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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

It's always pouring on St. Patrick's Day.

Never mind a few drops of rain. Consider a taste or two or Irish brews and start your own parade.

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The peerless choice, of course, is Guinness on draught, unquestionably Ireland's greatest brew and among the world's top picks on tap. It defines what a stout should be. Black, with a creamy head, a chocolate note, some toffee ... in short, perfection.

The Guinness repertoire now includes Guinness Black Lager, which is good on its own; and Guinness Blonde, which has the provenance. But stick with the original.

Harp is Ireland's bright, uncomplicated, all-seasons brew, gilded and drinker-friendly. Combine Guinness and Harp for the popular beer cocktail, a Black and Tan.

O'Hara's Irish Stout is a full-bodied brew, and a hardy, vigorous accompaniment for your dinner. It's not as widely available at Guinness.

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Murphy's Irish Red enters the competition with dry, fruity style and just enough carbonation. Smithwick's Irish Ale is a pleasing selection that makes no demands and offers a satisfying brew that's fine with food.

And, of course, you can celebrate with a local beer, too. Try Long Ireland Celtic Ale, smooth and easy to enjoy.

Hop to it.