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St. Patrick's Day food and beer pairings

Katherine Martinelli is an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents. She recently released her first cookbook, Puff Pastry at Brunch: 10 Sweet and Sa...

Pick the perfect brew to match your food

Bring your St. Patrick's day dinner to the next level by choosing the best Irish beer to pair with each food course. From Irish reds to rich, dark stouts, learn which will best complement your corned beef or Irish soda bread.
Pick the perfect brew to match your food


While Irish stouts like Guinness and Murphy's are dark, richly flavored brews, they are surprisingly light-bodied and not nearly as high in calories as people tend to think. The predominant coffee notes make them a great match for chocolate desserts, so consider pairing stout beers with a Guinness chocolate cake. Irish stout also pairs beautifully with oysters.

Pick the perfect brew to match your food

Red ale

Irish reds like Smithwick's are medium-bodied beers with distinct caramel flavors that are colored by the roasted barley added at the end of the brewing process. They have a wonderful balance of sweetness and bitterness that prove to be a perfect counterpoint to classic salty corned beef and cabbage.

Pick the perfect brew to match your food


Like most lagers, Irish-style lager like Harp is light and crisp with a pleasant level of carbonation. And it's a match made in heaven with Irish soda bread. The crispness and carbonation of the lager provides a nice foil to the dense bread, while citrus and toffee notes complement the yeasty flavor.

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