St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. Time to hang up some cheap, tacky plastic pennant banners; throw on some green duds; overplay Dropkick Murphys but only that one song everyone knows and get roaring drunk.
Sigh. In my mind I see nothing but that Patrick Stewart/Captain Picard “face palm” image; slumped down in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair, head tilted to the side, hand over face. No better image sums up the phrase “Oh, for Pete’s sake.”
Why is this our common perception of Irish culture? Who started this malarkey? Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, so green everything is understandable. Just keep your silly food dye away from my beer. But this tendency to get irresponsibly hammered just because it’s March 17th? St. Patrick was a Christian missionary! If he drank beer at all, it was for sustenance during fasting. And he wasn’t even Irish!
Ireland isn’t even in the top five of beer drinking nations; just barely edged out by Poland into the #6 spot. So for a country that has given the world James Joyce, Rory McIlroy, Michael Fassbender, Samuel Beckett, U2, Liam Neeson and, my favorite, Jonathan Swift, why are we using the observance of a bishop’s death to slaughter brain cells with green beer and the unpardonable sin of mixing Irish whiskey with cola?
I’m also sad around St. Patrick’s Day because of the dearth of true Irish beer available in America. The Guinness you’re drinking? Brewed in North Africa. Murphy’s I find to be a little too thin and watery. Heartbreakingly, Porterhouse isn’t even distributed into the state any longer, and I dearly miss my Porterhouse Oyster Stout. Good luck finding anything from Kinnegar, Trouble, O’Hara’s or The White Hag.
Well, if you’re gonna do St. Patrick’s as an American you might as well do it right and have a beer that’s been around since 1933. Rooney’s Old Irish Style Ale pays respectable tribute to the sons and daughters of Éire with traditional style. Dark copper in color with a nice, thick head, this beer has great scents of sourdough, orange and caramel. Its medium body delivers a good malty base of toffee with leafy hops, a bit of citrus and a finish of cracker, peat and grain. Rooney’s crisp carbonation doesn’t weigh down the palate and its session strength of 5.5% can keep the festivities going without getting too “legless,” as the Irish say.
Don’t be a “Langer Dan.” Leave the foolishness at home this St. Patrick’s Day and crack open a couple of Pennsylvania’s best examples of the Old Country’s brewing. Sláinte, Rooney’s!