Did you kiss some random cuties in the pubs over the weekend? Hope you saved their phone numbers/email address/Twitter handles because one of them might be a real catch. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Irish-Americans are more educated, more available, more ambitious and richer than the average Yank (see the graphic below, via Visual.ly). You’ll have to find out for yourself if they are also better kissers (here are five cities ripe for research).
With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, many microbreweries around the United States are starting to release their special Irish-inspired beers. Red ales, cream ales, and chocolate- and coffee-flavored stouts are making their annual debut, going head-to-foamy-head with the traditional St. Paddy’s Day libation Guinness. Here is a roundup of some of the nation’s St. Patrick’s Day beers and where to get them.Location: Boston
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Special Beer: Harpoon Celtic
What It Is and Where to Get It: The Boston brewery’s popular Harpoon Celtic has been brewed since 2000 and is the de facto seasonal brew for spring. Available in 27 states and counting, Harpoon is best enjoyed at the brewery’s Boston Tasting Room.
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Special Beer: Lucky SOB Irish Red
What It Is and Where to Get It: This brewery north of Washington, D.C., claims to brew its Lucky SOB Irish Red with “real four-leaf clovers handpicked at the brewery last St. Patrick’s Day.” Ahem. Look for their beer on draft only at pubs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C., throughout March.
Location: Durango, Colorado
Brewery: Steamworks Brewing Company
Special Beer: Irish Car Bomb
What It Is and Where to Get It: Blended with Irish cream and Jameson whiskey during its second fermentation, Irish Car Bomb is “named for the beer’s effect not as a political statement.” Yeah, right. At any rate, the first cask of 2012’s Irish Car Bomb brew will be tapped at 3 p.m. on March 16.
Location: Lake George, New York
Brewery: Adirondack Pub and Brewery
Special Beer: Mocha Stout
What It Is and Where to Get It: Adirondack Brewery uses organic cocoa and ground Caffe Verro coffee in its rich stout. Look for Adirondack beer at restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley.
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Special Beer: Conway’s Irish Ale
What It Is and Where to Get It: This eco-friendly Cleveland brewery makes the “malty” Conway’s Irish Ale for the St. Patrick’s Day crowd. Great Lakes Brewing Company beers are available throughout Ohio and in 13 other states.
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Special Beer: Dry Irish Stout
What It Is and Where to Get It: Brooklyn Brewery’s unfiltered Dry Irish Stout is brewed the traditional way, meaning that they use flaked raw barley rather than nitrogen to give the beer its foamy head. Dry Irish Stout is on tap at the Brooklyn Brewery’s Tasting Room as well as a few other restaurants and pubs in NYC and Brooklyn.
Location: Bend, Oregon
Brewery: Three Creeks Brewery and Silver Moon Brewing
Special Beers: O’Cosci Stout from Three Creeks Brewery; Shamrock Green Bridge Pilsner and O’Shawnigan’s Irish Red from Silver Moon Brewing
What It Is and Where to Get It: The central Oregon town of Bend has no fewer than 10 microbreweries along its Bend Ale Trail. Two of those breweries, Three Creeks Brewery and Silver Moon Brewing, produce St. Patrick’s Day beers, which are available on draught from the breweries’ tap rooms.
Location: Chico, California
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Special Beer: Knightro – Celtic Festival Beer
What It Is and Where to Get It: Sierra Nevada beers are sold throughout the United States but you can only get the brewery’s small batch Knightro stout – and 14 other limited-edition beers – at its Chico Taproom and Restaurant.
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Brewery: Arbor Brewing Company
Special Beer: St. Pat’s Strong Stout
What It Is and Where to Get It: Arbor Brewing Company brews St. Pat’s Strong Stout, which has a “chalky, Turkish coffee palate” for the holiday. Also available each March at the ABC Brewpub are Espresso Love Breakfast Stout and a vegan-friendly Blackheath Sweet Stout.
While travelers often think of Dublin, Ireland, as the must-visit place for St. Patrick’s Day, there are many other excellent destinations all over the world to celebrate the festivities. To help you decide where to spend March 17 this year, check out this list of ten excellent St. Patrick’s Day destinations.
