Best Irish Beers: Experience the Top 12 Remarkable Beers of Ireland [St. Patrick’s Day & Beyond]

by Karl S | Updated: June 28, 2023

Imagine the rich, creamy texture of a classic Irish stout, or the refreshing, crisp taste of a golden lager. Coupled with the perfect food pairing, the experience becomes truly unforgettable.

In 2023, the Emerald Isle offers an exceptional range of beers that cater to every palate. But with so many options, how do you choose the best Irish beers to try?

Fear not, fellow beer enthusiasts! We’ve got you covered with our list of the top 12 best Irish beers for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond. Get ready to embark on a journey through Ireland’s finest brews and discover hidden gems that will leave you wanting more!

Short Summary

  • Explore the exciting world of Irish brewing with 2023’s top 12 best beers!
  • Enjoy unique flavors like Galway Bay Althea APA, Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale and Rascals Brewing Company Happy Days Session Pale Ale.
  • Discover hidden gems and pair your favorite beer with food for a remarkable culinary journey!

Discovering Ireland’s Finest Brews

The Irish beer scene has come a long way since the days of traditional heavy Irish stouts. While classics like Guinness remain iconic, the craft beer revolution has brought forth a plethora of new and exciting flavors.

From tropical APAs to fruity pale ales, there’s a little something for every beer lover. So let’s dive into some of the most popular Irish beer brands from the Emerald Isle and explore the diverse world of Irish brewing!

In the following subsections, we’ll introduce you to some of the finest beers Ireland has to offer, including both well-known favorites and lesser-known delicacies. We’ll cover a wide range of styles and flavors, from the rich and creamy Murphy’s Irish Stout to the light and fruity Galway Bay Althea APA.

Prepare your taste buds for an adventure through the amazing world of the best Irish beer, a favorite among beer drinkers!

Galway Bay Althea APA

https://galwaybaybrewery.com/althea/

Galway Bay Althea APA is a tropical delight that will whisk your taste buds away to a sunny paradise. With notes of papaya, mango, and peach, this modern Irish beer offers a refreshing change from traditional stouts and red ales.

Crafted by the talented brewers at Galway Bay Brewery, the Althea APA is truly a testament to the creativity and innovation in the Irish beer scene.

But that’s not all! The Althea APA also boasts subtle citrus and grassy hop flavors, which perfectly complement the fruit-forward profile. This beer is perfect for those looking for a refreshing and unique twist on a classic Irish lager.

So, the next time you’re craving a fruity and vibrant beer, don’t hesitate to reach for a Galway Bay Althea APA!

Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale

https://wicklowwolf.com/beers/alpha-pack/

If you’re a fan of fruity brews, then Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale is for you. Ale is right up your alley. This popular and delicious beer features tantalizing grapefruit and pineapple flavors that dance on your palate, leaving you craving for more.

Brewed in the picturesque county of Wicklow, the Elevation Pale Ale is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of Irish brewing.

But what sets Wicklow Wolf apart from other breweries? It’s their commitment to being “locally rooted and at one with nature.”

The brewery also offers a fantastic Core Range Gift Pack, which includes a selection of their finest beers. So, if you’re looking for a refreshing alternative to traditional Irish stouts, give Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale. A try!

Rascals Brewing Company Happy Days Session Pale Ale

https://rascalsbrewing.com/shop/happy-days-session-pale-ale/

Do you ever wish you could find a beer that’s perfect for a casual day out? Look no further than Rascals Brewing Company Happy Days Session Pale Ale! This easy-to-drink beer boasts juicy flavors of mango, passionfruit, orange, and melon, all balanced by a delicate caramel malt backbone.

At only 4.1% ABV, Happy Days Session Paleo. Ale is the ideal choice for a laid-back and enjoyable drinking experience.

Rascals Brewing Company’s commitment to innovation and quality shines through in every sip of their Happy Days Session Pale Ale.

So, the next time you’re planning a picnic, gathering with friends, or just relaxing in the sunshine, make sure to bring along a few cans of this delightful brew, or even try their barrel aged amber ale for a different taste experience!

Porterhouse Temple Lager

https://porterhousebrewco.ie/beer/temple-lager/

When it comes to classic Irish lagers, Porterhouse Temple Lager is a must-try. With its clear, pale golden-yellow appearance and light citrus aroma, this approachable pilsner style lager is a refreshing choice for those who prefer a more traditional taste.

Brewed by The Porterhouse Brewing Company in Dublin, Ireland, the Temple Lager boasts a mild, citrusy flavor with a delicate sweetness and a light kick of bitterness.

With an ABV of just 4.2%, Porterhouse Temple Lager is perfect for enjoying on a warm day or alongside a meal. Its smooth, easy-drinking nature makes it a fantastic option for those new to the world of Irish beer or simply seeking a classic and approachable lager. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this delicious brew!

Murphy’s Irish Stout

https://www.murphys.com/

If you’re a fan of rich, dark beers, then Murphy’s Irish Stout is sure to please your palate. This smooth, sweet, and creamy stout offers hints of coffee and toffee, making it a great choice for those who appreciate a more robust flavor.

