St. Patrick’s Day Upgrade: 5 Great Beers and Whiskeys for Your Celebration

There's more to the holiday than green Guinness and Jameson shots.

  • Brooklyn Brewery Dry Irish Stout. When American craft breweries make stouts, they tend to go for big, bold imperial styles. So credit Brooklyn Brewery for resurrecting the traditional Irish stout, harkening back to the days before producers starting adding nitrogen to beer to control the head. This brew has subtle chocolate and coffee notes, plus a crisp finish that will keep you coming back for more. At 4.7%-ABV, it's a great session stout that you can drink all day without ending up in a gutter.
  • Porterhouse Brewing Co. Oyster Stout. Ireland is not all big breweries like Guinness and Harp. Porterhouse has made a name for itself as the country's premier craft brewery, starting in Dublin before opening spinoff pubs in London and New York. The gem of their lineup is this exceptionally smooth stout, which picks up body and brine from real oysters used in the brewing process. (Photo: Porterhouse Brewing Co.)
  • Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. In 2010, Guinness got beer nerds to pay attention again by re-releasing this heftier, export-strength edition in the U.S. for the first time since Prohibition. Think of it as Guinness on steroids, with a thicker body, more intense roasted malts, and additional hops (originally used to keep the beer from spoiling on long voyages). Bonus: If you want to be really bro about things, it will get you drunker. (Photo: Guinness)
  • Connemara Peated Singled Malt. This delicious sipper is an anomaly among Irish whiskey because it uses malted barley dried over peat flames, imparting the type of smokiness you'd usually expect from a Scotch. Still, it's milder than something like a Bruichladdich or Laphroig, mellowed by sweet caramel notes beneath the camp fire flavors. (Photo:
  • Redbreast Cask Strength Twelve-Year. Jameson is sweet and easy to drink, but it can get boring. Redbreast will kick you in the face repeatedly—and you'll like it. After a 12-year nap in sherry and bourbon barrels, it goes straight into the bottle at 115.4 proof. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's damn tasty, with warming flavors of cocoa and dark fruits.

Monday, March 17 marks one of the biggest shit-shows of the calendar year: St. Patrick’s “Day” (now week, really), when green-dyed beer flows through the streets, pooling up in gutters with vomit, culturally insensitive party favors, and an intangible whiff of lost self-respect.

But there’s a better way! You can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—and yes, the Irish tradition of enjoying a few drinks—without descending into frat-style antics. There’s nothing wrong with Guinness and Jameson, but they are also not the be all and end all of Emerald Isle boozing. Time to do this thing right.

Click through the gallery above for three delicious beers and two whiskeys to drink this St. Patrick’s Day.


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