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Just In Time For St. Patrick’s Day – Top 5 Irish Beers

Murphy's Irish Stout/Facebook
Murphy’s Irish Stout/Facebook

No holiday out there that screams beer in America quite like St. Patrick’s Day. You can make a case for Cinco de Mayo but I’ll disagree.

To start, my first nugget of beer advice for St. Patrick’s Day would be to grab a cold glass of Monk on the Radio Belgian Blonde from Band of Brothers Brewing Company and drop some green food coloring in it but I may be biased.

Since the beer named after me is not an Irish beer, here’s my official list of the best brews for you St. Patrick’s Day party!

  1. Murphy’s Irish Stout – I’m sure the Guinness faithfuls are shooting mental daggers at me right now but I love Murphy’s Irish Stout. The best way for me to describe why I prefer this over that is Murphy’s is less bitter and less heavy. I love to drink more than one beer most days and I can do that with Murphy’s. It packs a creamy blend of rich flavors that bring to mind chocolate milk and espresso.
  2. Smithwick’s Irish Ale – Smithwick’s was founded in 1710 and was originally brewed in St. Francis Abbey Brewery in Kilkenny which is Ireland’s oldest operating brewery. Smithwick’s Irish Ale is a smooth red ale with a distinct caramel flavor. If you’ve never considered yourself a “beer daredevil” and prefer to not have your mind blown at the over abundance of crazy flavor combinations each time you take a sip, I’d recommend this one. Not trying to take anything away from this fine beer, as it did make it into my “top 5? list but it is more mild than the other beers featured here.
  3. Guinness Extra Stout – I’d venture to say that Guinness is probably the most popular and well-know of the Irish beers in America. When poured into a traditional pint glass Guinness appears black but is actually dark brown in color. The head is thick and creamy and the flavor almost has a coffee essence to it. In Ireland the Guinness is usually served closer to room temp. More than likely you’ll be served a cold stout but I recommend you try it a little warmer as I prefer it that way.
  4. Harp Lager – Brewed by the Guinness Brewery in Dublin Ireland, Harp is what is known as a Vienna-style Irish lager. Crisp and dry with a slight aroma of grain, Harp finishes smooth with a light, buttery aftertaste. It is Northern Ireland’s number one lager. Harp is also on of two ingredients used to make one of my favorite match-ups, the Black & Tan!
  5. Murphy’s Irish Red – Brewed in Cork, Ireland, Murphy’s Irish Red has a nice balanced hop flavor with a little sweetness. It’s not as harsh as some Irish reds can be.

Drink responsibly and have a great time celebrating the patron saint of Ireland.

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