Strings of paper shamrocks.
Kiss Me I'm Irish buttons.
Over-sized, fuzzy leprechaun hats.
Yup, it's coming—this Saturday, in fact—and I've already overheard a few beer related gripes.
"Guinness!" Geeky McAficiando says, "Real Guinness tastes different in Ireland."
Bullshit. Guinness Draught taste like Guinness Draught in Dublin, Des Moines or Dubai.
"Heineken?" asks the pre-eminent beer scholar, Rufus T. Underwear, "Why would you drink a Dutch beer to celebrate Ireland?
Hmm maybe because the bottle is Kelly green—it's kind of a theme on March 17th. Heineken is exploiting the situation to make a profit. That's what companies do. Besides, St. Patrick's Day, in the U.S. has about as much to do with Ireland as leprechauns do with Christmas.
"Green Beer!?" shouts the purists at Iknowmoreaboutbeerthanyou.com/
Yeah, green beer is fun and festive. You know what's not? People who complain at parties.
Does beer get drank on St Patrick's Day? You bet. Is it mostly fizzy, yellow lager (albeit dyed green)? Yup. Does this in anyway effect craft beer? Nope. St. Patrick's Day is about having fun—whether you're Irish, Irish-American or Nepalese. Go ahead drink Guinness, or Beamish or O'Hara's or dyed-green, American fizzy lager—hell, drink whiskey if you want.
On the 17th, I'll be joining the New York National Guard's, "Fighting Sixty-Ninth", 69th Infantry Regiment, at their Lexington Avenue and 25th Street Armory in the heart of Manhattan. The 69th originally was a nearly all-Irish immigrant regiment, and has led the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade for 161 years. They have been kind enough to invite me down, and I will drink their green, aluminum-bottled Bud Light with glee.
As Stan loves to point out, it's just beer. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day.