Direct from local brewery Brau Brothers (Lucan, Minn.) comes a reformulation of a creamy milk stout recipe sure to switch things up from your typical Guinness this holiday. Four Firkins owner Jason Alvey says the main difference is in the milk sugar, lactose, which is added in the boil and leaves this beer smooth, rich and thick in texture. This beer ends somewhat fruity or sweet on the palate. $8.79/six pack. 8009 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.938.2847
Kells Irish Lager
Rogue Ales’ classic Irish Lager will give you a smooth, mellow drink that finishes with an apple-crisp finish, says Bill Princeton, beer specialist and son of Princeton Liquors owner Joe. (Fun fact: the Princeton family has been selling beer, wine and liquor in the Twin Cities since Prohibition was repealed.) $6.75/bomber. 12790 Bass Lake Rd.; 763.559.3257
Lift Bridge Farm Girl
A Belgian-style, light-bodied Saison, this beer is very accessible to even non-beer-drinkers. It’s earthy and just a little spicy on the palate, making it easy to drink. Alvey also likes it for its localness (brewed in Stillwater, Minn.). $9.29/six pack
Amp things up with a different kind of stout (and another alternative to Guinness). Old Rasputin is a Russian imperial that’s everything the name might suggest—dark and complex with big flavors that finish warm in the belly. $7.99/four pack
Tall Grass Ale
This malt beverage comes in cans, which any frequent beer drinker will tell you is good for a beer. The English-style brew is “going to be the next big thing in beer,” Alvey predicts. Considering the loads of flavor this session beer packs, it has a pretty low alcohol content at just more than 4 percent, which means you can drink it all afternoon and not feel (too) sloshy the next day. $8.99/six pack
O’Dell Brewery’s Red Ale
To round out the trio of colors, this American-style red brings your taste buds to a whole new level. The seasonal Rocky Mountain Goat is a more aggressive red, Princeton says, because of the inclusion of strong American hops. Be sure to get yours today; seasonal means its only sold through April. $8.99 / six pack
Classic St. Patty’s Day Eats
Drink your beer a different way this year, in the form of Cowboy Jack’s delicious Guinness beef stew. 4120 Berkshire Ln. N.; 763.559.0257
Soup sounding good? Then don’t miss the Mulligan stew at Joe Senser’s. Their chefs use an age-tested (but secret) recipe. In addition to the stew, Senser’s serves your classic corned beef and cabbage platter. 16605 County Rd. 24; 763.559.1990
Jake’s serves up a range of specials for the luck of the Irish, including Reuben soup, lamb stew in a bread bowl, and traditional corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes in butter and parsley. And, if you happen to have a hankering for green beer, Jake’s has you covered. 3005 Harbor Ln. N.; 763.559.1595
Cooper Irish Pub, the most recent entry in Kieran Folliard’s empire of Irish-styled hotspots, boasts a long list of whiskeys that is perfect for any St. Patty’s Day celebration. But drinking aside, their ever-popular classic fare includes specials on corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew (made with gravy, beef, onions and potatoes), as well as the sausage and champ (mashed potatoes mixed with green onions). 1607 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.698.2000
St. Patty’s Day Brews
For a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at home, here are tips and recipes from the pros at The Copper to make signature Irish cocktails. The best part? You get to drink any mistakes!
HOW TO POUR THE PERFECT PINT
- Tip the glass to a 45-degree angle, then open the tap wide.
- Fill the glass ¾ full.
- Let the glass sit for 1–2 minutes, then fill ’er up.
- The head should be about ½ inch to 1 inch tall and just tip the rim of the glass.
Black & Tan
- Fill glass 2/3 full with Finnegan’s or Bass Pale Ale
- Set a spoon upside down on the rim of the glass
- Pour Guinness slowly over the spoon
Half & Half
- Substitute Pale Ale with Harp
Poor Man’s Black Velvet
- Substitute Pale Ale with hard cider
- Any Irish whiskey
- Brown sugar, to taste
- Homemade whipped cream
Dissolve brown sugar in a mug or pint of hot coffee. Add a shot or two of Irsih whiskey, and top with a homemade whipped cream—homemade makes it more pourable—so the end product is similar to a perfectly poured Guinness.