How To Host a Grown Up St Patty’s Day Party

By Carolyn Stine March 13, 2019 

Think beyond the green beer for one of the most festive holidays of the year.

Let’s face it: we don’t actually like Guinness all that much. And those green scrambled eggs we attempted a few years back… not so appetizing. So while we love the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve found as the years go by that we’re stumped as to how to memorialize this fun-loving holiday in a way that feels, well, festive and grown-up. How do we think beyond the green beer and shamrock glasses and corned beef?

As we started to do a deeper dive into St. Patrick’s Day traditions, what we kept coming back to was the idea of sharing a beer and a meal with friends. And in this day and age, there is an incredible range of artisanal beer out there that goes way beyond the Irish Car Bomb set-up of years past. So, we thought, just how we pair wine with food, why couldn’t we celebrate St. Patty’s Day by pairing beer with food (and friends)? And the rest was history. Here are our Bashed picks for the best beer and food pairings at your St. Patty’s Day party.

More than just Guinness: How to Throw a Grown Up St Patty's Day

Stouts

When folks drink a Guinness, they are imbibing in a category of rich, dark beers known as stouts. They actually tend to be lower in alcohol and less heavy than they are commonly assumed to be. One of our current favorites is the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which has an out of this world caramel-y, vanilla flavor. Stouts stand up well to roasted and smoked meats, and we love serving them with a shawarma spiced braised leg of lamb. This large format main course is an absolute showstopper at a dinner party when you bring it out to the table (expect ooohs and aaahs).

Sours

If there was ever a beer to be considered trendy, sour beer would win the game. Five years ago, we had never heard of a sour beer, and now we’re finding them on menus and at craft breweries near and far. Their trademark, unsurprisingly, is the intentionally tart flavor, which comes from being brewed with wild bacteria and yeast. This is one of our top picks for serving during cocktail hour with your cheese board. A stinky blue cheese and fresh sliced figs pair insanely well with a sour like the La Folie Sour Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing Co.

IPAs

Also known as India Pale Ales, IPAs have a reputation for being boozey, hoppy brews. They are a part of the pale ale family, and can be a bit of an acquired taste for newcomers to the beer game. They also happen to stand up quite well to spicy dishes, we absolutely love an IPA alongside a spicy Thai seafood curry. The hoppiness does an amazing job cutting through the heat, and perfectly complements the seafood too. Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ale is one of the best ones out there.

How to Host a Grown Up St Patty's Day

Ciders

If you’re not quite ready to get on the beer bandwagon, we’re huge fans of hard ciders. Made from the fermented juice of apples, there is a sweetness and lightness to a good cider that we happen to find irresistible. Shacksburg Cider is a Vermont-based cidery that’s putting out a rosé cider that we can’t get enough of. Pair it with a slow-roasted pork belly that’s rubbed with whole-grain mustard and white wine for the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Pilsners

We like the Czech Republic for many reasons (the beautiful city of Prague being one of them), but their pilsners may be one of our favorite exports. You know pilsners as being the beer you most likely drank as your first beer, and the ones you see almost everywhere (PBR, Coors, Budweiser - all pilsners). They’re a type of lager that has hops added for a bit of spiciness, and is always pale, or blonde, in color. The Crisp Pilz from Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn is our jam when looking for an elevated, drinkable pilsner, and our favorite way to pairs these is to go classic Americana - with a burger and fries. Either order in from your local Shake Shack or set up a DIY burger bar at home for the win (extra pickles, please).

Beer and Food pairings for a grown up st patty's day

White Beers

Harkening mainly from Belgium and the Netherlands, this citrus-forward beer is one of our favorites on its own, but also pairs fantastically well with food. It gets its name because the beer itself looks white, or hazy, when cold because of the suspended wheat and proteins in the beer itself.  Dogfish Namaste White is at the top of our list for your next soiree, and we recommend serving it alongside seafood, such as coconut and lemongrass mussels or this simple shrimp ceviche.

Lagers

Ah, the classic lager. This style of beer is cold fermented at the bottom of their barrels for a lighter, cleaner flavor with a bit of maltiness. We love them, perhaps ironically, paired with Mexican food, such as these epic loaded sweet potato nachos. We’ve been reaching for this Mexican Style Lager from West Sixth Cerveza, which has an oh-so-subtle aroma of corn.

How will you be toasting St. Patty's Day this year? Have a favorite beer we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Tell Us What You Think

  • Mel Whyte says:

    In Ireland, the day can be called "St. Paddy's Day" or St. Pat's Day, but NEVER "St. Patty's Day. "Patty" is a girl's name.

    • Lindsey Tauer says:

      Oh interesting, we haven't heard that distinction! I guess we're just celebrating all the Patty's out there 🙂

  • Carolyn Stine

    A party without cake is just a meeting.

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