GUINNESS DRAUGHT · MURPHY'S
IRISH STOUT · MURPHY'S IRISH AMBER · HARP
LAGER · WILD IRISH ROGUE · ERIN'S
For some celebrants on St. Patty's Day, quantity has a quality all
its own. So, when the local Blarney Stone is packed with amateurs this
March 17, we'll thank heaven some great Irish-style brews now come in
bottles and cans. Here's a handy six-pack, ranging from authentic Irish
stouts to American microbrew versions of old-world classics. Prices may
vary, but all six are widely distributed, and any of them will do corned
beef and cabbage proud.
the Irish patron saint as Dubliners do with Guinness Draught.
This opaque black stout is almost flat in body, making it easy to
quaff despite its dry bitterness. The special can used by Guinness
contains a small nitrogen capsule, which releases millions of tiny
bubbles (much smaller than the gassy, soda-pop-like bubbles created by
carbon dioxide) into the beer the moment the container is opened. The
effect is an incredibly creamy head and smooth body with no fizz
whatsoever — the next best thing to a hand-drawn draft at a local pub.
For optimum results, chill the can, open, and pour all at once into a
pint glass — then be patient. The foam takes several minutes to rise
to the top. Choose the can over the bottled version, made fizzy in the
usual way with carbon dioxide pumped in at the brewery.
Irish Stout comes in bottle or can, and
both contain those head-boosting capsules. Milder in flavor and less
bitter than Guinness, Murphy's would be a great choice for stout-shy
Americans. Its extra-creamy head leaves a delicate filigree of bubbles
on the side of the glass that gives new meaning to the term "Irish
If, like many Americans, you prefer lighter, hoppy brews over
roasty stouts, give Murphy's Irish Amber a try. A medium-bodied
ale from Cork, it has a full, malty flavor and light, dry finish.
As brisk as the winds at the Cliffs of Moher, Harp Lager from
Dundalk is a golden beer full of bracing hop flavor and a satisfyingly
bitter aftertaste. Exported by Guinness from a largely stout-drinking
country, its assertiveness may surprise Americans used to softer, milder
from the New World? Oregon Brewing Company makes Wild Irish Rogue
stout with oatmeal, an old-time additive that ensures a smooth texture
and nutty flavor. This Rogue gives a blast of fresh hop aroma along with
an intense, bittersweet chocolate flavor and a long, roasty finish.
Though the oatmeal doesn't qualify the brew as a health food, a single
22-ounce bottle could be a meal in itself.
a traditional Irish beer concoction with Erin's Rock, a mixture
of stout and lager from Champion Beverages of Darien, Connecticut. This
amber, honeyish brew with just a tinge of stout, is light enough to make
a fine match for any St. Pat's meal. Historic touch: The label sports a
majestic portrait (by artist Paul Dillon, father to actor Matt) of Brian
Boru, legendary chieftain of Ireland. Call it Celtic pride in a bottle