St. Patrick’s Day is a beer related holiday, plain and simple. But, where does craft brewed beer from today’s small and independent producers fit into the mix?
To branch beyond Guinness, and keep it local, remember to stock up on your favorite craft brewery’s March offerings. These seasonal beers often give you the chance to try a style you might not be very familiar with, and their limited availability often offers an experience that can’t be had anywhere else in the world!
Below are just a few of the craft beers available that will wet the whistle of both beer beginner and beer geek on a day that is known for sharing a pint.
2011 St. Patrick’s Day Craft Beer Offerings
Boulevard Brewing Company | Kansas City, MO
Irish Ale – A reddish-brown colored, medium bodied craft beer with a moderate toasted malt flavor and moderate hop bitterness. Irish Ale was released in late January, and is available throughout Boulevard’s 19-state region.
Lavery Brewing Company | Erie, PA
1847 Rye Stout – 1847 is known as Black 47 for two reasons, the potato famine in Ireland and the influx of Black Irish to America—the Lavery Family is Black Irish. 1847 Rye Stout was released February 17, and is only available in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Short’s Brewing Company | Bellaire, MI
Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout – 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. Uncle Steve’s was released as of the second week of March, and is only available in Michigan.
Sun King Brewing Company | Indianapolis, IN
Ring of Dingle – An Irish Dry Stout, named after a scenic road network in Ireland, Ring of Dingle is as dark as night. It has a surprisingly light body and a thick, creamy head with a flavor that is rich and roasty and ends with a clean dry finish. Ring of Dingle was available as of March 4 in central Indiana.
Twisted Pine Brewing Company | Boulder, CO
Peppermint Paddy – A chocolate and peppermint Stout served with crushed thin mints on the rim of the glass. This festive beer will be released March 17 only at the Twisted Pine Ale House.
Ard Ri Imperial Red Ale – Getting its distinct color from roasted barley used in the brewing process, Upland’s signature St. Patrick’s Day brew is slightly sweet with a complex malt character, balanced by a large hop addition, to make it perfect for the big craft beer lovers and hop heads alike. Ard Ri was available as of March 5 throughout Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, and southeastern Wisconsin.
What craft beer will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with this year?
Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, is a homebrewer, BJCP beer judge and Certified Cicerone™. Despite her extensive experience, she will always consider herself a beer beginner on an unending journey to learn more about craft beer. Additionally, for interesting articles on small and independent craft brewers check out del.icio.us and follow Craft Beer Muses on Twitter.