Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day without Guiness

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! The day when the masses drink loads of green beer and dark Guinness. While I respect the history of Guinness and appreciate it for what it was, life is too short to drink mediocre beer, and Saint Patrick's Day is no exception. I'm not saying don't drink an Irish Dry Stout, by all means that's exactly what you should be drinking today, but there are some really fine examples, not only from our shores but from Ireland as well. All of these should be available in Houston
American Dry Stouts:
Avery Out of Bounds Stout
Harpoon Oyster Stout
Sierra Nevada Stout

Irish Stouts:
There are of course those that we all know: Murphy's, Guinness... however my favorite Irish Stout right now is from Irish Craft Brewery Carlow Brewing Company, maker of O' Hara's Dry Stout (we also get their Irish Red Ale, another very good beer. Whatever you do just don't dye it green). This Dry Stout is an incredibly rich, roasty dark black stout. Incredibly tasty, and if you want the full Guinness effect there are bars in the area that might have this on nitro. Regardless of what you drink, have a happy Saint Patrick's day.


Daniel said...

I'm with you -- I used to enjoy Guinness, but I've gotten away from it and moved on to better beers, by and large. For the most part, I've also gotten away from the Irish Dry Stout -- I think I'm just not big on that sourish twang that beers like Guinness and Murphy's seem to have. I'd like to try the O'Hara's, as I've heard good things.

I did just have the Harpoon Oyster Stout, and really enjoyed it. It's funny -- I don't even eat oysters on the half-shell, and yet I was craving them with that beer. It had a wonderful brininess to it that complemented the roasted character.

Is the Sierra Nevada Stout really a dry stout?

Barleyvine said...

I actually haven't had the Harpoon Oyster stout although I have heard good things about it.
As for Sierra Nevada, its not technically an Irish Dry Stout. BJCP classifies it as an American Stout, but its not anywhere near a sweet stout. I kind of threw it in there because surprisingly there just aren't that many Dry Stouts available in Houston.