St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, and his arrival, along with Christianity, to Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the seventeenth century. Celebrations frequently include parades, festivals, the wearing of the green, tributes to Irish culture and Church services for the religious.
Where does Beer fit in?
For those that commemorate the religious aspect of the holiday, on St. Patrick’s Day Lenten restrictions are lifted so people are free to indulge (or overindulge) in feasting and drinking alcohol.
And why are we colouring our Beer green again?
The ‘wearing of the green’ originally referred to the act of pinning a shamrock to your clothing for the holiday. It is believed that Saint Patrick explained the Holy Trinity to people using the shamrock as an example. From this humble tradition emerged an explosion of green-hued everything to mark the day.
Don’t drink green drink red instead.
For those less than keen to add an infusion of green food colouring to their favourite brew I encourage you to think red instead as there are many great Irish Red Ales out there to help you feel a little more Irish today.
Beer Advocate describes Irish Red Ales as follows:
A bit sweet, with a lightly hopped tea-like flavor, and an even dextrinous body, Irish Red Ales are easy to please. Look for well-rounded and balanced flavors, and a pleasant toasted malt character in many examples. A drying finish is common.
Some beer choices to ponder:
3 Floyds Brian Boru Irish Brand Red Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Conway’s Irish Ale
Granville Island Brewing Irish Red
Boulevard Brewing Irish Ale
Boundary Bay Irish Red
Russell Brewing Company Luck of the Irish Red Ale
Silver City Ridgetop Red