| All hopped up: The holy Saint Patrick

According to the Catholic News Agency, Irish bishops moved Saint Patrick’s Day from today to March 15 last June because March 17 falls on holy week this year. Apparently, they failed to tell anyone but the Catholic News Agency, so the rest of us found out last week. If you are only learning about this now, chances are you slept in on Saturday, didn’t wear green, and were saving your drunken debauchery for tonight. I say to these people, have your Saint Patrick’s Day when you will. You won’t be breaking any laws and, by all accounts, St. Pat and Jesus are friends enough to share some time in March.

In that vein, I bring you facts on drinking like the Irish, who enjoy a beer as much on Monday as they do on Saturday. The lovely Guinness, whose influence has grown well past the Emerald Isle and their domestic competitors, Beamish and Murphy’s. The Irish stout, a dark, dry beer that is as much associated with its nitrogen-induced creaminess as it is with its black-as-night colour, is as regional as any other beer. So when searching for “a pint o’ the good stuff,” keep an eye out for Guinness’s countrymen, Beamish and Murphy’s.

As much as we love the Irish Car Bomb (a shot of Bailey’s and Jameson dropped into a half-pint of Guinness), its inflammatory name connotes troubled images of IRA violence. Just as inflammatory is the Black and Tan – named after the English secret police – a layered mixture of Guinness and Smithwick’s (pronounced Smiddick’s). If you’d rather be served with a smile, order a Half and Half.