O’Hara’s Celtic Stout
Selected by: Matthew Barclay, Seller Manager at Bierkraft
Available at: Stout NYC, Downtown Bar and Grill
Barclay likes this stout’s fuller body, calling it “more interesting” than other options from Ireland. He also points out that most Irish beers have extremely low alcohol content. But really, all that means is you’ll end up drinking more of them.
Beamish Irish Stout
Selected by: Rick Sellers, DRAFT Magazine Beer Director
Available at: 124 Rabbit Club, Stout NYC
“It’s a dry Irish stout that’s just a bit creamier than Guinness,” according to Sellers. “It comes in a can with a widget inside, so when you pour it, you get that nice, cascading foam — it’s a sexy beer to watch.”
Wexford Irish Cream Ale
Selected by: Tim Hampson, co-author of The Beer Book
Available at: Blind Tiger Ale House, Against The Grain
Hampson is big on Kilkenny (a Smithwick’s doppelgänger), but unfortunately, it’s not available in the U.S. Instead, he recommends Wexford Irish Cream Ale, which offers just a hint of caramel and, like Beamish, comes in a can with a widget.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
Selected by: Jeff Evans, author of A Beer a Day
Available at: Downtown Bar & Grill, The Ginger Man
Unfortunately, some of Evans’s favorites — like Whitewater Clotworthy Dobbin, “a full-bodied bitter named after an old Irish brewer” — are hard to find. But Guinness Foreign Extra Stout isn’t as rare, and it’s “not the ordinary Guinness by any means.” It also bucks the trend with a whopping 7.5 percent alcohol by volume.