There are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and pretty much all of them involve beer. Beer is the Thanksgiving turkey of St. Patrick’s Day. (Trust me, it makes sense.) For some reason I refuse to try to understand, many people have taken to contaminating their beer with green coloring to celebrate the holiday. Green clothes and green food and green parade floats are already part of the celebration; can’t we leave the beer alone? I’m no sommelier, but I do love good beer. So if you’re like me and are in the mood for beer that does more than match your St. Paddy’s outfit, follow me through Mall of America to find some of the best craft beer for the occasion.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Guess what? St. Patrick’s Day falls on the same day as the start of the First Round of March Madness this year (March 17). You already know that Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the best places to watch the tournament. At MOA, Buffalo Wild Wings’ extensive tap list includes a number of local craft breweries, such as Surly, Fulton, Grain Belt, and Summit. Looking for something smooth and easy to wash down hot wings? Fulton’s Lonely Blonde hits the spot. If you want something bolder, go for the Surly Furious or the Samuel Adams Rebel IPA.
I’m not a big fan of beer on an empty stomach, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. If you like finding the perfect beer and food pairing, Cadillac Ranch is your place. Cadillac Ranch beer goes very well with their hearty cuisine. Their three standard beers—No Bull IPA, El Dorado Light Lager, and Fender Bender Bock—actually far exceed what you might expect from a brewpub. Pair the lager with fish ‘n chips and loaded mashed potatoes if you want to keep with the Irish theme.
Let’s close this out with a dessert beer. You’ve been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day hard. You’ve got shamrocks in your hair that you’re not quite able to get rid of. You’re looking for a beer to round out the night. Tony Roma’s recently tapped Bitteschläppe from Excelsior Brewing Company. This malty brown beer has the caramel, cocoa and toffee flavors of a good dessert beer, but it’s far from overpowering. I’m not one for beers that try too hard (I’ll pass on your cookie dough gummy worm beer, thanks). Bitteschläppe knows its strengths and plays to them.
If you’re planning on spending St. Patrick’s Day somewhere other than MOA (we won’t hold it against you), you can still pick up your party beer right here at the Mall. Old Vine Wine + Spirits carries a selection of great local beer from breweries such as Third Street Brewhouse, Insight, and Barley John’s.
However you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you do so responsibly. And good luck from MOA!