Seriously, what am I supposed to drink? Is the only way for me to enjoy (“enjoy” being a very key word) an Irish style ale to drink one that was brewed here in America? This can’t be right.
I think almost everyone thinks of Guinness first and foremost when they ponder Irish beer. Oh the power of advertising. This just in – Guinness is gross! If it wasn’t for the fact that very few beers are poured on nitro in this country, Guinness would have absolutely no legs to stand on. It’s crazy thin and flavorless. Ok, maybe the fact that it just barely has more calories than water may appeal to some, but I highly doubt there are many craft beer aficionados out there that choose how they spend their beer money based on calories. It’s flavor that we want and Guinness has none.
What else do we have?
Both Murphy’s and Beamish are superior to Guinness when it comes to Irish stouts, but I don’t even know if they are distributed in Seattle. I don’t remember seeing them. Murphy’s is owned by The Netherlands based Heineken anyway, so I don’t know… are they still considered Irish?
I don’t even feel the need to discuss Harp, Smithwichs, Killians, etc. They are mass marketed atrocities existing only in the murky underbelly of where big business marketing meets fizzy yellow “beer”. No thanks.
So again I probe, where’s the Irish craft beer?
Apparently it does exist, we just don’t see it. Back in 2005, Ireland enacted a new bill that gave tax breaks to small breweries. Since then, several have popped up, very few of which are currently big enough to distribute out to us here on the West Coast of the U.S.
I have seen a few kegs of Porterhouse hit the Seattle market lately, but they may have been samples from the distributor or something because that seemed to be a one and done thing. Unfortunately I was unable to sample.
My research led me to a great source – www.irishcraftbrewer.com. They are stewards of the scene and have a great directory of craft breweries. I’ve used their site and a few others to compile a nearly complete list of Irish craft breweries. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for these guys and let’s hope that we see them in the states in due time.
Hilden Brewery (technically Northern Ireland)
Galway Hooker (amazing site, a must visit)
When Beer Blotter isn’t enjoying craft beer, learning about Belgium, discovering new places, or researching fun beer events to attend, chances are good that they are out running off their beer bellies.
Our affinity for both bipedal trajectory and beer causes us much elation for the annual Henry Weinhard’s St. Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle. Though this year, a single tear will fall from each member’s respective eye, for we will be missing it due to a little trip to EUROPE (yeah that’s right, only one tear each). This doesn’t mean that we can’t inform you all about it.
Mark your calendar for Sunday March 14 at 8:30 am.
HW’s SP’s DD is, according to the website, the largest St. Patrick’s Day fun run in the country. Lets not ask how many fun runs there are on St. Patrick’s day. Point is, it’s pretty big and it has been a Seattle tradition for 24 years now.
Not only is this fun run a “fun” run because it’s only a 3.7 mile course (hahahahaha! just kidding), but you are encouraged to dress up with the Irish spirit in mind, and most importantly, there is beer at the end!
It’s $25 to register, which included a t-shirt, a number, a timing chip (if you chose to race) and post-run activities. The course starts at 3rd and Mercer, crosses the Aurora Bridge, loops back to Mercer and finishes in the oddly shaped shadows of the Experience Music Project. Then, after you regain your breath, simply drag your sweaty self over to [another section of] Seattle Center for Irish music, free food, give-a-ways, awards ceremony, best costume contest, and extensive frolicking in the confines of the Detlef Schrempf Beer Garden where Henry Weinhard’s will be flowing freely (not free of charge but without inhibition).
At the very least, you can pre-burn the calories you will imbibe at the end, and have fun doing it.