- O’Hara’s | Irish Red | Irish Red Ale, 4.3%
The craft beer industry in the Republic of Ireland has been a bit slower to emerge than in the United States, but nonetheless a number of quality producers have begun to make names for themselves. One of the most venerable independent firms is O’Hara’s, located in County Carlow, who have been brewing for over 25 years! Coincidentally or not, they are one of the very few craft breweries from the Emerald Isle that can be sourced here in San Diego. Their Irish Red is a coppery umber-toned ale with a notable cocoa tinge on the finish, and at just 4.3% can be enjoyed in multiples. Sláinte!
- Ogopogo | Dullahan | Dry Irish Stout, 4.5%
The palindromic brewery Ogopogo from the San Gabriel Valley has chosen mythological creatures as its leitmotif, with beautiful artwork to match. With a pandora’s box of grimoire spanning the globe as source material, they have yet to exhaust the list of mysterious nighttime terrors or amiable spirits that give inspiration to their beers. The headless horseman known as a Dullahan has its roots in Irish folklore and may be an incarnation of the ancient Celtic god Crom Dubh. Depending on the version one retells, Crom Dubh was variously a servant, enemy or mere acquaintance of Saint Patrick, making him a side-player in the larger cosmology. This beer is a roasty-toasty dry stout in the modern-day Irish brewing tradition and is assuredly not green in color.
- Wild Barrel | St. Paddy’s on the Juice | Hazy IPA, 7.8%
Wild Barrel Brewing out of San Marcos is a passion project by Dr. Bill Sysak, formerly of Stone Brewing. Although it is best-known for its line of “San Diego Vice” tart wheat ales with a cornucopia of fruits (playing off the homophonous coincidence of the words “vice” in English and “Weiß” in German, as in Berliner Weiße), it also puts out a range of hazy offerings as well. Every few months or so, a different fictional bearded man is said to be “on the juice” – Santa in the winter months, Uncle Sam in early July and Saint Patrick in March. This beer boasts a melodious blend of old-school and new-school hops (Cascade, Citra, CTZ & Vic Secret) and a sunglasses-bedecked depiction of Patricius on its label.