Friday, March 16, 2007

Like I could leave it at that?

No, can't leave the St. Pat's stuff alone. Not yet.
Planning on doing some partying this St. Patrick's Day? If you are, remember to take this number with you. The St.Joseph Medical Center
and Yellow Cab will provide cab rides in the St. Paddy's Wagon for those who've had too much to drink. They won't take you to another bar - these rides are only good for a "take me home," trip. The first $25 of the fare is on the house. Rides start at 3 p.m. Saturday and end at midnight. To catch a ride, call (816) 943-3949.
You don’t have to drink cheap beer with green food coloring tomorrow. It will make your tongue a really ugly color, never mind the taste. Of course you could go for a Boulevard's Irish Ale, which you already know I adore, or a Guinness, which has done an excellent job "owning" St. Patrick's Day. But there are other loverly Irish brews out there from which to choose. In case you weren’t aware, I’ll elaborate.

The top and/or most popular Irish pours (besides Guinness) are Beamish Stouts and Reds, Harp (a lager from Guinness), Murphy's Stouts and Reds (owned by Heineken) and Smithwick's, another red.

Guinness is DARK, like all stouts and has a thick mouthfeel. Surprisingly to some, stouts actually contain quite a bit less calories than their lighter looking cousins. Guinness tastes more like coffee and grains than the others, at least to me.

Beamish Stout is all about unsweetened chocolate and strong espresso. Same stout consistency overall, however. I’ve only had this a few times.

Murphy’s Stout is more roasted malts and a lighter mouthfeel, despite looking very thick and dark. It smells like coffee & chocolate as well, but somehow manages to go down in a way I can only call silky. I *heart* Murphy’s.

Harp is a lager, meaning it is lighter in color and mouthfeel. It is clear gold in color and tastes more ‘crisp’ and smooth than the others.

Beamish Red is red in color, duh, and focuses on malty, caramel flavors. Of the reds listed here, I think it is the mildest/sweetest. Second only to Boulevard’s version.

Murphy’s Red is similar, but with slightly stronger hoppiness. If you aren’t a huge hop fan, this might not be your favorite. I don’t consider this to have much of a kick, but I like Pale Ales and other high-hop beers, so take that with a grain of salt.

Smithwick’s is also an Irish Ale, but it is brown, not red in color. (Don’t pronounce the “w” in that when you order it. Say “smitticks,” or “smiddicks,” unless you want the smart ass 22 year old waitress to correct you. That won’t make you feel very beer snobbish.) This is balanced between malts & hops, but definitely the most bitter of the reds, in my opinion.

Don’t know what to have? Order a Black&Tan or Half&Half, with Harp & Guinness (or Guinness and Bass). You don’t have to struggle with a decision, it looks cool, and certainly makes you more sophisticated than your bar mate, who is chugging something indescribable with green foam on top. Blech.