Some years, St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone without me donning as much as a shamrock
My family is Irish—but also English, German and a mix of other things that 23andMe seems to be continually updating in reports to my sister. Growing up, we always indulged in the great Irish-American dish of corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But this is where it ended. I never really graduated to the green beer phase, and in my opinion, no one ever should.
Yet, this year I have found myself wanting to celebrate the holiday in some way. For one, my daughter is in Dublin, studying at Dublin City University and reveling in the luck, the culture and the cuisine of the Irish.
Yes, the photos she posts are beautiful.
Get the green on
Eager for a spot of this fun ourselves, my father and I recently went to a St. Patrick’s Day-themed dinner at Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe. The five-course meal at 1817, the brewery restaurant, started with a multilevel charcuterie display of cheeses, olives, brown bread and Irish butter, among other treats, and ended with a Smith Island-evoking chocolate gateau. In between were oysters, corned beef and a Guinness pie with lamb, beef and a handmade crust.
I am going to remember this meal for a long time.
Each course was served with its own beer, naturally, including three of the five beers specially made for the brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebration. They were the Crosslands Clover Honey Ale made with local honey from Apex Bee Company, Black Currant Stout and Irish Breakfast Tea Amber (yes, this is made with real tea and is quite tasty).
Two others made specifically for St. Patricks’ Day are Coffee Stout and Red Currant Sour.
Not one green beer in sight. I liked all three of the St. Paddy’s specials for different reasons, and I have already taken a can of the Crosslands Clover and made beer bread. Imagine a slice of that with some Kerrygold and fruit for a nice breakfast on March 17.
The holiday festivities at Guinness are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15. Brewery admission is usually free; however, for these two days, regular admission is $20, which includes a commemorative button and one free beer. Five dollars of the admission charge will be given to two Baltimore charities, Sharp Dressed Man and the Civic Works Real Food Farm.
Also, the brewery’s lawn will be turned into an Irish village with more than 30 booths with food and other goodies. Expect Irish musicians, dancers and the likes of all things Emerald Isle.
For more information, visit guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com.
Staying in the city or close by? Here are three options for the holiday.
James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant opens at 11 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and will feed you quite well with its menu of stews, pies and bangers. Harbor East; thejamesjoycepub.com
Sláinte celebrates “17 Days of St. Patrick” with specials from March 1 to March 18. Grab a pint of Harp and take in a soccer game. Ireland plays France at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. Fells Point; slaintepub.com
An Poitin Stil offers eight days of celebration, March 10-17, and all kinds of specials on Guinness, Smithwick, Harp and more, plus an Irish-themed trivia night as well as Irish music and dance. Timonium; thestilltimonium.com