The Best Beers To Throw Back On St. Patrick’s Day, Ranked

Shamrock and Beer to Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Photo: choicegraphx (Getty)

St. Patrick’s Day might be dedicated to a patron saint, but we somehow transformed it into a celebration of drinking copious amounts of our favorite alcoholic beverages while wearing green shirts. In other words, what a great day.

As such, there are various brews that people like to get their hands on for such a glorious occasion. Some sip on the rare and one-of-a-kind batches, while others simply snag any old beer and drop some green food coloring in it because it’s festive.

Whether it’s an Irish stout or something really light, there’s no limitation to which beers you can drink on St. Paddy’s Day. You’re free to consume whatever you want, no matter what others say about keeping it to a specific tap, bottle or can. With that in mind, we drummed up some great beers to have as you approach everyone’s favorite (drinking) holiday.

7. Guinness

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This is the obvious go-to beer for the holiday. As an Irish stout, it’s creamy and goes down with a tangy flavor. If you really want to enjoy this properly, it has to be poured from the tap the right way by someone who knows what they’re doing. Get yourself a girl who can pour a Guinness correctly and wife her up QUICKLY.

6. O’Hara’s Irish Red

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Red beers are a personal favorite, mostly because of the molt body that comes with caramel tones. According to the brewer, they add a “healthy addition” of caramel to the mashing process for this Irish red ale, which adds to the deliciousness.

5. Karl Strauss Red Trolly Ale

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Here’s another outstanding Irish red ale. Karl Strauss is based out of San Diego, which is known for the red trollies used for public transportation. Hence, the name. This award-winning beer is warm fermented to bring out raisin and currant flavors, and it packs a nice punch at 5.8 percent alcohol by volume.

4. New Belgium Fat Tire

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As mentioned, you aren’t confined to drinking one specific set of beers for St. Patrick’s Day. That means it’s OK to skip out on an Irish beer in favor of something from elsewhere. This is the case with Fat Tire, a Belgian-style ale brewed in Colorado by New Belgium Brewing Company. The beer was inspired by the brewery’s co-founder after he took a bicycle trip through Belgium. When he got back to the states with a handful of ingredients, he produced this ale known for its sweetness and balance between toasty malt and fresh hops.

3. Innis & Gunn Whiskey-Aged Stout

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This wonderful member of the stout family is a Scottish stout aged in Irish whiskey barrels with a hint of English origins. Yes, there’s a lot going on there in terms countries, but it’s a 6.1 percent alcohol by volume beer that has a subtle taste when compared to other stouts. If you’re not a stout drinker, this one is a good choice to open up your taste buds to the particular type of beer. Also, it’s a limited edition.

2. Ballast Point Sculpin

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This is the India pale ale of India pale ales. Sculpin is the beer responsible for many acquiring a taste for IPAs, and potent enough at 7 percent alcohol by volume to turn St. Paddy’s Day into an early night. According to the brewery, the brewing processes’ use of hops creates “hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish,” which you can see on the label. This is one of those you’ll want to limit in terms of consumption (unless you’re not worried about the hangover the following day).

1. Allagash Curieux

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This wonderful concoction is one that will leave you appreciating the taste of barrel-aged beers. Allagash took their Tripel and made this delicious golden ale by aging it in bourbon barrels for seven weeks. The result is an 11 percent alcohol by volume brew that is as tasty as it is potent. There are hints of vanilla and coconut in this beer, while also keeping that slight bourbon flavor. Curieux is best served in a chalice and can be enjoyed through a tap or the bottle you find in stores. Allagash used to only bottle this beer in 750 ML, but the company very recently started shipping in 12 ounce four packs. Even more so than the Sculpin, tread lightly with this one on St. Patrick’s Day because two glasses can take down even the gutsiest of beer drinkers.