By now you should be dusting off your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” T-shirt and prepping the corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Even if your Irish heritage is a bit contrived, no one asks questions as long as you’re wearing green.
Although not an official holiday anywhere in the U.S., there are hundreds of parades across the country. According to U.S. News & World Report in “America’s Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades,” the cities below are the 10 best places to celebrate.
10 Great St. Patrick’s Day Parades
- Boston, Massachusetts: As the state with the most Irish descendants on record, this parade boasts close to 900,000 attendees!
- Chicago, Illinois: These guys aren’t playing around; they dye the Chicago River green for their celebration.
- New York, New York: This is the longest continually running St. Pat’s parade in the world, starting in 1762.
- Savannah, Georgia: These Southerners take their parade seriously—it’s more than three hours long!
- San Francisco, California: It comes as no surprise that San Fran hosts what is often considered the best St. Patrick’s party on the West Coast.
- Dublin, Ohio: The aptly named Dublin, Ohio, celebrates the big day with a parade that stretches one mile long!
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Nearly half a million people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in The City of Brotherly Love.
- Hot Springs, Arkansas: Hot Springs has by far the shortest parade route on the list—only 98 feet!
- Scranton, Pennsylvania: Their parade is known as “Scranton’s version of Mardi Gras.”
- Kansas City, Missouri: The creators of the winning float receive two airfares to Ireland!
No matter where you might be on St. Patrick’s Day, there are craft brewers across the country celebrating with special beers brewed just for the occasion. We’ve put together a pretty good list (there are hundreds of others out there) to help you find great beers to enjoy on March 17.
Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to sample these delicious-sounding beers, but check out what each of the breweries below had to say about their Irish-inspired creations.
Craft Beers to Enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day
Michael Fariey’s Irish Stout | Arbor Brewing Company
Ann Arbor, Michigan
This crowd-pleaser has a dark coffee-like appearance with a creamy head and smoky, roasted grain aromas. It is rich and creamy on the palate with chalky, burnt flavors balanced by lush, dark chocolates that never turns too dry through the smoky finish. Full-flavored yet highly drinkable—rich and creamy without being thick or heavy.
Availability: Sold at the Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub and Corner Brewery locations as well as select retailers in Michigan.
Irish Ale | Boulevard Brewing Company
Kansas City, Missouri
Boulevard’s early spring seasonal, Irish Ale, is a Midwestern tribute to the legendary red ales of old Ireland. The recipe combines six kinds of pale and roasted barley malts to provide a rich, toasty flavor and tawny, reddish hue.
Availability: MO, KS, IA, OK, AR, ND, SD, WY, OR, WA, AK, CO, ID, IL, IN, MN, TX, UT
Jack Tar Dry Irish Style Stout | Bull City Burger and Brewery
Durham, North Carolina
Jack Tar Dry Irish-style Stout is very dark and roasty with deep charred malt flavors. The dark malts in this beer have been kilned at higher temperatures to caramelize the sugars and even blacken the color.
Availability: On tap at Bull City Burger and Brewery’s brewpub and by the growler at local retailers.
I Am Nitrogen | Cambridge Brewing Company
I Am Nitrogen is brewed in the manner of a true Dry Stout—the mash is made up only of pale malt, flaked barley and oats and roasted barley. It has a moderate starting gravity, but its high percentage of unfermentables leaves a full, rich, body dominated by the complex tones of the roasted grains, with a very dry finish.
Availability: MA (details).
St. Patrick’s Irish Ale | CB’s Brewing Company
Honeoye Falls, New York
This is an Irish Red Ale with malty flavor and a nice, light hop flavor and aroma. Brewed with pale and crystal malts and Fuggle and Kent Golding hops.
Availability: 12oz. 6-packs and on draught throughout Central, Western, and the Southern Tier of New York State. Also available in the brewery tasting room in 6-packs and growlers, and at The Pint and Goblet Pub, attached to our tasting room. ￼
Night Light Dry Irish Stout | Circle Brewing Company
Nightlight is a full-flavored beer that expertly balances richness with lightness in body to create a different type of Stout. This Dry Irish Stout may look intimidating, but after one sip, you know what’s up. Representing a wide spectrum of roasted and oaky flavors, this not-too-bitter brew engages all the right senses, but leaves you with the stomach for a second round.
