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It is St. Patrick’s Day — I’ll drink to that

By Paul Viau | Mar 15, 2017
Photo by: File photo SURE AND BEGORRAH — May St. Patrick's Day, and every day, bring you good luck, good health and good cheer.

There is something about March 17, that gets me out of the house and into a bar somewhere.

Maybe it’s my fear of snakes. St. Patrick is believed to have chased the snakes out of Ireland, and they had to go somewhere.

What if they immigrated to America and found their way into bars?

My opinion is, “Snakes are ‘bad hombres’ and should never be allowed inside our borders.”

That being said, I have only seen a snake in a drinking establishment one time — at Sanctuary Brewing in Hendersonville, and it was a well-fed, well-behaved boa constrictor, tethered far away from the bar as part of an environmental display.

Tethered or not, I kept an eye on it.

Another thing that would keep me away from bars on St. Patrick’s Day is green beer.

Why in the name of any saint or sinner, would you want to squirt green dye into a glass of perfectly good beer — especially when good, craft beer already comes in a rainbow of deliciously, natural colors?

There are bright, shining ambers, shimmering golden-oranges IPAs, bronze-toned ryes, boldly brown scotch ales, scrumptious chocolate porters and (most Irish of all) coal-black and as stout as it gets — Guinness draught.

Did you know? If you are looking for authentic Irish celebration for St. Patrick’s Day, you can’t go wrong with Guinness. It’s as smooth and dark as beer gets. If you favor IPAs, Guinness also brews up a bubble-licious Guinness Nitro IPA. For a lighter Irish beer, I recommend Smithwicks — (pronounced smit-icks) Irish red ale.

By the way, I was told on my birthday this year that corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish. As a matter of fact, my source emphatically stated, “No Irishman would eat corned beef.”

I guess I have been eating unauthentic Irish food all these years. Next, they’re going to tell me that, “No Irishman would eat shepherd’s pie.”

Well, my source wasn’t absolutely correct. When I searched, “Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day,” Betty O’ Crocker listed both shepherd’s pie and corned beef among her ‘10 essential recipes for a perfect St. Paddy’s Day.’ Also included were Irish soda bread, chocolate stout cupcakes and Irish whiskey cakes.

I’ll drink/eat to that, too.

With an abundance of great craft breweries in the area, you won’t have to travel very far to find beer-ific site for toasting. And virtually every bar, pub and brewery is gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day with its own unique celebration. Here is a start for your planning.

Boojum Brewing, Waynesville — is doubling down with two-days of celebration in honor of St. Patrick, including food and drink specials, giveaways and a surprise, new St. Patrick’s Day beer.

Frog level Brewing, Waynesville — is celebrating all things green, especially frogs.  There will be giveaways, new merchandise for sale and two bars open to keep the beer flowing.

The Amazing Pizza Company food truck will be out front and Mindframe will be playing live staring at 7 p.m.

Highland Brewing, Asheville — is rocking St. Patrick’s day with the band ‘The Dirty Badgers’ in the Tasting Room from 7 - 9 p.m.

Wedge Brewing at the Foundation, Asheville Wedge is celebrating the grand opening of its funky new location at the Foundation in the River Arts District with an all-day celebration, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m., on St. Patrick’s Day.

Festivities include a morning wake-up breakfast from HighFive Coffee, lunch from next-door-neighbor, 12 Bones Smokehouse; and new Wedge beer releases of Dry Irish Stout, Cold Beer Cream Ale and Nitro Pub Ale. There will also be live music from 1-6 p.m. from Fireside Collective.

One last thing to remember about St. Patrick’s Day — Wear green and drink responsibly.