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Six brews for St. Patrick's Day

A bartender at Monaghan's Bar and Restaurant n

A bartender at Monaghan's Bar and Restaurant n Rockville Centre pours a Guinness, the ubiquitous Irish beer on Nov. 6, 2010. Photo Credit: Allison Davis O'Keefe

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.

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.

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.

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