By Rick Garner
Somehow, no matter where a beer actually comes from, it seems like the words “beer” and “Ireland” are inextricably linked, for better or worse. So here’s a little background about real Irish brews for next time you find yourself ready to raise a pint (or two…or three…).
There are basically two kinds of beer, ales and lagers. Ales are top-fermented beers, meaning that they’re made with top-fermenting yeast that thrives in warmer temperatures and can hold up to higher alcohol concentrations. The resulting is a crisp, somewhat fruity, sweet, flavorful beer that is lacks strong carbonation. Stouts, brewed from a base of roasted malt, fall under the category of ales as well, and are dark, dense, and often leave a hint of chocolate on your tongue.
Lagers, on the other hand, are bottom-fermented beers. They are stored (in fact the word lager comes from the German “lagern,” meaning “to store”) at low temperatures for longer periods of time ~ sometimes weeks, sometimes months, becoming clear, mellow, and highly carbonated. Lagers are typically light- in color and possess a mild hop flavor.
Cream ales are a hybrid of lager and ale. Essentially, they’re ale-fermented at a lower temperature and then conditioned like a lager. Their color can range from amber to red, and they’re smooth, well-rounded, and have a hint of hops to their flavor.
BEAMISH STOUT, GUINNESS DROUGHT, GUIN NESS EXTRA STOUT, CAFFREY’S IRISH ALE, MUR PHY’S IRISH STOUT, O’HARA’S CELTIC STOUT (FROM CARLOW)
HARP LAGER, KINSALE IRISH LAGER
CREAM ALES AND MORE
KILKENNY IRISH (CREAM ALE FROM GUINNESS), MURPHY’S IRISH RED, MURPHY’S IRISH AMBER
1 1/2 oz Bailey’s® Irish cream
1 1/2 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
6 oz root beer
Mix Kahlua and Bailey’s in a nice big mug and then add in the root beer.
1 oz Bailey’s® Irish cream
1 oz creme de menthe
1 oz creme de cacao
4 oz milk
Pour the Bailey’s, creme de menthe and creme de cacao over two ice cubes in a small (8-oz) highball glass. Top off with milk, stir, and serve.
1 cup non-alcoholic eggnog
2 shots Bailey’s Irish cream
2 shots butterscotch schnapps
Stir ingredients in a highball well enough so that the drink is the original color of the eggnog.
Ice Cream Hogarth recipe
2 oz Bailey’s® Irish cream
4 oz vanilla ice cream
3 tbsp maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice cubes and enjoy.
1/2 oz. of Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 pint of Guinness Stour
1/2 oz. of Jameson Irish Whiskey
First, pour the chilled 1/2 pint of Guinness into beer mug and let it settle. Then, make a shot that’s 1/2 oz. of Irish whiskey on the bottom and 1/2 oz. of Irish cream on top. Drop the shot in the mug and chug it, Baby!
Irish Trash Can
One part each of the following:
Fill a Collins glass with ice, then add all the liquors and stir. Add a full can of Red Bull and watch it go ~ It’ll float and seep slowly down the glass, turning the contents green…hence the name “Irish Trash Can!”
Martian Hard On: Equal parts creme de cacao, melon liqueur, and Baileys Irish Cream
Quick Fox (also known as the Quick F**k ): A variation on Sh*t on Grass, with equal parts Irish cream as the first layer, followed by a melon liqueur, topped with a coffee liqueur
After Eight: Equal parts Tia Maria, crème de menthe, and Bailey’s Irish Cream, layered to avoid mixing. Got its name because it really does look like one of those After Eight mints.
Ok, so once you’ve celebrated St. Patty’s Day by doin’ the annual pub crawl on Park Ave. or in the Canal District during and after the Worcester parade (starting at noon on Sun., Mar. 11), what could be better than topping off the festivities with some traditional Irish food and music? You’ve got your choice of places all over Worcester County, but here are just a few suggestions:
O’Connors in West Boylston : www.oconnorsrestaurant.com, 508-853-0789
JP O’Hanlon’s in Ayer : www.jpohanlons.com, 978-772-9282
P J’s New England Bar & Grill in West Boylston : 508-835-2224
Fiddler’s Green Pub in Worcester (see our review on pg. 50) : 508-795-0400
Seamus O’Callahan’s in Sterling : 978-422-8484
Olde Timer Restaurant in Clinton : www.OldTimerRestaurant.com, 978-365-5980
Grey Hound Pub (An Cu Liath) in Worcester : www.thegreyhoundworcester.com, 508-754-6100