Everyone is Irish on March 17. Each year, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart commemorate the patron saint of Ireland with an international festival celebrating Celtic culture with St. Patrick’s Day parties, parades, shamrocks and all things green.
Keeping in this tradition, we’ve assembled a list of beers that will complement your festivities as you go green for St. Paddy’s Day.
Originally brewed in Ireland in 1864, George Killian’s Irish Stout was a proud Irish entity before St. Patrick’s Day was even declared an Irish national holiday in 1903. This bold brew was brought to America by Miller Brewing Company, now MillerCoors, in 1981 and is an exemplary authentic, all-natural Irish stout. The rich, brown color and thick caramel-colored foam head are followed by a slight coffee taste and smooth, lingering chocolate finish that beer drinkers anticipate and love in a traditional Irish stout.
Despite being the go-to color of the day, the grassy-hued shade of green associated with St. Patrick’s Day bares no significance to the patron saint for which the holiday was named. In fact, the Order of St. Patrick selected blue for its Badge of the Order. It wasn’t until the 1798 Irish Rebellion when a clover on the lapel became a symbol of Irish nationalism and pride that the clover and its green color became known as inherently Irish.
In similar non-green fashion, Smithwick’s Irish Ale’s ruby-red color and balanced hoppy, yet sweet and malty taste, is so authentically Irish that the presence of green isn’t even missed. Its malty, fruity and delicately floral aroma and hints of coffee make this Irish Red Ale one of the country’s best-selling beers more than 300 years after first being brewed by John Smithwick in 1710 in an ancient monastery in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Guinness Draught is a festive pick for St. Paddy’s Day considering its brewing birthplace in Dublin at the still standing Guinness Brewery. This brew’s long-term success was obvious to Arthur Guinness almost 300 years ago when he signed a 9,000-year lease on the brewery for an annual rent of £45 in 1759. Enjoyment of this classic Irish dry stout more than doubles on March 17 when the usual 5.5 million pints of Guinness consumed daily jumps to 13 million.
Our final pick for St. Patrick’s Day-themed beers is a drink that can be combined with festive eats while being a treat itself. Coors Light is an American-style light lager that is well paired with the Irish-inspired meal of corned beef and cabbage typically enjoyed on St. Patrick’s Day. The corned beef was a substitute for the traditional, and expensive, Irish bacon for New York’s Irish immigrants, but the dish remains widely sought on St. Paddy’s Day and has become synonymous with the holiday.
For an extra Irish flair, make your own green beer by adding four to six drops of green liquid food coloring to your favorite frosty mug before pouring the crisp, refreshing taste of Coors Light into the glass. The color will distribute as you fill the mug, leaving an appropriately hued brew perfect for St. Patrick’s Day enjoyment.
So grab the green, the four-leafed clovers, Irish treats and a St. Paddy’s day brew, and celebrate. Hoist one for the patron saint of Ireland, and as always, drink responsibly.