St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, March 17th, and Spec’s is ready with traditional Irish stouts, ales, and even cider! Here’s a list of brews that’ll give you a little luck of the Irish.
Irish stout (also known as dry stout) is the most well-known Irish beer style, with a rich toasted flavor with light body. Of course, the most famous of these styles is Guinness, which started in Dublin’s St. James’s Gate Brewery. Murphy’s Irish Stout, originating in Cork, is lighter and less bitter, while O’Hara’s Irish Stout is a delicious new entry in the craft beer market, brewed in County Carlow.
Smithwick’s, (pronounced smit-ICKS – the “w” sound is not used) from Kilkenny, Murphy’s Irish Red, and O’Hara’s Irish Red are all Irish red ales with a distinctive reddish hue and fruitiness in addition to a roasted finish.
Finally, Harp Lager, which originated in Dundalk, is a pale lager with a light, refreshing taste. For those looking for a slightly different brew to toast St. Patrick’s Day, Magner’s Irish Apple Cider is a pleasantly dry cider from County Tipperary.
Once you’ve sampled these great brews by themselves, it’s time to test some tasty traditional combinations! Try a Half-and-Half with Smithwick’s on the bottom and Guinness on the top – but don’t reverse the process, as the relative density of the Guinness on top is what gives the drink its distinctive dual color. A combination of Harp and Guinness is another great combo. (In the spirit of the holiday, it’s important to note that in the U.S. a few combinations of beers with a Guinness top are referred to as a Black and Tan, but this name is frowned upon in Ireland for historical reasons.) A Snake Bite can be made with a Magner’s base and Guinness for a smooth, slightly sweet and savory sipper.
Whether you’re decked out in green or just looking for a stout to rave about, Spec’s is sure to have a great brew for you!