Whenever St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, the internet begins to explode with four-leaf clovers and pots of gold! As you probably know, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held every year on March 17th, honoring the death of St. Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Although it’s considered a public holiday in Ireland and Canada, celebrations in the United States tend to be more generalized celebrations of Irish culture and their various exports. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite Irish beers!
Irish beers tend to be stereotyped as rich and full-bodied, but many are also light and crisp! Our list covers many different types of beers, including cream ales, stouts, lagers, and ales.
Favorite Stout: Beamish Stout
This beer holds some significant similarities to its cousin, the Guinness. Both are dark and chocolatey, but the Beamish diverges from tradition to feature a slightly lighter body and spicier bite. This stout goes through a two-week brewing process using the original Beamish yeast, dating back to 1792. It is well worth the wait—sweet flavors of caramel and hints of coffee balance out the bitter, hoppy finish. For an added bonus, the Beamish comes in a nitro-can. The nitrogen stimulates the taste and texture of a freshly-poured pint for a result that is truly bittersweet.
Favorite Ale: Smithwick’s Irish Ale
Although many beers have a long history, this one dates back to the fourteenth century when monks would brew their own beer next door to the Smithwick’s brewery. It’s Ireland’s oldest operating brewery and the primary ale producer in Ireland. With Smithwick’s, you can expect some caramel maltiness and a hint of hops.
Favorite Cream Ale: Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
Like our favorite ale, this cream ale is older than some countries. Kilkenny has a heritage dating back to the fourteenth century, and until recently, Dubliner Pub in Washington, D.C., was the only place in the United States that carried it. This cream ale has a pleasant toasted malt flavor. It’s sweet and creamy and offset by some bitterness and is available in both draught (nitrogen-infused) and canned forms.
Favorite Lager: Harp Lager
Some people loathe sweetness in a beer, and luckily for them, there’s Harp Lager. This crisp, summery brew has a bitter beginning that soon becomes clean and refreshing. It’s an intensely classic lager that’s both smooth and solid.
Favorite Pilsner: Barefoot Bohemian
Finally, pilsner fans will rejoice in this unorthodox lager! The Barefoot Bohemian has complex biscuity malt, soft rounded bitterness, and a twist of spice from the noble Saaz and Hallertau hops. This crisp and adventurous brew is perfect when chilled!
Happy holidays from all of us at First Legal!