When I think of St. Patrick’s Day I immediately think of Guinness. I’m not Irish, but on March 17, I feel like I should join in on the celebration with an iconic Irish beer. Now, don’t get me wrong Ireland is known for a plethora of other great-tasting beers, but based on my experience I think Guinness is the most well-known, widely available Irish beer in the U.S. So, what about us beer lovers out there who want to celebrate in the Irish tradition, but don’t usually drink stout beer? I have the perfect solution- blended beers! I don’t personally mind Guinness, but I can only drink a little bit. I wanted to find a way to enjoy stouts like Guinness throughout an evening. To begin my blended beer adventure, I ordered a Black & Tan, which is Guinness Draught and Bass Pale Ale. There are many versions of blended beers including:
Half & Half: Guinness + Harp Lager
Black & Blue: Guinness + Blue Moon
Black & Red: Guinness + Cherry Beer (Sam Adams Cherry Wheat)
Black Velvet: Guinness + Champagne
Blacksmith: Guinness + Smithwicks
Snakebite: Guinness + Hard Cider
One of the best half & half beers I ever had was suggested to me by my waitress at Cloverleaf Tavern, which I will talk about more in my next post.
Chocolate Banana: Guinness + Wells Banana Bread Beer
This beer was perfectly balanced and smooth. The beers didn’t overpower one another but combined to create a unique flavor. You have to try this!
Blended beers can be a great way to enjoy stouts while toning down the strong malt, barley and hops flavors. Even if you love stouts, half & half beers create a whole new complex of flavors that is a nice change of pace. Also, blended beers make stouts more drinkable in the warmer summer months. Don’t be afraid to ask the bartender at your local brewpub to create some unique combinations for you. I tried some unique half & half beers at Yardhouse on my trip to Denver that you can read about in my Colorado post. You can also try to make your own half & half at home. Read this tutorial or watch this video to learn how to pour the perfect half & half.
Try a half & half beer this St. Patrick’s Day and let me know what you think!