St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so shit’s got real. Of course you’re entitled to a pint of Guinness come March 17 (it’d be un-Irish not to) but if you’re looking for something a little different — and want a tasty beer before a night of only Bailey’s and Bud Light with green food coloring — give these U.S.-born Irish stouts a chance. They can be found at John’s Grocery, Hy-Vee stores and some area restaurants and bars.
Irish Blessing — Boulder Beer Company
This stout was brewed with OZO coffee and aged with Irish whiskey-soaked oak chips, resulting in the beer incarnation of an Irish coffee. May the whiskey road rise up to meet you, friends.
CocO Chocolate — Stout West O Beer
“Boom chocolaka” proclaims the label on this Okoboji-brewed stout, made with cocoa nibs, bourbon vanilla beans and caramel malt. If you’re looking for dessert in a beer, this is a contender, especially when poured over vanilla ice cream.
Milk Man — Confluence Brewing Company
Milk Man Milk Stout will give you the rich, creamy flavor you expect from a beer this dark, made with Irish stout malt and sporting notes of chocolate and coffee. Des Moines-based Confluence also brews the Take Down Irish stout and Imogene Red Irish ale, if you can get your hands on them.
Nitro Milk Stout — Left Hand Brewing Company
I have friends who would give up all other beer for the perfect 40-degree pour of Left Hand’s Milk Stout from a nitro tap (pro tip: Blue Moose Tap House has one). Another Boulder-born brew, this stout is particularly creamy and smooth, and not just because it’s dispensed with nitrogen instead of CO2.