There’s No Winning for This Beer Geek on St. Patrick’s Day

I find St. Patrick’s Day increasingly difficult to deal with as I’ve become more and more of a beer geek.  Years ago, I would drink Guinness or Harp, wear green, get hammered and go with the flow.  It was the one day of the year where I could flaunt my surname with pride: G…A…double L-I…G-A-N spells Galligan!  Pass a green beer!

These days the only real joy I get out of the holiday is from McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes and the festive green poops they produce. Okay, maybe that’s TMI, but you get the idea – I’m now a man without a country on St. Patty’s Day. 

On the one hand, the blogger in me says maybe I should do a Today Show post to try and introduce the masses to some other wonderful Irish American beers, like Schlafly’s Dry Irish Stout, which totally kicks the butt of the crappy Guinness we get in these parts.  But no one wants to be educated about the finer points of selecting an Irish-style stout, they want to wear green sunglasses and throw up in gutters. St. Patty’s is for parties, not seminars.

On the other hand, you have my resistance to doing hackey posts about holidays, my recent Super Bowl post notwithstanding.  I’m not gonna do “5 Ways to Funnel Green Beer” or “How to Make a Shamrock-Topped Guinness.” But that’s what the people want, and as a beer blogger during one of America’s biggest beer holidays, I feel the need to write something.

So here I am, stuck in a strange limbo, over thinking things and unable to enjoy a holiday that used to be so mindlessly simple:

1. Get “Irish” beer (once upon a time this meant Killian’s Irish Red – what did I know!?)

2. Drink Irish beer

3. Bother girls

Number 1 and 2 are off the table because I’m a beer snob, and I’m pretty sure my wife would have an issue with #3.  :(

So instead, I’ve decided to vent about my dismay here, to you poor folks.  It’s all I could think to do.

Anyway, if you’re heading out for some St. Patty’s fun, good on ya.  Have a great time and don’t worry about what you’re drinking this weekend – I’ve done enough of that for the both of us!

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Author:Jim Galligan

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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14 Comments on “There’s No Winning for This Beer Geek on St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. March 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I don’t get it either. I’ll enjoy some Irish beer of some kind. Maybe. I have so much other good stuff at home that I’m having a hard time rationalizing buying more beer just to fit the day.

    My main issue is dealing with amateurs. You know who they are; the people who get fall-down drunk after an hour or two of partying because they have no tolerance or no self-control (or either). I can’t recall the last time I went out on St. Patrick’s Day, but I think I was in my either late 20s or very early 30s.

    The beer geek in me is not opposed to a Guinness when out though. Yes, I like good beer, but especially in party environments like what you get with St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll be fine with whatever everyone else is drinking, because I won’t be able to truly enjoy anything better (if it doesn’t get spilled).

  2. March 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    What? You know how to make a shamrock in beer foam and you’re not sharing the knowledge? I am perplexed.

    Face it, Jim, you’re getting older and have a family. These commitments make a debauched holiday such as St Patrick’s…less enjoyable.

    I think you ought to “try and introduce the masses to some other wonderful Irish American beers, like Schlafly’s Dry Irish Stout.” I think the Today crowd are closer to your demographic than the “wear green sunglasses and throw up in gutters” demographic. They expect a beer geek (i.e., someone who knows more about beer than Martha Stewart did in a recent Today segment), so be the geek.

    St Patrick was all about driving snakes out of the country, not seeing snakes during bout of the DTs.

    Be the geek.

  3. March 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I hear ya. We’re going to an Italian restaurant tomorrow and a coworker’s concert. Neither of which have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day. And I may even order wine with dinner.

  4. March 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I’ll be demonstrating how home beer-brewers brew their own Irish beer at a community party that features music. Dancing and boiling liquids…should be fun. :)

  5. March 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    One of my home brew buddies got a four-tap kegerator (keezer) for Christmas, and we’re breaking it in on St. Paddy’s Day with three of our home brews, including a Dry Irish Stout, a Rye IPA, and my experimental Belgo-Japanese IPA (don’t want to make all the Japanese Belgians at the party uncomfortable). We will also enjoy some of my fiancee’s Carbomb cupcakes. This is the first St. Patrick’s Day party I’ve looked forward to in a long time.

  6. asd
    March 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    http://paddynotpatty.com/

  7. March 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    You could always pour a big bowl of Lucky Charms and watch the series of Leprechaun movies starring Warwick Davis. No green beer required.

  8. March 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    The wife and I have been feeling the same way the past couple of years, the fun’s temporarily gone out of it. We’re in our forties and fifties, and up until last year, would always go out either on The Day, or the preceding Saturday when Denver has one of the country’s largest parades. Now, it’s just meh. I’ve been calling it Irish Armageddon recently because of the huge amount stupidity.

    Now we do what we normally do when we want to celebrate; go out to a local brewery and have a few pints. We’ll leave the raucousness to those younger and less experienced. Although I’ll be tempted when I walk by the Irish Snug on my way home today. It has a huge party every year, and it’s only two blocks to stumble home from. ;)

  9. March 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Awwww, come on… the goal is to be a beer geek and not a beer snob.

    There’s nothing wrong with Guinness and even if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of Irish whiskies to tickle your fancy.

    We get in trouble when the beer lover in us starts to interfere with having a good time by just going with the flow sometimes.

  10. March 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Well said.

  11. March 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    If you want to put blue dye into your yellow industrial lager, go ahead. The beer won’t hurt the taste of the dye.

    Hey, I’m 75% Irish 100% of the time. I’ll still be Irish on 3/18, and I honestly don’t get this “Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” crap. I’m not Polish on the feast day of St. Casimir.

    Anyway, here’s my take on it:

    http://www.examiner.com/green-drinks-in-philadelphia/st-patrick-s-day-green-whiskey

    I even managed to fit my rant into the general topic of green drinks.

  12. NicM
    March 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Eh, I just do my own thing. Most years that seems to be black and tans at home but this year my friends and I are running a 10k and then hitting up the local Belgian beer bar (Cheeky Monk!) for lunch. I’m really excited for the awesome stories my friend is going to have after her DUI enforcement ride along tonight.

  13. John
    March 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    First don’t be picking on Guinness. It’s the first beer that a lot of us had that wasn’t miller or bud so consider it a gateway beer. Second get yerself a bottle of cask strength Redbreast and enjoy one of the worlds truly great whisky’s. After that all will be right.

  14. March 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    So try some other Irish stouts–American or Irish. I’ve always been rather fond of Murphys’, ya might want to give that a try. But in all honesty, all this green foofaraw is an American thing. The folks in Ireland don’t carry on half as much as all the one day a year Irishmen here in the States.

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