Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don't Drink Green Beer!

If you want a real Irish beer to imbibe in honor of the Feast of St. Patrick, then Smithwick's Irish Ale is the one I recommend:

Smithwick's (pronounced "Smithick's" or "Smiddick's") is brewed in the 12th Century St. Francis Abbey in Kilkenny, Ireland (I've been there and tasted my first pint of Smithwick's in a nearby pub).

An Irish ale brewed in a Franciscan Abbey - how Catholic can you get?

And don't drink that black stuff called Guinness either! No self-respecting Catholic should drink something its founder called "Black Protestant Porter":

...It was in the 1790s that Guinness began producing what became its trademark product, a rich dark porter that came to be known as stout. Originally developed in London, it derived its unique color and flavor from barley that was roasted. Interestingly, Guinness called his brew "Black Protestant Porter," a name that reflected his opposition to the United Irishmen led by Wolfe Tone (in the nineteenth century the Guinness family mellowed a bit and became supporters of Catholic emancipation).

In recent years, Murphy's Irish Stout emerged as a rival to Guinness, first in Ireland and eventually in Europe and the U.S. Murphy's, of course, was no upstart operation. The original brewery opened in Cork in 1856. Like Guinness, it offered a hearty stout, but with a distinct flavor. The company also benefited from rising nationalist sentiment as a result of the Troubles. Simply put, Murphy's came to be identified with the Republic of Ireland while Guinness, especially for those who knew the company's history, seemed more and more identified with the 18th century Protestant Ascendancy...


  • Smithwick's Wikipedia entry

  • Brewery with its own abbey - it must be Ireland

  • Here comes Smithwick's

  • Smithwick's: The new Irish option

  • Green beer? Blarney. Real Irish ale rules

  • Irish Ales - Wexford Irish Cream Ale and Smithwick's (Beervana blog)
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    At 3/14/2008 11:36 AM, Blogger PB said...

    Smithwick's is now brewed/distributed by Guinness though, so would we be disrespectful Catholics by supporting the stuff?

    I'll give you that though, Smithwick's is a good beer. I'm mighty fond of Guinness as well though, even though it might be a "black protestant porter".

    At 3/15/2008 6:43 AM, Blogger Zach said...

    Jay, thanks for the tip. I picked up some on the way home from work and enjoyed a bottle last evening (whilst covering up the Guiness logo, ha ha). Mmm, delicious, laddie!

    At 3/17/2008 12:00 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

    I typically give up alcohol for Lent, but I'll look around for Smithwick's post-Easter.

    I love Guiness however -- despite the founder's heresy, I may have to let it slide on account that his family later turned around! ;-)


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