When you are throwing a party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you simply must have the perfect beer. A party without a great St. Patrick’s Day beer would be like Christmas without any presents. It just wouldn’t work. Fortunately, there are a few different styles of beer that will fit, so you can provide a variety that will give guests what they want, all without breaking from the holiday theme.
Dark Irish Stouts Of course, the most famous type of beer for St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish stout. One example would be Guinness Drought. This is a robust and yet smooth stout. It is different than a milk stout, but it still has that smooth finish. The beer is very thick and hefty, and some people say that drinking it is like eating a meal more than drinking a beer. When you pour it into a glass, it is going to foam up nicely and then separate out so that the main beer is almost solid black and the head is a light tan. It should be served at around room temperature, though it is also good cold.
Black and Tan Another option for a St. Patrick’s Day beer is a mix that is known as a black and tan. Traditionally, this is made by mixing Guinness stout — or a similar beverage, like O’Hara’s Irish stout — with an India Pale Ale. This lightens the beer a bit so that it is easier to drink, though the IPA is going to give it a bitter undertone that Guinness or O’Hara’s lack on their own. This is a good change-up if you have been drinking plenty of stout and you want something slightly different.
Red Ales If you would rather go the ale route, you could look into something like Killian’s Irish Red. This is a much lighter beer, but it does have a lot of flavor since it is an ale and not something light like a lager or a pilsner. As the name implies, it is red in color and stronger on the hops than a stout. It’s not thick at all, but thin and very drinkable. Another option is to make your black and tan with the red ale to create a whole new drink. This is ideal for those who do not want the intense flavor of hops that an IPA can bring.
Mix and Match These are the main three types of St. Patrick’s Day beer that you are going to want to consider for your party, and you shouldn’t be afraid to mix and match. They all work very well together. You can also mix the beers with hard alcohol, such as Bushmills Irish whiskey or a cream liqueur like Bailey’s. While it is clear that stouts are going to rule the day, mixing drinks around gives you enough variety so that everyone will be happy at your party.