Thursday, March 15, 2007

Real beer for St. Patrick’s Day at NABC.

Saturday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, and at NABC, along with Gravity Head (weekend two) and NCAA basketball, it adds up to something we’re not entirely able to predict until it hits. But why quibble? My solution is to have genuinely good beer on hand.

As a reminder to the reality-impaired, wearing of the green is one thing, but drinking it is something else entirely, and not at all explicable. Ingesting green-tinted swill is tantamount to wearing a badge that reads, “I’m neither Irish nor particularly bright – scoff at me.”

Rest assured. I do.

Note also that the only green-colored beer available for St. Patrick’s Day will be bottled Berliner Weiss with fluorescent woodruff syrup. That won’t stop people from asking for the dyed variety. After all, we can’t all be clever.

If you’ve ever actually been to Ireland, you know that the accepted colors of Irish beer are black, red and gold, and in our traditionally minimalist fashion, we’ll be offering color-coded kegs of each (two Gravity Head listed selections, and one not) while shunning other, more egregious forms of non-Hibernian revelry. Here they are:

Bell's Expedition Stout (cask hand-pull; firkin; 11.5%)
The oft-repeated adage holds that while the Arabs invented distillation, it took the Irish to perfect it. Don't get it? Think: “From perfume, to whisky.” In much the same fashion, Imperial Stout improves in almost hallucinogenic fashion upon the “dry” Irish model. Drawing it from a cask in the traditional manner is just icing on the cake.

Upland Ard-Ri Imperial Irish-style Red Ale (9%)
Up the road in Bloomington, Indiana, our compatriots at Upland have produced another version of their annual homage to … well, let’s permit Wikipedia to answer:
  • High King of Ireland (Irish:
    Ard Rí na hÉireann) refers to legendary, pagan kings of Tara. It also refers to
    later kings, who were, depending on the period, either the most powerful king of
    their day, or, in later times, exercised authority over most of Ireland.
Rogue Kell’s Irish Lager (circa 5%)
In essence, a Harp Lager clone, but fuller-bodied, engagingly smooth and crisp, and coming from one of my favorite breweries in the world.

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