Friday, March 18, 2011

Hearts, stars and clovers!

Yesterday was every Irish-American's favorite holiday to get completely hammered, and I'll admit I'm one of those yanks who drunkly sings "traditional" drinking songs on March 17th and have a pint of Guinness in my hand all day. Doing car bombs late into the night, telling every cute guy that walked by if he'd like a kiss from an "Irish"girl. It's fair to say after generations of breeding with true Americans, my blood is more red white and blue then green white and orange. But every March, I truly embrace my mixed heritage, and so do thousands of Americans. We are a country of immigrants, even the "true" 'Mericans are just watered down foreigners. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's what makes the USA what it is, a giant mix of cultures. With that said, Kiss me, I'm Irish-American!

But back to St. Patty's day, it was to be the most commercialized holiday of mixed heritages in America. Saint Patrick's was first celebrated with going to church, for it was a Christian holiday. Drinking was apart of it, for the day fell shortly after Lent restrictions were lifted though the drinking was not as excessive nor as profound as it is now. But over the last century, March 17th is not really remembered as a holy holiday, but as a day of binge drinking, similar fate has befallen the Hispanic holiday Cinco de Mayo. I'm not saying we should stop the drinking on "green day", but maybe we who claim to be Irish-American's try to learn more about why we celebrate March 17th and learn more about out heritage. From it's Catholic origins to why the shamrock is St. P's religious symbol.

As a future (hopefully) brewmaster, I have only one thing to say about green beer that is served on the 17th, NO! Do not drink watered down, food colored, overly priced cheap beer! There is nothing truly Irish about ruining beer with food coloring! Beer is NOT supposed to be a dark shade of green, instead it's supposed have a beautiful amber color, a nice golden blonde shade, or a perfect dark brown of a great stout. Barley and hops do not naturally produce a shamrock shade of green! A true Irish-American should have a pint of cold delicious REAL beer in their hands and a smile on their face knowing that they are drinking something that would make their ancestors proud. So do me a favor, if you see any left over green beer, pour it into the streets as a way of social protest! Real beer rules!

Check out this hilarious video about the "brewing" process of green beer staring my favorite actor Sean Patrick Flannery, star of Boondock Saints.

I spent my St. Patty's day the way everyone should, surrounded by friends at a great bar, Stout Brothers , enjoying a few pints, laughing and having a great evening. If you ever have a chance to go to Santa Rosa's Irish pub in downtown Rosa, do so! A great selection of whiskey and beers on tap, corned beef that would put my Grandma's to shame, but seriously don't tell her I said that. A small pub, but the atmosphere is amazing. The bartenders are quick and know their stuff. Perfectly measured car bombs, even when the bar was packed, pints pulled so well that there wasn't large heads on beer, and friendly (and cute) smiles. After the "traditional" bar crawl, I went home and watched Boondock Saints, a movie which has been my St. P's tradition for years.

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Saint Patrick's day! It's also now officially my Spring Break, so expect a review about Sonoma County's biggest beer festival which is this friday, March 25th, Battle of the Brews 2011.

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