Good, Better, and Best Beer to Enjoy on St. Patty’s Day

Lovely Day for a Guinness!
Lovely Day for a Guinness!

It’s that time of year again, when you get out your green, and celebrate your Irish-ness, even if you aren’t Irish.  Now, there is a hierarchy to quality of beer on St. Patrick’s day, and I’m going to break it down for you.

Here’s the category breakdown:

Good: Green beer.  This is what most folks think of when they think of St. Patrick’s day.  This is usually no more than your regular run-of-the-mill light beer with green dye in it.  It’s pretty boring and not very exciting, except it’s green.

Better: Killian’s Irish Red, Michelob Irish Red.  These are a couple of brews that don’t fall into your green-beer category, but are still owned by the big guys.  They are close to your craft-brewed products, but they are not as good.  One advantage to these is that they are usually available.

Best: Boulevard Irish Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Smithwick’s, Raccoon River Stonecutter Stout, Gray Brewing Co. Busted Knuckle Irish Style Ale, etc.  Many of these beers are either made in Ireland, or are craft brews that are made by some excellent craft brewers who strive to create an authentic Irish-style stout, Irish Style Red Ale, or other Irish beer.  If you can get your hands on these, this is the best choice.  You’ll thank me later!

So, when you decide what to have to celebrate today, just go for one of the “Best” beers, because that’s what St. Patty’s is all about!  Enjoy the best!

A Beer Drinker’s Las Vegas Experience

Vegas Baby!
Vegas Baby!

My friends and I recently went to Las Vegas for a bachelor party.  Las Vegas is known for clubs, bright lights, and mixed drinks, but not really beer.  In actuality, Las Vegas does have a few beer experiences that don’t break the bank.  Since our hotel was on the south side of the strip, and didn’t have a car or didn’t feel like taking cab rides, our selection was limited.

The first place we tried was the Burger Bar, located in Mandalay Place.  They had a large selection of beers from common selections, such as Spaten Optimator to more exotic selections, such as Life & Limb, a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.  The prices ranged from around $6 to upwards of over $100 for rare selections.  The atmosphere was nice, but the prices tended to be on the high side.

The next day, we stopped by Sin City Brewing, located in the Flamingo hotel and casino.  We tried the Amber, Stout, and Seasonal, which was an IPA.  All were quality beers, but at $6 each, again, we wouldn’t be able to purchase many pints.

While we were sitting at the bar, another patron mentioned that O’Sheas, the casino next door, had all-day happy hour, which included $1 Guinness drafts and $3 Black and Tans (Guinness stout layered on Harp lager).  We were excited to find such a great deal.  At the casino, a couple of my friends entered into a beer-pong tournament, and made it into the second round.  We enjoyed O’Sheas  so much, we went back the next day.

A couple days later, we heard of another place, just off the strip, called Ellis Island Casino and Brewery.  The casino had karaoke 7-days a week from 9 pm until 3 am, and had a brewery on-site.  We tried the brewery’s Amber, Wheat, and Stout (which mas more like a brown ale).  When it came time to buy the round, we found out each glass was only $1.50.  We sang all night, drinking $1.50 craft brews.

The next day, to finish our weekend, we went to Pour 24, a 24-hour, 24-tap bar located on the mezzanine level of the New York New York Hotel and Casino.  They had several craft brews not available in Iowa, including several Stone Brewing Co. options, such as Arrogant Bastard and Ruination.  On the pricey side at $7.25, we only had a couple of pints (in plastic glasses), but it was a nice way to end the trip.

Next time we go to Las Vegas, we have several great, inexpensive places to enjoy some beer.  What kinds of places have you found in Las Vegas?