Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the riverwards

Think Beer…Drink Beer: Cel­eb­rate St. Patrick's Day, the river­ward way - with St. Patrick’s Day com­ing up on Sat­urday, colum­nist Tim Pat­ton looks at the best places to cel­eb­rate the hol­i­day.

Once again, this week, St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. 

In Ire­land, it’s a time spent with fam­ily, shar­ing good food, good drink and, more im­port­antly, good con­ver­sa­tion. 

In Amer­ica, however, some view it as a way to get in touch with their Ir­ish her­it­age, or to pre­tend they have some. 

Oth­ers see it as a day to re­flect on the saint him­self and the ef­fect he had on Ire­land. 

But per­haps the largest — and def­in­itely the most vis­ible — group of people see it as a day to start drink­ing as early as pos­sible and keep go­ing for as long as their friends can keep them propped up on the bar. 

While I’ve nev­er been one to en­cour­age that sort of be­ha­vi­or, the fact that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sat­urday means mer­ri­ment will be the or­der of the day.

With that in mind, I have some re­com­mend­a­tions on where to en­joy — or avoid, de­pend­ing on how you want to cel­eb­rate the day — hol­i­day fest­iv­it­ies.

Shenanigans, at 3133 Gaul St., is cel­eb­rat­ing with spe­cials on Guin­ness, Jameson shots and car bombs. There will also be a $25 open bar from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sat­urday.

Also, if you don’t get enough cel­eb­rat­ing on St. Patrick’s Day, re­turn the fol­low­ing Sat­urday for part two of the cel­eb­ra­tion with Ir­ish mu­sic, dan­cing, a band and Ir­ish food. 

For the craft beer drink­er, the tav­ern does carry Ken­zinger and Brawl­er.

The Port Rich­mond Pour House, at 2253 E. Clear­field St., will also have some spe­cials, but with a craft beer spin. 

Be­sides green Jell-o shots and Ir­ish whisky spe­cials, they will be serving Brook­lyn Dry Ir­ish Stout and Great Lakes Ir­ish Red.

Yet some­times the rev­elry can get to be too much, and if you’d like to find a quiet place to cel­eb­rate, or even to avoid the whole hol­i­day-drink­ing thing en­tirely, try Byrne’s Tav­ern at 3301 Rich­mond St.

They won’t have any drink spe­cials, but they will be serving potato soup all week­end, as well as ham and cab­bage on Sat­urday. There will be no live mu­sic, but there will be a friendly at­mo­sphere and good food.

The Green Rock Tav­ern, at 2546 E. Le­high St., is also try­ing to keep it quiet. The food and drink will be as sol­id as al­ways, and they plan to lock the doors at mid­night to keep any late-night parti­ers from stum­bling in.

Fi­nally, if you just want to drink Ir­ish-style beer and be left alone (at least by people in green cloth­ing), both Johnny Brenda’s, at 1201 Frank­ford Ave., and Stand­ard Tap at 901 N. 2nd St. are likely to have beers such as Vic­tory Donnybrook Stout or Sly Fox Seamus’ Ir­ish Red on tap without any fan­fare.

Now, what would be a great beer sug­ges­tion for the hol­i­day?

Well, it’s of­ten tough to find at a bar, but a great beer for St. Patty’s Day is Guin­ness For­eign Ex­tra Stout. 

If you think you know Guin­ness, this beer will sur­prise you. 

Clock­ing in at 7.5 per­cent ABV, it is nearly as strong as a craft im­per­i­al stout. 

It has a much fuller chocol­ate fla­vor than tra­di­tion­al Guin­ness Draft, and less of the bit­ter cof­fee taste. 

It also has a hint of sour­ness.

It is avail­able only in 11.2-oz bottles and, as of this point, I have yet to see it stocked by a loc­al bar. 

I’m hop­ing a bar own­er will step up, though, since it’s a great beer and per­fect for the sea­son. 

If you do find it, make sure you try it poured in­to a glass to really get the full taste and aroma. 

Also, shoot me an e-mail and I will join you for a bottle.

Fi­nally, if you’d rather stay home this St. Patrick’s Day and per­haps try your hand at mak­ing your own beer, you are in luck this hol­i­day. 

Barry’s Homebrew and Greens­grow Farms have teamed up for a homebrew work­shop. It will be held at Greens­grow, 2501 E. Cum­ber­land St., from noon to 2 p.m. on Sat­urday, March 17.

The class costs $20; you can pre-re­gister at www.greens­grow.org or by e-mail­ing events@greens­grow.org.

Tim Pat­ton is a Fishtown res­id­ent, beer afi­cion­ado and brew­er. His column is ded­ic­ated to show­cas­ing everything that is great about en­joy­ing beer in the river­wards. He can be con­tac­ted at tim@stben­jamin­brew­ing.com

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