Of all the drinking holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is definitely the one whose current incarnation is practically synonymous with drinking. Thanks to Guinness, it’s also the day stout is pulled from taps all over the world. The common misconception is that all stouts are heavy because of their dark appearance; this just isn’t true, especially with Dry-Irish Stout. It’s typically low in alcohol, extremely drinkable and served through a nitrogen (nitro) tap system, which gives the beer a creamy mouthfeel. On the darker side, there’s the Foreign Extra Stout, which was originally made with a much higher alcohol content to survive long journeys by sea. While we enjoy a Guinness, which brews classic versions of both styles, as much as the next person, it’s important to know that there are many other worthy examples of Irish-inspired stout made right here in the U.S. Here are our top five to look out for this Saint Patrick’s Day.
- Saint Louis Brewery’s Schlafly Irish-Style Extra Stout
If Irish-style stout is your thing, this Missouri gem of a Foreign Extra Stout will absolutely sham-rock your taste buds. At 8.0% ABV, you aren’t going to want to chug this…or at least we don’t recommend chugging it. You can only have so many of these before you start seeing leprechauns, so trust us: savor the dark roasted malt flavor.
- Mendocino Brewing Company’s Black Hawk Stout
A true Dry-Irish stout, this black beauty is brewed in both Mendocino, CA and Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s an impressive mix of burnt coffee, cocoa and a touch of smoke that will please without overpowering. If you’re not familiar with Mendocino, they contract-brew for Schmaltz Brewing Company, who brews Coney Island beers, so you know it’s high-quality stuff.
- Moylan’s Brewery Dragoons Dry Irish Stout
When it comes to Dry-Irish stouts, one complaint is that they don’t have much depth and character, but one California brewery has taken care of that. Roasty chocolate malt and a little hoppiness come through with just enough kick at 5% to make this one of the most drinkable and enjoyable American examples of the style.
- Pelican Pub and Brewery’s Tsunami Stout
If you are lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest, this Foreign-Style Stout from an incredible Oregon brewpub should be mandatory celebratory material. It’s surprisingly light for the 7.0% ABV, but full of chocolate and coffee flavor. Definitely different from your typical Irish stout, it boasts a boldness that St. Patrick himself would surely appreciate.
- Sly Fox Brewing Company’s O’Reilly’s Irish Stout
You won’t find this one in a bottle, but if you see this excellent offering from Pennsylvania’s Sly Fox on tap, get it. At only 3.6%, O’Reilly’s might be a tiny brew, but it’s not short on taste. Super-dry with major roasted chocolate and coffee notes. Drink this all day and all night.
Try out recipes with stout this St. Patrick’s Day: