St. Patricks Day — it’s full of lots of people wearing green, a green Chicago River, bagpipes, and some amazing booze-filled moments at your local bar. Whether you’re staying in or going out this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a rundown of some of the best Irish beers that will truly have you feeling the luck of the Irish.
There’s no better time to sample some of Ireland’s best craft brews, seeing as the country certainly knows its way around a brewery.
Ireland is known for good beer, namely, people always flock to Guinness. However, if you’re trying to branch out there are plenty of other delicious options to go with your corned beef and hash. It’s a good time to give these independent craft breweries attention, too. Other breweries didn’t start getting attention until 1996 when Porterhouse opened up for business in Dublin.
You will not find any beers that are green on this list (they are only green in spirit). If you want a green beer, go to a local bar that serves it or throw some green food coloring in your Bud Light because that’s all it is.
O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale
When you’re looking for a beer that’s light and can be sipped on throughout the day, turn your attention to O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale.
O’Hara’s is an Irish microbrewery in Dublin that is giving a new look to IPAs. It goes ahead and combines the dry-hop flavor of American IPAs with that richer European IPA flavor for one flowery and hoppy fusion of flavors that will get you doing the jig in the bar.
O’Hara’s is owned by Carlow Brewing Company, which is actually one of the largest craft breweries in Ireland. Honestly, any of O’Hara’s beers are going to be the perfect treat for today (consider trying the Hop Adventure Series, too).
Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale
Well, not all amazing “Irish” beers need to be made in Ireland, after all.
Ohio is bringing Ireland to us with the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Conway’s Irish Ale. This beer boasts a delicious caramel malty flavor that is full-bodied and all-around stunning.
The ABV is rather high with a 6.5% for this ruby-red Irish ale with a toasty flavor. When it comes to red ales, this one gets a pretty high ranking amongst beer drinkers. Besides a devoted love for stouts, Ireland certainly loves a nice red ale.
Flying Dog Lucky SOB Irish Red Ale
Is this beer on the list partially because of its amazing name? Yes, of course. It’s the mark of any amazing craft brewery.
It’s also yet another example of a delicious red ale to throwback this St. Patrick’s Day.
“Lucky SOB is an Irish Red for those whose lives always fall into place…and also for the rest of us who curse those blessed bastards. Brewed with real four-leaf clovers, it is perfectly poised to bring the ‘Luck of the Irish’ to those who drink it,” the company writes describing the ale.
As for flavors, it has a toasted and honey malt flavor with a refreshing finish and an amber hue. Not to mention, you just can’t turn away a beer made with four-leaf-clovers. That’s an ultimate stroke of bad luck.
Murphy’s Irish Stout
Let’s get back to another classic.
Murphy’s Irish Stout has been shared with beer lovers since 1865 in Cork, Ireland.
This traditional stout is not at all bitter but does pack in some of those coffee and chocolate notes to make this beer a perfect treat for a night out. It’s a good alternative for those who find Guinness to be a little too bitter for their liking. Seeing as it tastes like chocolate milk’s more fun cousin, it’s a great alternative.
McGargles’ Fancy Frank’s Lager
If you’re feeling particularly fancy this St. Patrick’s Day, consider picking up some McGargles beer. It’s a common beer to find in the Great Dublin area.
The beer is described as “clean, crisp, full-flavored” and is a perfect choice for light-lager-loving folks.
Not to mention, it won the silver in the 2016 Dublin Craft Beer Cup, which means it shows up to impress.
The Sun Machine from Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co.
No list is ever complete without a well-rounded wheat ale to join the festivities.
This brewery calls County Wicklow home, which is not far from Dublin. It’s a newer brewery that started serving in 2014 but has already captured our eye. It models a typical American wheat beer but is also brewed with Meyer lemons. This is the part lemon, part mandarin orange fruit that packs a lot of flavor.
Magner Original Irish Cider
Here is the one imposter of sorts on this list. For all the cider lovers out there, consider trying out Magners Original Irish Cider.
As it turns out, one of the most popular drinks in Ireland is actually a good hard cider.
This is a good one to pick, seeing as it really tastes like an apple-flavored lager that is sweet, delicious and a good way to balance out all the beers you may be trying out.
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
On St. Patrick’s Day, you might be looking for that delicious beer with a creamy flavor and a thick head of foam to sip on.
The Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale is infused with nitrogen to give it that full flavor and creamy feel. It’s a lighter version, compared to others.
Sadly, you might have a harder time finding this one in the U.S. You’ll occasionally spot it at the right location, but it’s very popular in Canada, Australia, and Ireland.