Party for St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish Beer Tasting
We’re grown adults, so for us celebrating St. Patrick’s Day no longer means crushing large volumes of green beer and donning kitschy leprechaun gear. It does however mean celebrating all the great things Irish culture has given us – like Guinness, meat and potato pie, Colin Farrell – you get the idea. So that’s just what we did.
We gathered those nearest and dearest for a day of (relatively) responsible drinking. We’re totally over the packed pubs so we prefer to host. The bars, at least in Toronto, can get super rowdy and lineup’s ensue by about noon (and waiting in line outside in March when it’s cold AF ain’t our thing). Plus, hosting means you’ve got control over every little detail – from the food to the drinks, decor and playlist.
To give our party a more sophisticated spin, we kicked things off with a beer tasting. As you probably know by now, we’re always up for a beer tasting (check out our pumpkin beer tasting if you haven’t already). So, we kicked off the day by picking up four of our fave Irish beers, set up some flight glasses and poured out some samples. This got us learning more about Irish beers which totally got us in the spirit and felt a touch classy.
The tasting had us work up an appetite, which meant it was time to roll out our Irish fare of choice: Beef, Guinness and Mushroom pies. These are great to make for a group because they’re surprisingly easy to make, are individually portioned and a lot of the legwork can be down in advance. Plus, they’re hearty, which helps set a solid base for the drinking games that will inevitably ensue.
Here’s everything we recommend for throwing a successful St. Patrick’s Day party:
- At least four Irish beers for a beer tasting. We recommend Guinness (obvi), Kilkenny Irish Ale, Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Red Ale
- Tasting glasses. We got ours from Walmart, or these ones will do
- An Irish inspired cocktail. We recommend the Guinness Flip, or go for Black and Tans
- A bottle of Jameson wouldn’t hurt
- Actual Irish food. We made these Beef, Guinness and Mushroom pies, but if you’re feeling something different, then Food & Wine has a great round-up of actual Irish recipes here.
- Decorations. Nothing over the top – a little kitsch goes a lot way. We used plants to get the green vibe going, paired with some gold chocolate coins and plastic shamrock confetti.
- An arsenal of drinking games. We’ve got the ultimate drinking game handbook for ya, which has the rules and regs for four classic games, which you can check out and download here.
Kick things off with the beer tasting. We kept this one pretty casual:
- Pour the beers into flight glasses, leaving about an inch from the top.
- Now, give it a good look. Notice the colour of the beer as well as depth and texture of the head.
- Give it a swirl, then a whiff.
- Then give it a taste
- Respect that Irish brew and read up about each beer as you’re tasting it
Next up, serve up your Irish fare and either more beers or Guinness Flips.
Now, let the (drinking) games begin. Of the games in our handbook, we recommend kicking things off with Kings, followed by Thumper and Bus Driver.
St. Paddy’s Day Jams
If these tunes don’t get you pumped for St. Patrick’s Day then you’re a lost cause. Click Here to Start Listening!