Brewed in Cork, Ireland, Murphy’s Irish Stout is often compared to the iconic Guinness, offering a slightly nutty flavor with a touch of sweetness and a creamy finish.

With an ABV of just 4%, Murphy’s Irish Stout is perfect for sipping and savoring without becoming too overwhelming. Its unique flavor profile and smooth texture make it a fantastic option for those looking to explore the world of Irish stouts. So, whether you’re a seasoned stout fan or just starting your stout journey, give Murphy’s Irish Stout a try!

Guinness Irish Stout

How to Brew Guinness and Hack a Clone

No list of Irish beers would be complete without mentioning the world-famous Guinness Irish Stout, one of the most popular Irish beer brands. This creamy, easy-to-drink dry stout has captured the hearts of beer lovers in Ireland and beyond, thanks to its smooth texture and iconic creamy head.

Brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin since 1759, Guinness is a true testament to the rich history and tradition of Irish brewing, including the lesser-known but equally delightful Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale and other Irish Cream Ale varieties.

But that’s not all! Guinness also offers innovative brews like their Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, which combines the classic dry Irish stout with brewed coffee for a unique and delicious flavor experience.

With its widespread availability and enduring popularity, Guinness Irish Stout remains a top choice for beer enthusiasts around the world. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this legendary brew!

O’Hara’s Irish Stout

https://www.carlowbrewing.com/our-beers/oharas-irish-stout/

For those who appreciate a classic Irish stout with a twist, O’Hara’s Irish Stout is the perfect choice. This craft beer offers a traditional, bitter, and hoppy profile that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Brewed using traditional methods and a delightful combination of roasted barley, hops, and yeast, O’Hara’s Irish Stout is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of Irish brewers.

Available in Ireland, the UK, and other countries around the world, O’Hara’s Irish Stout is a fantastic option for those looking to explore the diverse world of Irish beer. Its distinct flavor and commitment to tradition make it a must-try for any stout enthusiast.

So the next time you’re in the mood for a delicious, classic Irish stout, be sure to reach for a bottle of O’Hara’s!

Harp Lager

Looking for a crisp and refreshing Irish lager? Harp Lager is the answer! Created in 1960 by Guinness in its Dundalk brewery, Harp Lager offers a smooth aftertaste that is perfect for those who enjoy a more traditional Irish beer.

Its front-loaded bitterness and light, refreshing flavor make it an excellent choice for warm months or when you’re craving a crisp, clean taste.

With its light and refreshing flavor, Harp Lager is perfect for enjoying on a warm day or alongside a meal. Its smooth aftertaste and easy-drinking nature make it an excellent choice for those new to Irish beer or simply seeking a classic and approachable lager. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this delicious brew!

Smithwick’s Red Ale

https://www.smithwicksexperience.com/our-ales

For those who enjoy a sweet, malty beer with a mild hop kick, Smithwick’s Red Ale is the perfect choice. This delicious Irish beer offers a delightful malty sweetness and a subtle caramel taste, making it an excellent option for those looking to explore the world of red ales.

Dating back to the 14th century, Smithwick’s Red Ale has a rich history and tradition in Irish brewing.

Smithwick’s Red Ale is perfect for pairing with traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and soda bread. Its unique flavor profile and smooth texture make it a fantastic option for those looking to explore the world of Irish red ales.

So, whether you’re a seasoned ale fan or just starting your ale journey, give Smithwick’s Red Ale a try!

Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Irish Beers Worth Trying

While it’s always great to enjoy a well-known Irish beer, there’s something truly exciting about discovering hidden gems in the world of Irish brewing. With a growing number of craft breweries in Ireland, there are plenty of lesser-known beers that showcase the diversity and creativity of the Irish beer scene.

So let’s take a look at some of these fantastic brews that are definitely worth trying!

In the following subsections, we’ll introduce you to some lesser-known Irish beers that deserve a spot on your must-try list. From the unique Westport Blonde by Mescan Brewery to the German-style wheat beer Friar Weisse by Franciscan Brewery.

Well, these hidden gems are sure to provide a refreshing and delightful taste experience.

Mescan Brewery

Nestled on the slopes of Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, Mescan Brewery is a two-man artisanal operation producing Belgian-style beer with a unique twist.

In collaboration with a Belgian Brewers Guild, they’ve brewed a 250-year-old recipe on a historical brewing site, resulting in an exceptional range of beers, including the cael crede barrel aged variant.

One of their standout offerings is the Westport Blonde, brewed using water from a spring near the brewery for a truly distinct flavor.

Mescan Brewery’s commitment to traditional Belgian brewing methods and the use of a special water source results in an unparalleled taste experience.

If you’re looking for a unique and refreshing beer that stands out from the crowd, be sure to give Mescan Brewery’s Westport Blonde a try, as well as their crede barrel aged amber!

