Thursday, March 13

How to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day: Go Big, Go Green, Or Go Home!

Location: Trenanthia Cottage located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (90 min north of Toronto)

green leaf clover
While this crazy backwards weather is making many of us feel down on our luck, St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching with the luck o’ the Irish in tow! I don’t know about you but I could sure use the magic of a four-leaf clover right now.

Usually St. Patty’s Day celebrations are more of a college kid spectacle with festivities and libations starting early in the morning and continuing well into the night with pub-crawls and sparkly green outfits. Go big, go green, or go home!

And hey, if that’s still how you like to party, you do you. You’re a legend.

Will Farrel in a scene in the movie "Old School," where's he's quite drunk.

However, this year I was thinking that something a little more low key but still totally fun is in order. If you like good beer, good friends, and a good time... why not host a beer tasting? Whether you’re at the cottage or at home, what could be more awesome than spending a night clinking beer mugs with your closest pals and sampling some quality suds? A beer tasting will introduce you to different flavours and ingredients, and by the end of the night everyone will leave with a new favourite brewski they can’t wait to try again.

Variety is The Spice of Life

Samples of beer in a glass.
On that note, it might be a good idea to decide on a beer theme. You know, a selection of specialty beers, or a specific brewery (Muskoka Brewery has some fantastic beer!). Cream ale, pale ale, craft lagers, guinness….narrow down your options so that your tastings are not random and all over the map. In fact, another fun addition to the party is a Beer Map; a diagram of all the beers you will be sampling and some brief information on them. I prefer sweeter brews like crisp and fruity ciders (Somersby anyone?) so it doesn’t hurt to include offerings you know your friends will appreciate.


Did you know that failing to provide top notch food at your party is bad luck in Ireland? Okay I just made that up, but there’s probably some truth to it anyway. Every party I’ve been to where there’s been a shortage of munchies has made me feel severely unlucky.  So, just sayin’.  Crackers and seltzer water are recommended for palate cleansing at official beer tastings, but c’mon, we can do better than that. Bring on the nachos! So you’ve got beer flowing (3 oz samplers should be good), tasty treats, great company - what’s left?

Three friends toasting with beers in a bottle.
Well, memories of course. The best part about hosting a night like this is that you get to sit around and chat, bond over brewskis, share stories and avoid being bum-rushed by hordes of drunken party-goers.  And besides, recalling all of your previous St. Patty’s experiences with each other always guarantees the needed belly laughs.

So here’s to lasting friendships, four leaf clovers, and - even on the coldest cold days - grabbing a ‘cold one’.  Cheers!