Follow your own leprechaun

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First Posted: 3/9/2015

St. Patrick’s Day and, more importantly to some, Parade Day is upon us. This is the time of year when Northeastern Pennsylvania loves to show their true Irish pride by consuming so much alcohol they forget their manners and how to act like a decent human being.

However, if craft beer has taught us anything it is to not always follow the trends of the popular culture. Instead, this year try for something more. Try to have a great time by drinking quality beers instead of quantity.

There is an endless array of great craft beers available that will make your St. Patrick’s Day more enjoyable while still being able to celebrate your “Irish heritage.” Here is a short selection of great beers to enjoy this holiday season.

1. Brooklyn Brewery — Dry Irish Stout: Brooklyn Brewery prides itself on brewing beers that are textbook examples of the intended style. The Dry Irish Stout will compete perfectly with any number of widely available Irish stouts that are consumed this time of year. The wonderful roasted malt character has subtle notes of chocolate and coffee with a tinge of earthy hops for balance. Highly drinkable, the low 4.7 percent ABV makes it possible to consume in larger than average quantities, but this is most certainly a beer to savor and enjoy.

2. 3 Guys & A Beer’d Brewing Company — Malarkey: The buy local movement is great in theory, but if you can’t get good products local it is meaningless. Thankfully the Carbondale base 3 Guys & A Beer’d are local and brewing great beers. Malarky is a wonderful take on the traditional Irish Red style. Touches of sweet toasted malts find balance with earthy hops that leave a perfectly dry finish on the palate. This is a beer that will make you more than happy to drink local this year.

3. Flying Dog Brewery — Lucky SOB Irish Red: Not only a great name but also a wonderful Irish Red. The malts have a wonderful biscuit quality balanced with subtle hop notes that provide a very clean finish. The semi-sweet taste and dry finish make this a great beer to return to over and over again while chanting your favorite Irish song loud and proud.

4. Left Hand Brewing — Milk Stout NITRO: Left Hand’s Milk Stout has gained a stellar reputation as one of the best within the style. When the brewery began to unleash its NITRO line, few were ready to experience beer on another level. The incredibly smooth body of this beer seems out of this world while the sweet milky qualities and chocolate notes provide a drinking experience that must be savored. Also, this is a very fun beer to watch as it is poured from the bottle.

5. Terrapin Beer Company — Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout: While many may not see this beer as one for St. Patrick’s Day, it is a seasonal from Terrapin and is an absolute must try, so get it while you can. The sweet chocolate notes find balance with hints of coffee and cream. The beer maintains a great balance that keeps it from tipping too far into the overly sweet category. Fans of chocolate, stouts and porters must try this beer while it’s still available.

While St. Patrick’s Day can quickly become a day full of events that are not so fun for many in attendance, it certainly does not have to be the case. If the focus is on having a good time and drinking good quality beers in moderation throughout the day, not only will you have a better time, but so will everyone else! Enjoy your parade and drink plenty of great craft beers.