There’s nothing like spending your St. Patrick’s Day at a proper Irish pub, but if you want a more elevated experience (a.k.a. avoiding that pint of green beer), one of the ways to do this is to grab some quality grub while you drink.
According to Crystal Luxmore, a cicerone (beer sommelier) from Toronto, there are different ways to pair your beer to get the best experience possible.
Here are some pairings she says will tickle your St. Patrick’s Day fancy:
GUINNESS AND OYSTERS
Oftentimes, we drink champagne or sparkling wine with oysters, but what a lot of people don’t know is that beer pairs really well with this seafood, says Luxmore.
The stringency of the stout can sometimes taste like burnt coffee but that taste will melt away as you taste the saltiness of the oysters.
“You get to that sweet centre of the oysters,” said Luxmore. “It’s a beautiful pairing.”
SOUR BEER AND SALTY PUB FARE
The mix of sour from your beer and the saltiness of pub fair pair well together, says Luxmore.
READ MORE: How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ottawa
Try pairing this with things like a big basket of fries or Mexican food (Luxmore recommends a fish burrito).
If you pair this with chips and guacamole, “the acidity of the beer almost acts like lime on your guac,” Luxmore said. “It naturally pairs well and elevates the flavour of the dish.”
IPA AND A BURGER
“If you want a hop-forward beer, go for a pale ale,” Luxmore says.
If you’d like to feel at least a little buzz this St. Patrick’s Day, Luxmore says to try an Indian Pale Ale (IPA). Alcohol levels are a bit higher at about six or seven per cent, so Luxmore recommends pairing this with a hardy burger to avoid getting buzzed too fast.
The flavours of the two also go hand in hand.
If you want to try a beer that is a little less strong, Luxmore says to stick with a pale ale. Pale ales usually have about five per cent of alcohol in them.