Let’s be honest: Domestic U.S. beer dyed with green food coloring is about as Irish as a box of Lucky Charms cereal. If you’re looking for true Irish taste this St. Patrick’s Day, here are some options from Kenneth Adams, a bartender at Arnie’s Bar in downtown Tulsa.
One of the most recognizable Irish beers, Guinness is known for its dark color and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. Its creamy taste is its most distinctive feature, Adams says. Guinness also floats on other beers – “It’s not really heavy, it’s thick,” Adams says.
Another option to stout is Ireland’s red ales, Smithwick’s has been brewed since 1710. The beer has a caramel, malty flavor and crisp taste, and Adams says it’s suited for people who want a dark ale without the creaminess of a Guinness.
If you’re not ready to make the jump into ales, Adams recommends trying a Harp Lager. Introduced by Guinness in 1960, the beer has a crisp, smooth taste. Adams recommends Harp for anyone who wants to try an Irish beer, but may not be ready to try a stout.
Dating back to 1935, Magners first started production in Clonmel, South Tipperary, by William Magner. It may be a cider, but don’t expect apple juice – Adams says Magners leans more toward the bitter side rather than the sweet.
Like Guinness for beers, Jameson is probably the most popular and recognizable Irish whiskey. Formally established in Dublin in 1810, Adams says Jameson is more similar to American whiskeys than other Irish options. Arnie’s sells more Jameson than any other bar in Oklahoma.
Powers was first distilled in Dublin in 1791 and is the most popular brand of whiskey in Ireland, selling over 2.5 million bottles each year. A mixture of pot still and grain whiskey, Adams says it has a peaty taste and is more like Scotch.