This is a must try if you find it on tap anywhere.
Dragoons Dry Irish Stout (Moylan’s Brewing Co.) – Brewed in California, this award-winning stout is made with imported hops and malted barley from the United Kingdom. Named in honor of Irish-born General Stephen Moylan who was commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the Revolutionary War, this classic dry Irish stout contains 8% ABV. Caution should be taken with this one, or you may lose your own war with gravity.
Conway’s Irish Ale – This selection is in honor of the authors home state of Ohio. This seasonal favorite produced by Great Lakes Brewing Company has a toasted, malty flavor that is great alone or accompanying your favorite appetizer. Named after the founders grandfather, Patrick Conway, this selection will soon become a favorite.
Lucky SOB Irish Red (Flying Dog Brewery) – To cover the craft brew division, this selection is a take on the “luck of the Irish” phrasing often thrown around on St. Patrick’s Day, even though nobody really knows where it came from. It is often thought to be ironic, because Irish people have historically been unlucky. Reportedly brewed with real four-leaf clovers, this selection will offer you a rich amber color with a toasted, honey-sweet malt flavoring balanced with a subtle hop bite.
There you have it folks. More than enough choices for you and your party group to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Please feel free to share any other selections you may find along the way. And as always, please drink with caution.