Feb 04, 2020

The Best Beers to Drink on St. Patrick’s Day

When you think about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there’s likely one beverage that immediately comes to mind: beer. No party on March 17 is complete unless you’re toasting with a glass of dark, deep Irish beer. And there’s one beer in particular that people love to crack open on this Irish holiday. Guinness, the beer brewed right in Ireland, is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. 

Guinness is the go-to choice for some of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world. It’s particularly popular in cities with large Irish-American populations, like Boston and Chicago, with nearly 13 million pints of Guinness being poured on this holiday alone. But interestingly, Guinness actually isn’t the most popular beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Plenty of partygoers choose Samuel Adams – or even Budweiser and Heineken – instead.

Regardless of whether you’re sipping an Irish-made Guinness or another brew, beer is still the number one drink of choice for any St. Patty’s celebration. And if you’d like to celebrate with a different kind of beer, there are plenty of Irish options you can try.

Check out these top beers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with something tasty that’s inspired by Ireland’s favorite flavors.


  • Made by Guinness Ltd. in Dublin, Ireland.

    If you’re looking for something that’s a little different than the traditional glass of Guinness, give a different brew a try. Guinness Draught is a less assertive version of Guinness Original. 

    This beer is black in color and velvety in taste. It’s rich, it’s creamy, and it’s truly iconic when served in a cool glass. Its flavors are made with a blend of sweet and bitter elements, a combination of malt and roasted barley. Guinness called its draught “Perfectly balanced,” which is a great summary of this deeply flavored Irish beer.

  • Made by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California.

    If you enjoy the dark coloring and deep, deep flavor of a traditional glass of Guinness, you’ll want to give Parabola a try. Created by a California brewing company, Parabola is a barrel-aged beer that’s dark and intense. And it’s actually ranked as one of the world’s top beers.

    Technically, Parabola isn’t an Irish beer – it’s a Russian imperial oatmeal stout. But don’t let that dissuade you from including it on your St. Patrick’s Day menu. This beer is aged inside of bourbon barrels for a year to develop a flavor of roasted malt, charred oak, and bourbon with hints of vanilla. It looks just like a traditional Irish stout, but it offers a unique and silky taste.

  • Made by Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Novato, California.

    Moylan’s Dragoons Dry Irish Stout is a solid choice for any St. Patrick’s Day drinker. It’s made in the vein of a traditional Irish stout, but offers its very own blend of flavors. It’s rich, it’s got depth, and it features the blend of hops and malted barley that Irish stout fans enjoy.

    On top of its delicious taste, this beer is also quite popular. It’s won awards for its flavor, and it has ties to both Ireland and the United Kingdom. It’s brewed with hops and barley that are imported from the U.K., and it’s named after General Stephen Moylan, the Irish-born commander who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

  • Made by Aspen Brewing Co. in Aspen, Colorado.

    One of the hallmarks of many Irish brews is their barrel aging process. And the Barrel-Aged 10th Mountain beer that’s created in Aspen, Colorado capitalizes on that same process to deliver a beverage that’s decadent, full of depth, and made to celebrate.

    Barrel-Aged 10th Mountain is a beer that’s meant to be sipped and shared. It’s an imperial stout, putting a spin on a traditional English oatmeal stout rather than an Irish iteration. And perhaps most importantly, this beer was created to pay tribute to the pioneers of Colorado’s ski industry after World War II. With a historic background and a distinct flavor, it’s a great St. Patrick’s Day choice.

  • Made by Carlow Brewing Company in County Carlow, Ireland.

    Here’s a true Irish beer that you can proudly raise to cheers on St. Patrick’s Day: O’Hara’s Irish Stout. This beer is brewed right in Ireland, and it’s been around since 1999. But unlike other Irish stouts, this is one beer that’s meant to bring back the flavors of days long past.

    O’Hara’s Irish Stout has been winning awards since it was first served more than two decades ago. And that’s thanks to its robust flavor, full body, and smooth feel. It’s created using Fuggle hops, which are a bit bitter, and a dry, espresso-inspired finish that smells like coffee. It also includes traditional Irish stout ingredients like roasted barley and licorice.

  • Made by Harpoon Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts.

    If you aren’t a fan of Irish stout beers or simply want to try something a bit different, why not give an ale a try? Harpoon Celtic Ale is a different kind of St. Patrick’s Day beer, and it’s one you likely will return to again and again after giving it a try.

    First brewed in South Boston in 1987, Harpoon Brewery’s Celtic Ale is actually served in the city to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day each year. It’s designed to suit late-winter tastes, offering a malty flavor that’ll warm you up with every sip. This ale is balanced and full of flavor thanks to ingredients like Irish ale malt and roasted barley. Oh, and it’s a deep ruby red – a cool color to enjoy while you drink.

  • Made by Carlow Brewing Company in County Carlow, Ireland.

    There’s perhaps no better alternative to an Irish stout on St. Patrick’s Day than O’Hara’s Barrel Aged Leann Follain. If you’ve never heard of this brew before, you aren’t alone – but you’ll understand why beer drinkers love it once you taste it.

    Carlow Brewing Company has won plenty of awards for this Barrel Aged Leann Follain. It’s won plenty of European awards, and it even took the gold medal at the Irish Whiskey Awards. Produced only in limited runs, this beer is made in batches of just 5,500 at a time. That’s because the full-bodied flavor takes 90 days to mature in an Irish whiskey barrel, blending its flavors of dark chocolate, bitter stout, and warm whiskey together.

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