Availability: Select Austin retailers and bars.
McLuhr’s Irish Stout | Dillon Dam Brewery
An Irish-style Stout brewed with caramel and black malts. Slightly dry, yet smooth and malty sweet, this draught is dispensed with a blend of nitrogen and carbon dioxide to create a velvety mouth-feel and creamy head.
Availability: CO (details)
Lucky SOB Irish Red | Flying Dog Brewery
Brewed with real four-leaf clovers (handpicked at the brewery last St. Patrick’s Day), Lucky SOB brings the luck of the Irish to those who drink it. With a rich amber color, it has a toasted, honey-sweet malt flavor balanced with a subtle hop bite.
Availability: MD, PA, NY, NJ, Washington, DC
Pappy McDermott’s Irish Stout | Frog Level Brewing Company
Waynesville, North Carolina
Named after the brewer’s new stepfather, Pappy McDermott’s Irish Stout is a Dry Irish Stout with a toasted, roasted coffee-like taste and a thick tan head.
Availability: Frog Level tasting room only.
Dry Irish Stout | Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant
Availability: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI
St. Stephen’s Green | Mystery Brewing Company
Hillsborough, North Carolina
St. Stephen’s is a classic Dry Irish Stout—dark and toasty, with a light sour tang and a full body. St. Stephen’s Green is the name of the park in Dublin that holds the bust of James Joyce, the author of Ulysses, a great Irish saga.
Availability: The beer with be released in kegs in central North Carolina, the week of St. Patrick’s Day and again for Bloomsday.
“Appalachia” Irish Honey Red | Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Company
Greensboro, North Carolina
An even-bodied, well-rounded Irish Red Ale with pleasant malt character and lighter hop bitterness smoothed out by local wildflower honey.
Availability: On draught and sold exclusively at the Greensboro Pub.
Patty’s Irish-Style Cream Ale | Rohrbach Brewing Company
Rochester, New York
Rohrbach’s creative interpretation of an Irish Cream Ale, this beer is smooth and balanced. Patty’s Irish-style Cream Ale is brewed with malted wheat, honey malt and aromatic malt from Europe, along with authentic English-style hops. Medium-bodied, creamy and semi-sweet, this Cream Ale is refreshing pint after pint.
Availability: Sold in growlers and on draught at both Rohrbach Brewing locations in Rochester, NY along with Wegmans, Beers of the World, and Hegedorns (all based in or near Rochester, NY).
Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout | Short’s Brewing Company
Uncle Steve’s is Short’s version of the classic Irish Stout, complete with a dark color, soft head, and smooth full flavor typical of this lighter-bodied style. A simple grist formula provides a base of roasted malt flavors while the infusion of nitrogen adds the creamy drinkability everyone loves.
Availability: Throughout Michigan.
Sprecher Redhead Ale | Sprecher Brewing Company
Availability: Wisconsin, plus a few metro-areas of the Midwest such as Chicago and the Minnesota Twin Cities.
Mother’s Milk Irish Stout | St. Elias Brewing Company
This Irish-style Stout’s dark, smooth chocolate flavors blend with hints of earthy English hop notes. Brewed with pale, roasted barley, flaked barley and hopped with traditional English Goldings.
Availability: At the brewpub in Soldotna, Alaska.
Hoggetowne Irish Red | Swamp Head Brewery
Availability: Served by better craft beer bars and restaurants in Florida through St. Patrick’s Day.
Meghan Storey, the Brewers Association’s Web Editor, has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer for the past four years. She holds a degree in Print Journalism from the University of Mississippi, and has recently relocated to Nashville, TN. She loves to introduce friends to new craft beers and food pairings. Since beginning work on CraftBeer.com she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.
Last Updated: March 5, 2012