Irish Beer Picks

By: Sara Levine

For years, Greg Engert has been my go-to source for all things beer-related. An English major turned professional beer director — essentially, a sommelier of beer — Greg currently presides over the extensive beer list at Washington D.C.’s Birch & Barley restaurant and the cool beer bar upstairs, Churchkey. His knowledge of beer is encyclopedic, but he’s never snobby about it.

So when I needed some insight into the world of Irish beer beyond Guinness, I knew he’d be able to provide.

Little did I know, Greg has a special affinity for Irish beers. Back before he studied beer for a living, he spent a year abroad at Trinity College in Dublin: " I drank a ton of Guinness," he says, "but also my fair share of Porterhouse craft beers at their first brewing location in Temple Bar."

Greg points out that while Guinness is an obvious beverage choice for St. Patrick’s Day, that doesn’t mean it’s not great. Check out his roundup of both traditional and off-the-beaten-path Irish and Irish-style brews, complete with some backstory on the breweries and tips for optimal enjoyment (i.e., Guinness must be fresh and not served too cold)!

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