Emerald Isle of beer

Dan Berger

It’s already St. Patrick’s Eve, and all you’ve planned for is a night out with friends at some random Irish pub, drinking the same bargain domestic beer you have stuck to ever since that high school party when you were first introduced to “beer.”

So how about something new this St. Patty’s Day? You can drink that beer-flavored water any other day of the year. So put on those matching green socks, t-shirt and oversized leprechaun hat, and take a chance at Irish beer this time around.

At most Irish pubs, you have a selection of the following four Irish beers on tap. The most affluent is Guinness, which you’re bound to have already tried if you ever partook in a beer-tasting odyssey before. Categorized as an Irish or dry stout, this beer is pitch-black and boasts a roasted barley, coffee-like taste. Once poured into a glass, a thick, creamy-white head will form at the crown of the beer and linger until transposed to your upper lip.

Another dark and dazzling beer is Murphy’s Irish Stout. In contrast to its rival Guinness, Murphy’s is less bitter and has an even creamier taste. Its shy scent of caramel and brown-tinged head prepares your taste buds for a real treat.
pares your taste buds for a real treat. Irish stout is typically very low in carbonation, so if you are looking for something a bit more fizzy, you might want to try Harp Lager.

Much younger than its centuries-old cousins Guinness and Murphy’s, this beer was first brewed in 1960 to appease British and Irish drinkers’ demands for a continental lager.

Harp is gold in color and has hardly any head at all. It is lighter than most Irish beer, like American domestic lager, yet still possesses a consistent hops taste that distinguishes it from its bland stepsisters.

The Irish are also capable of brewing ale, and Smithwick’s (pronounced Smithicks or Smitticks) is noteworthy. Founded in 1710, the Smithwick’s brewery is Ireland’s oldest and is actually located on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks had brewed ale during the 14th century and beyond.

A mixture of malt, hops and fruitful notes compliment Smithwick’s, in addition to the reddish hue appearance, but if you are planning a beer-drinking marathon, the excessive amount of carbonation might just lead to an upset stomach.

If you are really feeling experimental, why not try a beer blend?

The All Irish Black and Tan is half Smithwick’s and half Guinness, which results in a fizzier stout experience. But should you really mix beer – with beer? “It’s beer, how bad can it be?”

Sandy Glisson, a returning customer to Dublin Square Irish Pub and Grill, replied when asked just how good the beer blend was. “As long as it’s not Bud or Coors, it’s going to be good.”

So ensure you are pinch-free this St. Patrick’s Day and honor the Emerald Isle by sporting green attire and indulging in some of its delectable beer.