I’ve attended St. Patrick’s Day in New York many times and can honestly say it is something everyone should experience at least once in his or her life. Their annual parade down 5th Avenue (shown above), which will take place this year beginning at 11AM at 44th Street, has been happening since 1762 and is said to be the largest in the world. Although the parade does not allow floats, it is a festive event with over 150,000 marchers coming out to participate each year. For those who want a little culture and history, take a walking tour of the former “Little Ireland” in the Lower East Side, which in the 19th century had more Irish residents than Dublin. At night, choose what kind of atmosphere you’d like to enjoy. Whether in dive bars, Irish pubs, dance clubs, or upscale lounges, there are a myriad of specials and parties going on in every neighborhood of the city.
If you’d like to celebrate St. Patty’s in New York but want to stay away from the crowds and high prices, travel up to the state capital of Albany and partake in their annual “Kegs and Eggs” celebration. I’ve gone four years in a row and can vouch that it is definitely a festive time. Warning: This is only for those who are looking to get sloppy. The bars open at 7AM and before that you can find myriad parties happening from 3AM on. You can also enjoy their 62nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will take place this year on March 17 at 2PM starting at Quail Street and Central Avenue.Holyoke, Massachusetts
While many people assume Boston is where the party’s at, Holyoke actually boasts having the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the entire United States. In fact, last year they had over 400,000 attendees as well as notable visitors like Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough and the Irish Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Collins. This year, the procession will take place on March 18 and is expected to be just as big, if not bigger. The city is also well-known for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Road Race (this year will be their 37th one), a 10K running event where participants dress up in green and show their Irish pride through sport.
As one of the sexier St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, New Orleans takes on the holiday with a bit of a Mardi Gras twist, with the throwing of beads and the re-use of Fat Tuesday floats. To give it a St. Patty’s spin, Irish stew ingredients like potatoes, cabbages, carrots, and onions are also tossed from the floats into the crowd. What many people may not know is New Orleans actually has a large Irish population and, in the southern United States, holds the largest entry port for Irish immigrants. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day festivities in this city date all the way back to the 19th century.
This island off the coast of mainland Canada is one of only two places outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a public holiday. Beginning in the 17th century, Irish people immigrated to Newfoundland and set up small villages and communities, which are now known as the Irish Loop. The area has a very strong Irish culture making St. Patrick’s Day celebrations span over 10-days. Visit the popular Irish pub O’Reilly’s for a pint of Guinness and tons of events, or wander to any of the other local bars, all of which are sure to be celebrating to their fullest extent.
One of the best St. Patrick’s Days I’ve ever experienced was in Sydney, Australia, and I highly recommend that everyone find someway to at least enjoy one St. Patty’s Day in your life aboard a Sydney Harbour St. Patty’s Day booze-cruise. For about $75, you get three hours of unlimited drinks and food as well as a live DJ, festive games, and free admission to Cargo Bar in Darling Harbour. On March 18, you can also enjoy a giant St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is followed by a party in Hyde Park with Irish music, cultural dancing, and ethnic food stalls.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Middle East may sound odd to some people, but Dubai actually really gets into the holiday, thanks to the Dubai Irish Society. This is also a great alternative to Dublin for people who would rather drink green beer on a beach than in the freezing cold. The Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers is a 5-star Irish owned and operated hotel that not only flies an enormous Irish flag from their 11th floor, but also serves green beer and cocktails while lighting up the venue in festive colors. They also feature Irish dancing and cultural events. For a more laid back St. Patty’s experience in Dubai, head over to the Irish Village for live Irish music, family activities, and a buffet of Irish food fare.
Not only is Birmingham cheaper than London, it boasts a bigger celebration overall. Thought to be one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the world, the holiday lasts for five days and is jam packed with cultural and festive fare. Be sure not to miss the official launch party on March 9, which features Irish music, dancing, and a delicious buffet as well as the parade on March 11, which will take place at 11AM from Camp Hill.
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Caribbean? Montserrat is one of the only two regions in the world outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a public holiday and holds a rich Irish heritage. This, along with the coastline’s uncanny resemblance to Ireland’s, has given Montserrat its nickname, “the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean.” The territory boasts a full week of activities including festive parades, concerts, themed nightlife, and celebratory dinners.
Thanks to the Irish Association of Korea, St. Patrick’s Day is a festive event in Seoul. There is usually a massive parade (2001-2010 had a parade, 2011 just had an enormous festival), as well as a festival that includes Irish dance, music, and sports. Open air concerts, Gaelic football matches, and Irish jigs will get you hyped up during the day, while at night, the bars and clubs take on a St. Patty’s ambiance with festive decor, drink specials, and theme parties.
