Don't Ask For Green Beer and Other St. Patrick's Day Dos and Don'ts From Baltimore's Bartenders

Don't Ask For Green Beer and Other St. Patrick's Day Dos and Don'ts From Baltimore's Bartenders

When it comes to drinking holidays, there’s none that can hold a candle to St. Patrick’s Day. On a day of this magnitude—especially one of such cultural importance—it’s always good to be mindful of what is and is not appropriate. We interviewed five Baltimore bartenders on their take of the Dos and Don’ts of St. Patrick’s Day.

Eoin Gallagher, the bar manager at Ryan’s Daughter Irish Pub in Belvedere Square, is an authentic Irishman through and through. He starts us off with some very practical advice: On a day where 250 people might crowd into the bar, it’s helpful to both the bar staff and to the rest of the customers if you have a card ready to start a tab. Even if you’re a regular at your pub, this is a day that gets busy and confusing fast. And when it does get that busy, Gallagher says it helps tremendously if you also have your drink orders ready. Your bartenders want you to be able to start enjoying the holiday as soon as possible, and this little courtesy can go a long way.

Lastly, Gallagher asks that you don’t expect special treatment. You might want your Kilkenny in the same glass you always get, but man up and take the plastic cup today. “There’s a reason,” Gallagher says ominously, thinking of the disasters that can befall a day so crazy.

Jereme Kreft, bartender at Ryan’s Daughter, is quick to chime in with his own advice. “Don’t ask for green beer,” he says with a look of exasperation. He was even more exasperated sharing his favorite line for the day: “Do you have Guinness?” If the “Irish” in the pub’s name doesn’t give that secret away, the identical, side-by-side taps should be a good clue.

Bernard Lyons, the bar manager at Bertha’s Mussels in Fells Point, is no stranger to the holiday himself. Lyons, who spent half his life in Ireland, admits that green hats and green drinks are more American than anything else, but like Kreft, he has no time for the green beer. Don’t ask him to pour you one. More importantly though, don’t even think about mentioning an Irish car bomb in his company.

“It’s a stupid drink with a stupid name,” Lyons laments, “and a waste of a good Guinness.” The drink, which takes its name from a type of improvised explosive device used during the Troubles in Ireland, is often considered a tasteless jab at a serious problem still fresh in the memories of many Irish people.

But don’t let that discourage you—there’s still plenty of good drink to be had. In addition to green beer, Lyons insists that you do order a Guinness. Served at cellar temperature, as it is at Bertha’s, it’s a frothy delight to be cherished by any true Irishman at heart. In addition, Lyons recommends the whiskeys Powers and Paddy’s, which pack the same punch as Jameson at a more reasonable cost.

A few blocks away at the Wharf Rat, bartender Craig Chasis tells us where he’ll be this St. Patrick’s day: “Hiding.” He says the holiday is one where you won’t find a single bartender enjoying his day off at a bar. If you want to celebrate your Irish heritage in a relaxing way, stay home. We know this isn’t practical advice for our readers, so Chasis does add that Fells Point—while still busy—is relatively tame compared to Canton.

Paul Kuza, bar manager at Canton’s Claddagh Pub, had no qualms verifying that claim. If you’re looking for a day where bumping into each other is met with smiles rather than leers, a St. Patrick’s Day at this Irish pub is right for you. It’s a wild day that starts early with plenty of giveaways for those brave enough to enter the busy square where Claddagh Pub is located.

Still, Kuza offers the same advice he’d offer any other day: Have fun and enjoy your beer, "just so long as the beer doesn’t come back up.”

Photos: Flickr user magicrobot; and Matthew Ferguson 


Tags: Bar Crawl, Beer, Holiday, Whiskey
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Where to Drink Outside in Baltimore During Summer 2019

Where to Drink Outside in Baltimore During Summer 2019

Whether it's on the waterfront with seafood and crushes or on a dog-friendly deck with whiskey, outdoor drinking is a staple in this city....read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera May 14, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
Welcome Warmer Weather & Sip These Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

Welcome Warmer Weather & Sip These Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

With snow and winter winds behind us, it’s time to step into spring. Is there any better way to put a spring in your step than with some seasonal si...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 17, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Brewer's Hill

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Brewer's Hill

Is there a better name for a place to bar hop in Baltimore than Brewer's Hill? Here's our guide to their best bars. ...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 2, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close