Some delicious alternatives to Guinness—

Happy St Patrick’s Day! My in-laws in Ballyferriter, County Kerry, will no doubt be raising heroic pints of Guinness today and if you’re looking to light up your life with a festival of dark beer, happily there’s a diverse hoard of lip-smacking beauties to choose from.

It’s often assumed that dark beers are deeply boozy, but that’s not necessarily the case – the Big Drop Stout I’m recommending this week is just 0.5% alcohol. And remember that all dark beers, from stouts to sours, porters to black IPAs, are sumptuous with food – porter is scrumptious with blue cheese and if you’ve a sweet tooth, pour a cool stout with warm chocolate brownies. But to really spice up St Patrick’s Day, dive into my Jerk Stout beer of the week – it’s a saintly festival of delicious darkness.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?: Big Drop Stout (0.5%) 33cl £1.30 OcadoThe tastiest low-alcohol dark beer yet invented. Indulge in guilt-free chocolate heaven.

MY CHERRY AMOUR: Wild Beer Co Millionaire (4.7%) 33cl £2.50 Waitrose. Who needs dessert? This salted-caramel chocolate milk stout is a delicious treat.

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Anspach & Hobday Session Porter (4.5%) 33cl £12.96 (for six) Majestic. Full of deep flavour yet light on its feet. Perfect for celebrating St Paddy’s.

A PRINCE AMONG BEERS: Harvey’s Prince of Denmark (7.5%) 27.5cl £29.16 (for 12) shop.harveys.org.uk. A favourite of mine. Powerful and sleek as a race horse made of liquorice.

BEER OF THE WEEK

Brick Brewery 1251 Jerk Stout (6%) 33cl £3.30 eebria.co.uk. Sweet and deep, this is complex and compelling with a stunning build of exotic spices.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 17th March 2019

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