Every year, March provides the first indication we have survived yet another winter. We all did fairly well and should give ourselves a pat on the back. Well done. We also have the opportunity to celebrate with our friends and neighbours on a holiday that is embraced by some while barely acknowledged by others — St. Patrick’s Day. I for one am a fan of Paddy’s Day. As a young beer lover, I spent a month in the Dublin area and many an hour in the pubs of that city, solidifying my love for the beers of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day provides a great excuse to get out of the house and into the local pub to enjoy a pint of beer in good company. Fortunately, it is easy to find a good pint of Guinness these days in most cities around the world. Some would say Guinness is better in Ireland, but part of the mystic of the Emerald Isle might be elevating the experience as well. There are plenty of great pubs within Charlottetown that will be pouring ample amounts of this classic dry stout on the 17th. Be sure to let The Buzz guide you through the events of the day!
For those who prefer to avoid the crowds and revelry on St. Patrick’s Day, the PEI Liquor Store has a few good options to enjoy a toast in the comfort of your own home. Irish beers such as Guinness are packaged with others like the creamy smooth nitrogenated Irish red ale Kilkenny, the classic red ale Smithwicks and Irish pale lager Harp. Another terrific option for an Irish stout at The Liquor Store is Murphy’s Stout from Cork. Though very similar in appearance, a deep reddish black with a smooth white head, Murphy’s Stout is a little less bitter and a little lower in alcohol, allowing it to have a more elegant chocolate profile, while being incredibly smooth and gentle in finish.
Island brewers have plenty of good options for stouts as well. Gahan’s Sydney Street Oatmeal Stout, Copper Bottom’s Ken’s Stout and Upstreet’s Black Tie Affair are all available at PEI Liquors Stores. Another great stout to try is Lone Oak’s Boat Traffic, an oatmeal stout that was aged in an oak foeder (pronounced food-er) made by PEI’s New World Foeder’s. Boat Traffic can be found in the Lone Oak taproom at Gateway Village, in Borden-Carleton. Barnone’s sweet milk stout, La Vaca Loca, is always a favourite for dark ale lovers who can track it down.
Be sure to drink responsibly, and no matter what compels you, DO NOT DRINK GREEN BEER.