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St. Patrick's Day: Stout, Green Beer, Shamrocks and a Saint

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St. Patrick's Day: Stout, Green Beer, Shamrocks and a Saint

St. Patrick's Day:

A while back I put a poll on the beer polls page asking, "Which Holiday Do You Most Closely Associate With Beer?" It's no surprise that St. Patrick's day is winning. What began as a reverential annual remembrance of the death of Ireland's favorite saint has become a world-wide celebration of Irishness. It's hard to say why this has caught on is such a big way. Perhaps it's all that green that comes out on this day, just a few weeks before spring brings its own green. I think it has more to do with trying to catch a little of that famous Irish craic and, of course, the stout.

Stouts:

Guinness may be the unofficial stout of the day but don't stop there. There is a whole world of stouts out there; every one of them perfect for toasting the day. Check out the Layman's Guide to Stout.

Green Beer:

This day brings out the green in everyone. If it's just not St. Patrick's day to you without a pint of green beer, add one drop of green food coloring to a pint of your favorite brew. Naturally the green shows through better with lighter colored beer but any beer will do. Even a jet black stout will get a distinctly green head if you add a drop of color to the glass before pouring.

Twisting Stout:

If a pint of stout or green beer doesn't put you in the spirit maybe you need to put a spin on the usual. The black and tan is popular. It's very easy to make. Take a regular pint glass and gently fill it half way with pale ale. Then carefully fill the glass the rest of the way with a stout. The stout will float on top of the pale ale forming a distinctively black and tan beer. Traditionally Bass and Guinness are used but I encourage you to experiment until you find the perfect blend.

Still not enough? How about a stout sangria? Or maybe you'd like a stout float - just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Irish Pub:

Another vital part of any St. Patrick's day is a stop at a local Irish pub. Luckily Irish pubs have become the most ubiquitous bar style in the world. Virtually every city has at least a handful but in case one just isn't handy, you can always opt for an inflatable Irish pub!

Beyond Beer:

Maybe you'd like something a little stronger to toast the day. Irish whiskey is the natural answer. Here's some whiskey wisdom including a healthy dash of the Irish and be sure to check out this Guide to Celebrating St. Patrick's Day from About's Guide to Cocktails.

The Menu:

No St. Patrick's day would be complete without the hearty Irish dishes. Personally, I enjoy a simple oyster stout with a dozen (or two) oysters on the half-shell. Here are some other classic Irish dishes:
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