Don’t fall in with the huddled masses, merely yearning to get lit on St. Patrick’s day! Don’t drink until you turn green with no regard for the liquid in your glass or cup! And do not, and I mean DO NOT waste your time being green, by drinking all those cheap, light beers that have had green food coloring added to them for novelty. You’re better than that!
St. Patrick’s day is Monday, March 17th, and no doubt many of you are already with friends, out at your favorite watering holes, and kickin’ back to down a few. St. Patrick’s day is a holiday where people are supposed remember and be thankful for the work of The Apostle of Ireland, aka St. Patrick.
Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland, and is the primary patron saint of Ireland, along with Brigit and Columba. His real name was Maewyn Succat, and he is regarded as the main missionary responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland. There’s more to the story of course, but the details fall outside of our focus here at Everything On Tap. If you would love to know more, check out the simple wiki for a few more details.
Of course, it’s probably fair to say that most folks these days give little though to the history or the reason for St. Patrick’s Day, and unless you’re Irish Catholic, the day may have no more meaning for you than a good excuse to party with friends. If that’s the case, don’t feel too guilty – you’re in more or less good company. That said, if you would like to make some effort to honor St. Patrick, my thinking is he’d be considerably more honored to have you drink a quality, finely crafted Irish ale than a simple light beer or perfectly colored pilsner that you can easily turn green with cheap food dye! Here’s just a couple of quality Irish offerings you should gravitate toward this weekend, hold the dye!
Need I say more? Just utter the word Guinness, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know what you’re referring to, as Guinness has been crafting fine stouts since the 1700s! Most people either love what Guinness has to offer, or they hate it, but few beer lovers are indifferent. For me, while there may be perhaps one or two better Irish offerings, the simplicity, quality craftsmanship, and history of Guinness alone is enough that I have to have a glass periodically when I’m out and about with friends. Guinness has evolved very little over time, but they do what they do so well that they’ve not needed to put out agazillion recipes. They have three offerings, and they are all great:
Guinness Sout: Guiness describes their original standard as follows….
This is it, the one that started it all. Crafted to perfection for over 200 years, GUINNESS® EXTRA STOUT is descended from the definitive West India Porter known as Extra Superior Porter. Crack it open, and the first sip tastes as fresh as ever. The unmistakable deep-dark color, the crisp hint of roasted barley, the fresh breeze of hops, and the refreshing bite all make for the bittersweet reward.
Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS®.
Guinness Draught: Guinness describes their draught as follows…
Swirling clouds tumble as the storm begins to calm, settle, breathe in the moment, then break through the smooth, light head to the bittersweet reward. Unmistakably GUINNESS® beer, stout, or draught , from the first velvet sip to the last, lingering drop. And every deep-dark satisfying mouthful in between.
Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS®.
Guinness Foreign Extra: Guinness describes their GFE as follows…
Foreign Extra Stout is brewed with generous hops and roasted barley for a bittersweet balance & full-flavored, natural bite. Developed over 200 years ago for global export from Ireland, the addition of extra hops ensured this Stout would arrive to its destination in perfect condition. Today, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS®.
Bottom line? Forget those goofy green beers! Guinness is so flavorful, it’s one of the best choices if you wanna buy Irish to celebrate a largely Irish holiday! It’s so dark in color, you’ll fail in your experiments to make it green with even ounces of green dye, let alone drops of it. Grab a Guinness this weekend. You won’t regret it.
For many, Guinness is a little too full-flavored and stout for them. I disagree, but I hear it all the time. Let’s take a step, not down, but sideways to another Irish offering from Murphy’s, which many beer lovers can better tolerate. I prefer Guinness, but I don’t mind MIS either!
Murphy’s has been around, arguably, for about as long as Guinness, and it’s very interesting to read their history. Although still a stout, MIS is considerably lighter and sweeter than Guiness, and will appeal to those who want to drink a stout, but something a touch lighter. It’s a wonderful choice, and is worlds above some light beer with green coloring! It’s also entirely too dark in color, by the way, to greenify. Don’t bother trying!
Murphy’s takes pride in natural brewing, and they have a six-step process that’s interesting to read about. They start out with Step 1…
The pale and chocolate malts and roasted barley (only used in the brewing of stout) are crushed and then mixed with hot water in a large vat called a mash tun… and move on to steps 2 through 5!
Ultimately I don’t care what you drink or how you spend your time on any holiday, let alone St. Patrick’s day. I do try my best to educate people about good beer though, and in so doing essentially help give you freedom from the huddled masses, just yearning to get lit.
Take a step up, and if you plan to drink some beer this holiday, drink something that will truly honor St. Patrick. I don’t know for certain, but it was quite common for Catholic monks, missionaries, etc., to enjoy a finely brewed beer back in those days. If the Apostle of Ireland were still around, I can’t imagine he would turn away a glass of one or both of these fine brews I’ve put the spotlight on. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and Cheers!