The Best Beers for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day – the one day when all of us are a little Irish. So now onto more pressing matters – what to drink? And we’re not talking about watered down green beer.

There are so many options for what to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have a seemingly endless selection of locally sourced, hand-crafted beer at your disposal, which presents a conundrum at the same time – what to drink? It’s a simple question; one without a simple answer.

And that’s where we come in. Well, this article at least.

If you need help deciding on your adult libations for this St. Patrick’s Day, let us, let these words, help put your mind at ease. We have compiled a list of over a dozen of the area’s best beer to enjoy on Patty’s Day.

12 Gates Brewing Irish Dry Stout (4.7% ABV): “You don’t need green beer to celebrate St. Patty’s Day,” 12 Gates says. “Instead celebrate with our Irish Dry Stout. With loads of soft roast, creamy texture, and at only 4.7% you can responsibly enjoy a few.”

42 North Brewing Fenian Raid Irish Stout (Nitro) (4.5% ABV) & Leann Dearg Irish Red Ale (5.5% ABV): The Fenian Raid Irish Stout is full of smoke and dark chocolate, while the Leann Dearg Irish Red offers everything you want in an Irish Red – toasted malts, slight roast notes and a dry finish.

Big Ditch Brewing Galaxy Red (7% ABV): “Not a traditional Irish Red by any means, although it does have a nice malt backbone,” Big Ditch says, “it mixes that maltiness with tropical hop flavors like pineapple, mango, and papaya from the Australian Galaxy hops used.  A nice hoppy alternative this St. Patrick’s Day!”

Buffalo Brewing Company 1841 Irish Red (6% ABV): BBC’s Irish Red is made with Irish malt and British hops. The Larkin brewery is offering pints of the new brew for $4 and crowlers for $8 (3/$20 crowler special, 1841 only) for St. Patrick’s Day (additional crowler specials – 3/$22 of all other beer and 3/$25 IPA).

Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing NY Stout (6.5% ABV): A traditional Irish stout that completely and utterly approachable – notes of rich dark chocolate and coffee beans. This beer is available in at Five & 20’s Westfield tasting room and at select retailers in Western NY. If you visit their Westfield location, you can pick up some Rye Whiskey while you’re at it.

Four Mile Brewing Red Arm Ale (6.4% ABV): This beer is dedicated to Mercy Flight WNY. Three years ago, Four Mile’s president and head brewer was medevac’d to Buffalo after suffering a brewing accident. They saved his life.

Flying Bison Aviator Red (5.25% ABV): Aviator Irish Red Ale is an obvious choice.  Aviator is one of Flying Bison’s original beers from 2000 when they opened on Ontario Street. It’s a tribute to one of their founders, Larry “Red” Mrozek who passed away before the brewery opened. The beer is modeled after Smithwick’s Barley Wine.

Hamburg Brewing Irish Red (4.8% ABV): Smooth, malty and just the right amount of roasted.

New York Beer Project Dublin the Funn Irish Red (6% ABV):  Funn is a lighter, more funn version of last year’s Irish Red, which NYBP called ‘Red Eye to Dublin,’ because on St. Pat’s Day it’s all about being able to drink more completely fresh Irish Red Ale.

Old First Ward Red Clover (5.5% ABV): “Our Red Clover is an Irish Red that breaks the mold of the mass-marketed malty beers you commonly see,” OFW says of the brew. “We balance a mild malt sweetness with a nice roastiness to make a very drinkable beer.”

Pan-Am Brewery Roosevelt Red (5.3% ABV): Pan-Am’s flagship house made red, which is also an Irish Red.

Pearl Street Brewery Street Brawler Oatmeal Stout (4.5% ABV): A full bodied stout sure to satiate the Patty in all of us.

Resurgence Brewing Irish Breakfast Ale (5.2% ABV) and Imperial Irish Breakfast Ale (9.5% ABV): Both feature a red ale with notes of maple, coffee and smoked meat. The imperial version has been aged to pump up those flavors. Its higher alcohol content makes it a perfect sipper. Both are available at our taproom and at local beer sellers, but supplies are limited.

Rusty Nickel Brewing Red Beer’D Irish Red (6% ABV): The brand new Red Beer’D Irish Red was brewed in the traditional style (yet just a little different) specifically for St. Paddy’s Day and named after Head Brewer Dave Johnson’s very red beard (also grown for St. Paddy’s Day).  It was designed to be slightly malty with a wildflower honey finish and completely crushable.  Perfect for leprechauns!

Woodcock Brothers Brewing Dry Irish Stout (Nitro) (5% ABV): “This brew is an obvious ode to Guinness and their genre defining Irish Stout,” the brewery says of the beer. “Our version is brewed in the traditional style, no additives or adjuncts. Just the hops and toasty malts to give it a naturally roasted coffee type flavor. It’s soft, smooth, creamy and delicious. We fly through it at the brewery every March. It’s served cold at 40 degrees in pint glasses, or as a mix with our Red Head Amber Ale as a Black and Tan.”

Slainte! Or in the words of a traditional Irish blessing, ‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.’

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter at @buffbeerleague, on Instagram at @buffalobeerleague and on Facebook at @thebuffalobeerleague.

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