It isn’t often that Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, and you’re going to want to take advantage of some of the year’s best day drinkin’! But don’t just settle for endless watery green beer punctuated with pints of Guinness; try celebrating with some local craft beers this year!
A “session beer” simply refers to a brew that is low enough in alcohol, and light enough in body, that you can drink several of them in a sitting without fatiguing your palate (or your liver). Guinness Draught is an exemplary session brew since it is only around 4.2%ABV and, despite its widely held belief that it is a “meal in a glass”, it is comparatively light-bodied. Tom Kelley, certified Cicerone and co-owner of El Segundo Brewery, recommends Solidarity by Eagle Rock Brewing as a local alternative to the traditional pint of Guinness on St. Patty’s Day.
Solidarity gets a lot of love on this site, and that’s because the uniquely delicious beer is one of my favorite made-in-LA brews. The beer is a “dark mild” — a nearly lost historical beer style — and it is even lighter in alcohol (3.8%ABV) and body than Guinness. Kelley calls it a “great, all day drinking beer. Smooth, light, and a nice backbone of roasty bitterness that never becomes overwhelming.” Like Guinness Draught, Solidarity is also often available on a nitrogen beer tap which will make for a creamier mouthfeel and thick, luxurious head. This local favorite is also a great pair for corned beef and cabbage or a shepherd’s pie.
Solidarity is available for growler-fills at the brewery, in bottles at Whole Foods and beer-shops, and pouring at the taps in beer bars around town. You can also hit the brewery on St Patty’s Day for some beer floats made with Irish cream ice cream by local creamery Chunk’n’Chip and doused in Solidarity. Three other beer/ice cream combos, including Belgian pale ale and French toast ice cream and Manifesto witbier with spicy mango ice cream, will also be served.
If you’re more interested in exploring what the local craft breweries have to offer than the endless pitchers of green beer, you can head down to the South Bay for the first annual Froth Awards. Held at The Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, the event features dishes from local gastropubs paired with beers from the likes of Smog City, El Segundo Brewing Co, and Monkish Brewing. Tickets are $29 and include 5 food and beer pairings and a souvenir glass.
Burbank’s best craft beer destination, Tony’s Darts Away, will be celebrating St. Patty’s Day all weekend long with a special menu of Chef Randy’s veggie and vegan delights (plus some full-meat dishes for the carnivores) and a special tap-list that is laden with stouts and porters. Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood also has a special menu on Sunday, and they’ll be tapping a variety of Guinness varieties and other stouts.
Craftbeer.com has some other suggestions for pairing Saint Patrick’s Day foods with beers, and from fish and chips to boxty there is a craft beer to match with all the holiday’s dishes.
What will be in your glass that you raise in toast on this Saint Patrick’s Day?