By Glenn Hendry
'Tis almost St. Patrick's Day, when everyone is Irish, if just for the day. But rather than adding green dye to your beer (please don't), there are a few readily available beers - many made right here in Durham Region - that can make your St. Patrick's Day experience just a little more authentic.
From Whitby brewers Brock Street we have their Irish Red, a traditional red ale that was the 2016 Ontario Brewing Award winner in its category. Darker than most red ales, this beer has plenty of rich caramel notes with toasted malts and a bit of smoke.
-available at the brewery and The Beer Store
Whitby is also the home of 5 Paddles Brewing and their Shillelagh O'Sullivan is billed as "the easiest drinking stout that exists." This dry Irish stout is brimming with coffee and roasted malts, with some nuttiness as well.
-available at the brewery
Porters have a long history in Ireland and Second Wedge in Uxbridge makes a very good one: Rainmaker Porter. Rainmaker is a pitch-black porter with that classic burnt toast and roasted malt aroma, with notes of dark chocolate and coffee as well. -available at brewery
Manantler in Bowmanville makes a very popular root beer porter called Root of All Evil that boasts big aromas of chocolate and, of course, root beer. It's spicy, sweet and bitter at the same time. It is currently sold out but we are hopeful of its imminent return.
- check brewery for availability.
Strong Patrick is a little stronger than most Irish red ales at 6.7 per cent. From Ottawa-area brewer Beau's, this brew brings a stiff malty backbone to the table, along with toffee, toasted malt, caramel and a touch of booze from a short spell in Jameson whiskey barrels.
-available at the LCBO.