St. Patrick’s Day may be best known as the day of wearing green to avoid pinches, but its about time we think of it as the day to ditch the Kirkland beer and treat ourselves to some unique, traditional Irish Beer. Here are some of the most classic Irish beers.

1. Stout Beer

irish beer

Photo by Neil Pulling

Traditionally a very dark beer, stout beer is the heaviest of porters (if you don’t know what a porter is, do some research about beer and impress you friends). Stouts are known for their coffee or caramel tones, as well as their thickness. With alcohol content around 7 or 8 percent, you won’t need many to have a very fun St. Patrick’s day.

Most popular stouts: Murphey’s Irish Stout

Perfect pairing: Any sort of seasonal fruit tart work perfectly with the stout. May seem like a weird match-up, but the vanilla and freshness of a fruit dessert is a balanced contrast for the heavy stout. Try an apple tart for colder months.

2. Lager Beer

irish beer

Photo by Amelia Weller

Almost opposite from the stout, a lager will have much brighter tone. Lighter and more drinkable, this is usually a citrus-infused beer with an alcohol content of about 5 percent. This is the ideal type of beer to serve at a party where the crowd doesn’t know anything about beer but wants to drink a lot of something (that won’t trigger the sour there-is-no-way-i-can-finish-this-beer face).

Popular Irish Lager: Harp Lager

Perfect Pairing: Anything with chicken, so naturally I think of some bomb chicken strips or maybe super easy mini chicken pot pies.

3. Irish Red Ale Beer

irish beer

Photo by Michael Fajardo

Called a “Red Ale” for its red color, an Irish Red Ale will contain around 4 percent alcohol and caramel fruity undertones. The Irish Red Ale is not super popular in the United States, but is perfect at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Popular Irish Red Ale Beer: Smithwick’s Irish Ale

Perfect Pairing: Mac ‘n Cheese. If you needed an excuse to whip up an amazing batch of overly cheesy and dreamy mac and cheese, St. Patrick’s Day is it. The nuttiness and creaminess of the mac ‘n cheese will pair nicely with the caramel undertones in an Irish red ale.