Boyne Brewhouse

Founded by the Cooney family, Boyne Brewhouse is an innovative brewery located in Ireland that also shares its home with the Boann Distillery. Boyne Brewhouse produces a variety of beers, such as their Irish Lager and Amber Ale, showcasing the versatility of Irish brewing.

With a focus on quality and craftsmanship, Boyne Brewhouse is a must-try for those looking to explore the diverse world of Irish beer.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional lagers or looking to try something new and exciting, Boyne Brewhouse has a beer to suit your tastes. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a delicious and versatile Irish beer, be sure to reach for a Boyne Brewhouse brew!

Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse

If you’re looking for something different from a traditional Irish ale, Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse is an excellent choice. This German-style unfiltered wheat beer features a tart flavor and hints of citrus, making it a refreshing and enjoyable option for those seeking a unique taste experience.

Brewed by the Franciscan Well Bar in Cork city, Ireland, the Friar Weisse showcases the creativity and skill of Irish brewers.

Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse is perfect for those looking to try a new and exciting beer that stands out from the traditional Irish offerings. Its refreshing taste and unique brewing style make it a must-try for any beer enthusiast.

So, the next time you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to give Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse a sip!

Pairing Irish Beers with Food

When it comes to enjoying Irish beers, pairing them with the perfect food can elevate the overall tasting experience to new heights. By matching the right beer with the right dish, you can bring out the unique flavors of each beer and create a truly remarkable culinary journey.

From traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie and corned beef to international favorites like cheese plates and seafood, there’s a whole world of delicious pairings to explore!

In the following subsections, we’ll discuss some of the best food pairings for different types of Irish beers. From stouts and roasted meats to lagers and seafood, these combinations are sure to enhance your beer tasting experience and leave your taste buds craving more.

Stouts and Roasted Meats

Rich, malty, and full-bodied, stouts like Guinness and Murphy’s are a perfect match for the smoky, savory flavors of roasted meats. Whether you’re feasting on boiled bacon and cabbage, grouse, or Kansas-style spareribs, the bold flavors of stouts provide a delicious complement to these hearty dishes.

In addition to roasted meats, stouts also pair wonderfully with rich, creamy foods like macaroni and cheese, mole sauce, and even dark chocolate truffles.

So, the next time you’re enjoying a stout, be sure to indulge in some roasted meats or other rich, savory dishes to enhance the overall tasting experience. Your taste buds will thank you!

Lagers and Seafood

Lagers, such as Harp Lager or Porterhouse Temple Lager, offer a light and refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of seafood dishes. Their crisp, clean taste complements the delicate flavors of fish, shellfish, and other seafood, creating a harmonious and enjoyable dining experience.

In addition to seafood, lagers also pair well with light and fresh foods like salads, hot dogs, and cheese plates. Next time you’re enjoying a lager, consider pairing it with a seafood dish for a delightful and refreshing taste sensation. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the complementary flavors!

Ales and Cheese

Ales, like Smithwick’s Red Ale or Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale, are a fantastic match for various cheeses, as they highlight the complex flavors of both the beer and the cheese.

From a sharp cheddar paired with a Smithwick’s Red Ale to a pungent blue cheese alongside a Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale. Ale, these combinations offer a truly unique and delicious taste experience.

So, the next time you’re enjoying an ale, be sure to experiment with different cheese pairings and discover the delightful flavor combinations they can offer. You won’t be disappointed!

Summary

In conclusion, 2023 offers a diverse and exciting range of Irish beers to explore and enjoy. From traditional stouts like Guinness and Murphy’s to innovative brews like Galway Bay Althea APA and Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale. Ale, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t forget to pair your chosen beer with the perfect food to elevate your tasting experience to new heights. With so many incredible options, the world of Irish beer is truly your oyster. Sláinte!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ireland’s most popular beer?

It’s Guinness! This iconic Irish beer has been around since 1759 and continues to be a staple in Irish culture. The unmistakable black color of Guinness is actually a dark ruby, crafted from roasted barley, hops, yeast and water.

Enjoy the taste of history when you take a sip of Guinness!

What is a true Irish beer?

Experience true Irish beer with a pint of dry stout or red ale! These dark and toasty brews are some of the most popular in Ireland and are full of unique flavor that can’t be found anywhere else.

Enjoy their characteristic roasted barley bitterness and the signature nitrogen gas that helps carbonate them. Raise a glass to the Emerald Isle and toast to Ireland’s rich beer culture!

What is the top beer for St Patrick’s Day?

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Day in style with an ice-cold Irish brew like Guinness! Popular and delicious, Guinness is the top beer to pour on St. Patrick’s Day for a truly enjoyable experience. Cheers!

What is a popular brand of Irish stout?

Are you looking for an authentic Irish stout? Look no further than the world-famous GUINNESS! This iconic beer has been delighting generations of beer-lovers and is sure to be a hit with any crowd.

So raise a pint – it’s time to celebrate with some delicious, smooth Guinness!

What are some popular traditional Irish dishes to pair with Irish beers?

If you’re looking for a tasty and traditional pairing, try some classic Irish favorites such as shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, or soda bread with a cold pint of your favorite Irish beer.