Here at PicoBrew, St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays. Sure, it’s a chance to gather with family and friends, make merry and celebrate the Irish culture — but let’s be honest. At least in the U.S., it’s mostly about the beer.
If you’re looking for some brews to bring to your St. Patty’s party, you could go for the typical green-tinted light lager — or you could pick up something special to honor the holiday’s tradition of feasting. To step up your game and bring the luck of the Irish to all your guests, consider these special St. Patrick’s Day food and beer pairings!
Riley’s Irish Red Ale + Irish Soda Bread
No St. Patty’s celebration is complete without Irish soda bread. The savory-sweet combination of subtle spices, toasty grains and dried fruit in this traditional treat are the perfect match for an Irish Red Ale: an easy-drinking, well-balanced beer.
Start with a sip of Riley’s Irish Red Ale from Packinghouse Brewing Co., and breathe in the roasty-toasty malt aroma, followed by pleasing flavors of nuts, caramel and toffee. The beer itself is reminiscent of buttered bread, with a biscuity palate and roasted dryness.
This creates a pleasing flavor affinity when followed with a bite of soda bread, with its simple, clean profile and tastes of pastry and toasted grains. The beer boasts mild esters and a slight malty sweetness, augmented by the dark fruit flavors and hints of caraway, currant and spice in the bread. The combination is mellow and pleasing to keep you going all St. Patrick’s Day long.
Brew Your Own Irish Dry Stout + Stout Stew
Those who prefer pairings from the darker side will enjoy this combination of two classic Irish menu items: a roasty-toasty Dry Stout and rich, meaty Stout-broth stew.
Traditional beef stew is often made with Guinness — but using this award-winning Irish Dry Stout from Brew Your Own will kick your St. Patty’s game up a notch. Inspired by the great dry stouts of the Emerald Isle, this brew is dark, roasty and ever-so-sweet, with barley malts, chocolate notes and a coffee finish.
The dry character, lighter body and low alcohol content of the beer make it a perfect foil to the thick, hearty stew. It’s also a perfect addition to the broth, as a brew with too strong a flavor will overpower the taste of your food. Let the malty, salty, savory, starchy and meaty character of your stew — typically made with beef, potatoes and carrots — shine through, with a sumptuous supporting role played by this classic Stout.
REDCON Irish Red Ale by Comrade Brewing Co. + Corned Beef and Cabbage
A cornerstone of any St. Patrick’s Day feast is corned beef and cabbage — a hearty, fatty dish that’s perfectly countered by a versatile, slightly sweet sipper, such as the REDCON Irish Red Ale by Comrade Brewing Co.
This savory, salty and satisfying dish combines crunchy cabbage with tender, briny beef. Slightly sour and spicy, this traditional Irish staple is flavorful and filling, which just begs for a light, sessionable Red ale to wash it down.
The REDCON has a bright citrus nose and just the right amount of caramel sweetness from Crystal, honey and pale chocolate malts. This brew will refresh and revive you after a heavy, meaty meal, and it’s easy to sip throughout all your celebrations!
PicoBrew Shankill Stout + Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
A roasty, malty Foreign Extra Stout is an excellent companion for Ireland’s quintessential dairy delight: Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, a robust, aged hard cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows. This pairing is sure to delight those who prefer a more intense tasting experience.
Take a sip of the PicoBrew Shankill Stout, and you’re greeted by aromas of roasted grains, coffee and cocoa. Toasty flavors of barley and oat are balanced by a malty sweetness, with chocolate and dark fruit notes. It’s moderately dry, with no perceptible hoppiness — but when followed with a bite of Kerrygold Dubliner, a bold flavor combination is created.
The cheese’s initial nuttiness enhances the roasty, malty flavors in the beer. The sharp cheddar tang that follows is balanced by the Stout’s robust bite, as well as by the alcoholic warmth that creeps in as the brew develops on the palate.
The velvety texture of the beer heightens the creamy character of the cheddar, creating a smooth, full mouthfeel when sampled together. A slightly sweet finish in the cheese enriches the molasses, dried fig and chocolate notes in the brew, completing a complex and pleasing taste journey.