In Portland, St. Patrick’s Day mustn’t be ruled by a generic pint of Guinness. With the most microbreweries per capita, Portland takes pride in what it crafts and drinks—and a holiday tailor-made for beer is no exception. Here, we spotlight four Irish-style brews that are anything but green.
Irish Stout, from Kells Brew Pub
St. Patrick’s Day must begin with an Irish Stout, and no brew fits that need better than Kells Irish Stout. Hitting the local beer scene only a month ago, this new brew is a welcome addition to Portland’s stout offerings. While dry (like all traditional stouts), Kells' take also leans towards the dessert end of the flavor spectrum with notes of coffee, chocolate, and fig. Try it as a post-meal treat—or, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day—as a breakfast beer.
Drink it Here: Kells Brew Pub, 210 NW 21st Ave.
Paulie’s Not Irish Red, from Old Town Brewing Co.
A twist on an old Irish staple, Paulie’s Not Irish Red adds a heft dose of hops, offering a bitter edge that’s sorely missing in most Irish Reds. What results is a unique ale that coats the mouth with a rich body, that also puts a spark on the tip of the tongue. Purists shouldn’t despair—there are still familiar Irish red characteristics, from caramelized sweetness to malty notes.
Drink it Here: Old Town Brewing Company Brew Pub, 5201 NE MLK Blvd.
Breakside Dry Stout, from Breakside Brewery
For a solid staple that wont tire the palate, try Breakside Brewery’s authentic Irish Stout—it won the 2012 World Beer Cup for good reason. Perfectly dry with British malts and low in carbonation, this stout slides back easier than a glass of chocolate milk. It isn’t defined by sweetness, however, as subtle notes of ash and coffee provide a complimentary balance.
Drink it Here: Breakside Brewery, 820 NE Dekum St.; 1570 NW 22nd Ave.; or 5821 SE International Way, Milwaukie).
Kales Irish Style Lager, from Rogue Ales
After all those filling stouts and ales, a palette cleanser might be in order. Ease through the end of St. Patrick’s day with a Kales Irish Style Lager from Rogue Ales; a perfect session beer that balances drinkability with Irish authenticity. A pale orange lager made with European malts, this brew has a slightly sweet and hoppy flavor that pairs great with a boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage.
Find it Here: Any beer distributor carrying Rogue products.
What will you be drinking this St. Patrick's Day? Tell us in the comments!