For once in my short 23 years of life, I actually have St. Patrick's Day plans. If you know anything about me, you know I seriously live at home, in leggings, and with a good glass of wine. But, this year, one of my goals to be more be intentional about exploring life, so I'm going to Savannah, GA - the Southern capital for St. Patty's Day celebrations!
To share in my excitement, I'm giving you tips on how to throw your very own St. Patricks Day Beer Tasting Party for you and your friends. Seriously, it'll be a hit, and all your friends would be wishing they would have thought of the idea.
I have never been to Ireland, but from the pictures I see, the verdant landscape is breathtaking. The best way to bring that to your party is with beautiful greenery. I recommend setting the table with something "earthy and green." Keep it simple, organic, and not too stylized. The centerpiece above is made of bells of Ireland, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, and rosemary. Another idea would be to use old tin cans (wrappers removed, cleaned, and washed) as a vase and just place sprigs of baby's breath or other greenery for a simpler look (see photos below). Add to the setting with jars with with candles or artichoke hearts to keep the green theme going. If that doesn't scream Irish, I don't know what does.
I would use butcher table as a table runner covering a classic white table cloth. This allows to write the seating arrangements on the table for an earthy farmhouse look! Since this a beer tasting party, you can also keep some pens/markers on the table, so guests can write their opinions about the beers on the paper as well!
Since it's a St. Patrick's and a Beer Tasting party, you can go with two different menu options. The first is to serve, Gastro-Pub esque dishes. These would include soft pretzels with dipping sauces, cheeses with crackers, and mixed nuts if you're going for a light snack rather than a full meal. If you wanted to serve a full meal, I would go for the second option: a traditional Irish meal. Some ideas would be Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage with Irish soda bread. You can find some great recipes here!
Murphy's Irish Stout
Murphy’s Irish Stout (often simply Murphy’s) is a stout brewed at the Murphy’s Brewery in Cork, Ireland (where our family is from!). It is brewed to be less heavy and less bitter than its chief competitor Guinness. Its flavor is evocative of caramel and malt, and is described as “a distant relative of chocolate milk.” The resemblance to milk extends beyond flavor to texture: Murphy’s is free from any hint of carbonation, and is delivered “black as strong cappuccino.”
Smithwick’s is Ireland’s Oldest Ale, since 1710. The basic Smithwick’s Draught has a creamy head, a palate that is very soft at first but develops in sweetness, and a hint of treacle toffee dryness in the finish. It seems bigger than might be expected from a gravity of 1036. It is brewed from Pale Ale malt, roasted barley and 20 per cent corn syrup, with English bittering hops, plus Fuggles and Goldings for aroma.
O'Hara's Irish Wheat
Joining fruits such as bananas, peaches and plums with traditional hops, this golden wheat ale is smooth and thirst-quenching. Although not the common Irish stout, this tasty brew is perfect for those who prefer a lighter, easy-drinking option.
Porterhouse Oyster Stout
Truly unique, Porterhouse’s Oyster Stout is a Dublin favorite dark and aromatic beer with interesting blends of flavorful grains, hops, and fresh oysters. *Not suitable for vegetarians.
With deep, dark and satisfying flavors and distinctly smooth aromas, Guinness brews are undoubtedly among the most popular Irish beers, especially in the US.
Serve the beers in flight glasses (glass or plastic). You can either use printable labels to name the beers by their name or label them "1,2,3,4,5" to keep it a surprise. At the end, have guests vote for their favorite and least favorite beers from the flight.
I hope this inspires you to throw a fun St. Patrick's Day party! Comment below and let me know what you decided to do for your party!