Skip to main content

Sip these American Irish-style stout beers this St. Patrick’s Day

Great Irish-style stouts don't have to come from Ireland to be delicious

This year, why not put the Guinness down and reach for an American Irish-style stout for St. Patrick’s Day?

Okay, that does sound a tad ridiculous — and honestly, you can’t go wrong with Guinness at all — but American brewers are doing a heck of a job with their Irish-style stouts. 

Irish dry stouts are an awesomely simple style, brewed with roasted barley to give off qualities of coffee and chocolate while drying out the finish. Hops add a nice bitterness to balance it all out and it’s often nice and thin for excellent drinkability. Generally low in alcohol content, these beers are surprisingly low in calories, too, and can be accentuated with a thick creaminess from nitrogen.

Like other beautifully simplistic beers, these smooth stouts are so often overlooked because big flavor is generally hot in craft beer. Big, boozy barrel-aged stouts and, now, sugary sweet pastry stouts are all the rage, so it’s been tough for the American Irish-style stouts to gain any traction. Plus, Guinness was once often the only stout people knew about when there were essentially two beer styles in America: lager and stout. 

Never fear, however, with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, Americans make darn good Irish-style stouts. Here are some of the best. (If you’re more of a whiskey person, check out some of the best Irish whiskey.)

Left Hand Brewery Dry Irish Stout Nitro  

Left Hand Brewing Company/Instagram

Left Hand Brewery was named Brewery of the Year (15,001-100,000 barrels) at the Great American Beer Festival last year, and for good reason. Their incredible flavors and dedication to community, this is a Brewery we’re delighted to support. And their full-bodied Dry Irish Stout Nitro is a perfect celebration of all things Irish. With aromas of chocolate, coffee, and a bit of graham cracker, this stout’s creamy texture is enhanced perfectly with the kiss of nitrogen.

Great Lakes Brewing Company Wolfhound Stout

Great Lakes Brewing

Cleveland prides itself on its blue-collar history and many of Great Lakes Brewing’s beers hit those notes perfectly. This one would require a trip to the taproom, but it’s worth it for a tall pint of this roasty goodness. And it helps that the beer is named after one of the most majestic and terrifying but sweet dogs, the Irish Wolfhound.

Third Street Ale Works Blarney Sisters’ Dry Irish Stout Nitro


This just might be the quintessential American Irish-style stout. Since Third Street Ale Works opened in the 1990s, the brewery has brought home loads of awards for its Irish stout. Roasty but light, this Blarney Sisters hits all the right notes for the style and at 4.1 percent ABV, it’s good for a few.

Societe Brewing The Pugilist

Societe Brewing Company

San Diego’s Societe Brewing is a masterful example of doing traditional styles well and also exploring some of the crazier sides of beer. The Pugilist is a perfect example of one of its traditional styles. This beauty’s brown head and jet black color make you think it’ll be heavy, but despite its big roastiness, well-balanced hop bitterness, acidity, and low ABV hit the sessional qualities of a traditional Irish dry stout.

DuClaw Brewing PastryArchy Irish Cream

Chip's Wine and Beer Market/Facebook

DuClaw Brewing Company is a Maryland brewery serving up a plethora of delicious beverages, including this Irish blessing. The Pastry Archy is a dessert stout, smoothly swirling flavors such as creamy vanilla, chocolate, and coffee together to make an absolutely delectable stout.

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
Everything you ever wanted to know about bourbon barrel-aged stout beer
Jim Beam and Goose Island are responsible for this delicious beer
Stouts on a wall

You might not realize it because it seems like a fairly new beer phenomenon, but bourbon barrel-aged stouts have been around for more than 20 years. It all started on a random evening in the early '90s in South Bend, Indiana. It was a beer, bourbon, and cigar dinner featuring some big wigs in those three industries. In attendance was Goose Island Brewing’s Greg Hall. If you believe in fate, this is where the story of bourbon barrel-aged stouts began.

Hall could have been seated near anyone or he could have had other obligations and might not have attended the dinner at all. But the proverbial beer-soaked stars were aligned that night because the former Goose Island brewmaster met Booker Noe (grandson of Jim Beam and Beam’s master distiller at the time) at that event. Noe told him and another brewer named Seth Gross about the various things he randomly added to bourbon barrels, including water and ice, to create a bourbon version of iced tea. This is where the idea of aging stout beer in ex-bourbon barrels was formed.

Read more
The 6 best barbecue beers, by brew style
Need a great beer for barbecue season? Here are the best styles and a few stellar specific bottle options
Friends enjoying beers by the barbecue.

It's hard to imagine a barbecue cookout without a refreshing beer. Whether a Czech-style pilsner or a nonalcoholic pale ale. These brews work wonders with the many grilled goods of summer.

While it's hard to go wrong in this department, some beer styles certainly do better than others with barbecue. Don't get us wrong, we love the best cheap beers and their thirst-quenching abilities during this time of year. But when working with things like ribs, grilled corn, or beer-can chicken, it's all about matching flavors. You'd do the same with wine, so why not beer?

Read more
Celebrity chef Zac Young gave The Manual his Guinness Green Velvet Cake recipe, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day
Be the first to try this incredible Guinness Green Velvet Cake from Zac Young
green velvet cake recipe zac young

If you've spent more than even five minutes on The Food Network in the last several years, we're quite sure that there's no need to introduce you to Zac Young. Celebrated celebrity chef, TV host extraordinaire, and creator of all things ridiculously delicious, this chef's talents are well known to the world. Between his frequent appearances on well-loved cooking shows like Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, and Worst Cooks in America, he somehow finds the time to showcase his immense talents by gifting to the world treasures such as the PieCaken. For that culinary contribution alone, we are eternally indebted.
Young's unbelievable holiday-themed desserts are nothing short of spectacular. His original, hugely famous Thanksgiving PieCaken — one decadent dessert encompassing pumpkin pie, pecan pie, spice cake, apple pie, cinnamon buttercream, and oat crumble all at once — snowballed into something of a sweet treat phenomenon and took the world by storm back in 2015. Since then, Young has ingeniously created a PieCaken for every season, including The Winter PieCaken, The Red, White & Blueberry PieCaken, The Valentine's Day Red Velvet PieCaken, and many, many more.

In addition to all of these remarkable PieCakens, Young is still busy developing other holiday-themed desserts, such as this Guinness Green Velvet Cake, which he has shared exclusively with The Manual.

Read more