March is a great time to visit Buenos Aires, not only because the weather is perfect, but because the city is alive with St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Argentina is actually home to the fifth largest Irish community in the world; however, most do not take part in the wild parties thrown for the holiday. If you’re looking to wear green and stay up all night drinking beer, head downtown to Reconquista Street where the dancing doesn’t stop until 8AM. Moreover, if you want a more cultural experience, many of the city’s churches hold events for the occasion.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re celebrating today in America, you’re probably planning to drink green beer or a nice pint of Guinness, but why not warm up with an Irish coffee, spiked with whiskey (Irish, of course)? In today’s Photo of the Day, Flickr user jrodmanjr snapped these 51 coffees in action at San Francisco‘s Buena Vista Cafe, which claims to have brought the drink to the United States from Ireland’s Shannon Airport and holds the Guinness World Record for most Irish coffees served. A fun photo bonus: another Flickr user caught the same coffees (and jrodmanjr) at the Buena Vista.
Take any pics of your favorite beverages while traveling? Upload them to the Gadling Flickr pool and we may use it as a future Photo of the Day.
It doesn’t matter if it’s five o’clock or not because it’s always happy hour when you’re at the spa. In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, many spas are incorporating alcohol into their treatment menus. It might sound odd, but wine, beer and whiskey spa treatments all have proven therapeutic benefits for your skin.
“Spas with local vineyards or nearby distilleries are taking advantage of what’s around them to create memorable experiences for their guests,” said International SPA Association President Lynne McNees. “Many people might not equate the spa with alcohol, but 23% of spas are incorporating local or indigenous elements into their treatment menu.”
You may not even have to travel to enjoy these unique treatments. Check out a list of our favorite unique treatments from coast to coast. Use them to celebrate that next week’s holiday-o-booze (um, we mean St. Patrick’s Day) or simply to unwind after a long work week:
The Atlantic Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Citrus Suds Body Treatment includes a full citrus beer scrub, scalp massage, hair treatment that utilizes a beer extract, six-pack beer bath and an application of citrus lotion. Beer yeast is rich in elements that increase skin elasticity, improves acne by suppressing sebum and has been shown to have antibacterial properties. An 80-minute is $222 through March 31, 2011.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma, CA
When you’re surrounded by wine country it’s hard not to incorporate a little vino into your spa menu. The Chardonnay Olive Oil Sugar Scrub offers stimulating exfoliation that moisturizes while promoting new skin growth. The invigorating products used in the treatment are all hand made in the Sonoma Valley and incorporate olive oil, sea salt and lavender to awaken the mind, body and senses. A 45-minute treatment is $129.
The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, Washington, DC
Book this “ritzy” hotel’s signature Champagne package for a bit of boozy bliss that will simultaneously infuse your skin with antioxidant-rich Champagne and Chardonnay extracts. Our favorites? The Champagne Indulgence Manicure & Pedicure, an extended spa service that includes a rich scrub and soothing body butter. The 50-minute treatments range from $65 to $95.
The Spa at Chateau Elan, Braselton, GA
The 55-minute Chateau Antioxidant Winery Facial is offered for $90, and uses grapes loaded with antioxidants to replenish the skin by smoothing the tissue and stimulating the circulatory system. Their signature treatment the 110-minute Chateau Winery Ritual offered at $250 features a wine bath that infuses the body with grape seed antioxidants and a De-Vine Mudwrap. The wrap combines crushed grapes and French clay to pull out toxins while moisturizing the skin with vitamins E and C.
VH Spa for Vitality + Health at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, AZ
The 90-minute Chardonnay Antioxidant Body Treatment features products made from wine grapes, grape peel and grape seed. The ingredients are full of natural antioxidants that restore vitality to your skin. The treatment begins with a full body Chardonnay sugar scrub followed by a customized massage and finishes with a Chardonnay body butter application all for $185. The spa also offers a Whiskey and Black Pepper Facial for $100 through May 2011. The 60-minute facial features phytomalt, a malt extract from Scotch whiskey, that’s full of sugars, minerals and vitamin B6 giving it excellent hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.
Can’t travel? Recreate the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or French wine county at home:
FarmHouse Fresh® recently introduced their Bourbon Bubbler professional body scrub. The scrub contains coarse brown sugar, Kentucky whiskey and rice bran oil. A 12 oz. jar of the scrub retails for $34 and can be found at spas around the country. Caudalie Paris’ Vinothérapie® Spa in a Bag limited edition kit includes a Merlot Friction Scrub, Vine Peach Shower Gel and a Vine Body Butter. When used together this regimen will help you regain a toned and firmed body. The kit retails for $56 and can be found online and at spas.