St. Patrick’s Day Beer and Food Pairings

Cooking up colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day? Here’s what to pair with your food (there are no green beers in sight).

There are basically three classic styles of Irish beer: lager, red ale and stout. While stout might be the iconic Irish beer we picture when thinking of pubs, lager is actually the most popular — and for good reason. Irish lagers are easy to drink and crisp, well-suited both to food and to drinking on their own.

Stout: Stouts (like Guinness) are creamy, just this side of bitter and rich. And they’re a good match for equally rich dishes — a fantastic complement to lamb stew as well as black pudding. Stout is also great with desserts; use it to make ice cream floats or incorporate it into a chocolate cake.

Lager: Pair Irish lager (a brand like Harp) with colcannon and other potato-forward dishes, such as boxty or champ; anything creamy and carby will work nicely here.

Ale: Red ales (something like Smithwicks; Killian’s is actually a stateside invention) are malty and mildly sweet — a good pair for corned beef or shepherd’s pie (or, frankly, a full Irish breakfast, but we won’t encourage that).

St. Patrick's Day Recipes with Beer in Mind:

Beef and Guinness Stew

Guinness Float

Stout Cake with Caramel Sauce