On St. Patrick’s Day, we don green. But “The Black Stuff” is as quintessential as four-leaf clovers and leprechauns. The holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, so one could argue that a pint is actually like a pot of gold at the end of a long workday.
Happily, Long Island breweries are serving dark stouts that would make any Irish lad or lass swoon. These brews boast notes of chocolate and coffee; they pair perfectly with hearty stews and, of course, corned beef and cabbage.
This St. Patrick’s Day, consider putting something local in your pint glass at one of these Long Island breweries serving must-try dark stouts.
Co-owner Greg Martin says Long Ireland celebrates St. Patrick’s Day all year long. Their Hooligan Irish Stout, available from January through April, is one of the brewery’s favorite traditions. Martin says it’s a “rowdy, in-your-face version of the traditional dry Irish stout you grew up with.” Expect notes of coffee, chocolate and roasted grain on the nose and a slightly dry, bitter finish. “It pairs excellent with winter dishes like braised short rib, stews and shepherd’s pie,” Martin said.
Your standard cup of Joe has nothing on a trio of stouts created by a Sand City Brewing Co. and Huntington-based Southdown Coffee Company. The Breakfast Stout is rich, chocolatey and made with beans sourced from Southdown Coffee Company. Sand City put a tropical twist on it by adding 140 lbs. of coconut to it for a drink that tastes like paradise in a pint glass. And then there’s the hazelnut-enriched version, which goes down smooth any time of day.
Riverhead’s beer scene has emerged in the last decade, and Twin Forks has been a part of the rise. On St. Patrick’s Day, consider ordering a Legato Stout. “It’s a balance and smooth-tasting dark beer with hints of dark chocolate mocha and cocoa bean, leaving notes of coffee and a crisp, clean finish,” shared Peter Chekijian, who started the beer company with his brother, Dan, in 2014. “It’s an easy-drinking beer.” Chekijian suggests pairing it with steak, grilled and smoked foods, rich stews and the obligatory plate of corned beef and cabbage.
This brewery is mixing things up with a riff on the coffee stout. The Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Gaffer’s Hearth combines New Hampshire maple syrup with North Fork Roasting Co. cold-brewed coffee. The team then ages it in 121-proof rye whiskey barrels for a medium-bodied brew that’s smooth, bitter and boozy.
Irish car bombs (Jameson, Baileys and Guinness) are one of those things that sound like a fun idea in theory. But anyone who has had one knows the day-after pain they cause. Great South Bay has a milder alternative that will leave you toasty without a side of regret. The imperial milk stout is brewed with Madagascar vanilla beans, coffee beans and lactose. The result is a creamy, dessert-like beverage that can be savored slowly.