Beer Review: Smithwick’s Ale — When You Want To Look Cool

Seeing the Irish beer setups for St. Patrick’s day at the supermarket (during a trip to buy Cadbury eggs, if you must ask) reminded me of Smithwick’s Ale, a beer that’s apparently the true day-to-day beer of choice of the Irish.  Most people here in America know Guinness, a few know Harp’s and Murphy’s, but those in the know call Smithwick’s the real best beer in Ireland.  By “folks in the know”, I mean our fellow American folks who are just a smidge annoying about how much they know and love Ireland.  Thinking of this reminded me that I am a seriously obnoxious Ireland-loving Celtic groupie, and I haven’t inflicted my annoying Irish knowledge on all of you yet.  So to correct that deficit, and in honor of upcoming St. Paddy’s day, here’s one of my favorite pictures from my trip to Ireland a few years ago.  The view is from a bell tower in Kilkenny, the town where Smithwick’s is brewed, looking into the back storage lots behind a brewery.  Those gray things you see stacked in rows behind the houses, the things that look like big gray storage sheds or tractor trailers, are KEGS — hundreds of them, stacked up five or six high, and hundreds deep.  Yes, the stereotypes are true — the Irish are not messing around when it comes to drinking.  There must have been a good 10 thousand of them here, and this is just the domestic output of one brewery in one relatively small town.  Now that’s sightseeing.

And the beer?  Well, I like my Smithwick’s as much as anyone else, but the beer in the kegs in the above photo is the actual best beer in Ireland:  Guinness.   Slainte!

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