Every year around this time, something grates on me like nails on a chalkboard… “Happy St. Patty’s Day.”
It’s as simple as this: "Patty" is a woman's name. Patty is the diminutive of Patricia, or a burger, and just not something you want to call an Irishman. The nickname used for a man named Patrick—for example, that man named Patrick who is credited with converting much of Ireland to Christianity, is "Paddy," from the Irish Pádraig, the source of that double-d. The confusion obviously has something to do with the fact that the Irish name Padraig is Anglicized Patrick. But that nickname is "Pat," not "Paddy." It’s not quite clear when the ‘Patty’ mistake came about, but it’s probably some mixture of the fact that ‘Patty’ and ‘Paddy’ sound nearly identical in an American accent.
So, what can you call it? You can call it "St. Patrick's Day." You can call it "St. Paddy's Day." You can call it "St. Pat's." Just don't call it "St. Patty's Day." And, in case someone gets annoyed by your use of "St. Paddy," revert back to "St. Patrick," which is correct, not "St. Patty," which is not.
Just don't get into a big fight on St. Patrick's Day! It is, after all, a happy day! It’s the day the river in Chicago is dyed green, parades are planned across the country, and people are ready to party in some of their favorite pubs!
You can get your shamrock on with some of these popular Irish brews!
Boulevard Irish Ale
Irish Ale, Boulevard's early spring seasonal beer, is their Midwestern tribute to the legendary red ales of old Ireland. Their recipe combines six kinds of pale and roasted barley malts to provide a rich, toasty flavor and tawny reddish hue. Alas, this popular ale is only around until St. Patrick’s Day, and that’s no blarney.
This is it, the one that started it all. Crafted to perfection for over 200 years, Guinness Draught was the world’s first nitro beer. Distinguished by its distinctively black color and velvet-smooth texture, this iconic beer is defined by harmony. Sip after sip, sweet counters bitter as the malt arrives on cue to complement a base of roasted barley. Just as the unmistakable white head sits flush atop the dark beer, so do the flavors counter and combine perfectly.
Harpoon The Craic
Ireland’s warm and inviting pub culture influenced Harpoon’s choice of this red IPA. Brewed especially for the late winter and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, this hybrid ale combines two classic styles —IPA and Irish Red Ale—to create a unique and flavorful beer. The malt combination commonly used in Irish Red Ales brings a toasted, malty flavor that balances the citrusy and fruity character of the hops.
Saranac Irish Red Ale
Saranac is no stranger to brewing great Irish beers. Carefully selected batches of two row malts are specially kilned and roasted to produce the wonderful caramel and toffee notes that accompany the rich color of this unique Irish Red Ale. At only 4.5% ABV, this is a beer that you could drink all day long without getting tired of it.
Smithwick’s Irish Ale
From Ireland comes this clean, refreshing ale. With a famous amber color coming from the specially roasted barley, Smithwick’s balances hops with that roasted barley for a flavor that mixes a slightly sweet malt with moderate bitterness. Ireland's number one ale, Smithwick’s boasts exceptional rich, satisfying taste, distinctive color and purity of ingredients that make it unique. Fun fact: Smithwick’s is pronounced as “Smith-icks” or “Smitt-icks.”
MacKenzie Zarzycki was born and raised in Schuylerville, N.Y., where the beer flows like wine. Now a Certified Cicerone®, MacKenzie is on a mission to further her beer knowledge. When she’s not contributing to gotbeer.com, she’s nursing an unhealthy level of attachment to her dog, Kylie.