Beer, Whiskey and Corned Beef with Cabbage: How to Eat Like the Irish This St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day events were some of the first casualties of the pandemic—a wave of cancellations and optimistic postponements that bore the painful realization of our new reality. This year, The Hibernian Society of Utah announced it would have its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade…in September. If you can’t wait that long to lose yourself in a frenzy of pipe music and beer (and who can fault you after this past year?), why not embrace the idea of celebrating two St. Patrick’s Days? One now and one on Sept. 25.

There is no shortage of places where you can get your fill of Irish fare and fete, from institutions of the Salt Lake City pub scene to the comfort of your own home (or somewhere in between).

The management of Piper Down Olde World Pub flies Irish flags year-round and keeps a countdown clock to St. Patrick’s Day, if that’s any indication of just how seriously the establishment takes this particular holiday. The celebration is usually a delightedly raucous affair, but this year the pub is promising the “CDC version” of its St. Patrick’s Day party. It’s usually one of the hottest tickets in town for would-be revelers, and the live music is scheduled to start at noon, so arrive promptly to stake your seats on the rooftop patio. Expect a selection of Irish whiskey, stout and comfort food—it’s hard to go wrong with anything prepared in Guinness. Masks are required for everyone. Cover: $10 per seat after Noon, $20 per seat after 5 p.m.

When the pandemic hit, Bewilder Brewing had only been open for three months and had to shut down before its first St. Patrick’s Day. This year, the brewery is hoping for redemption by promising an “authentic Irish food experience” featuring house-made black and white puddings, Irish sausage, stew, soda bread and, of course, a corned beef and cabbage sandwich (Bewilder’s recommended drink pairing: Golden Glitter Irish Lager or Barley Stout). 

Shades Brewing released a new beer especially for St. Patrick’s Day. And, yes, it is green. The Shamrock Shake Cream Ale is brewed with “mint, cotton candy, vanilla and lactose.” They’re also serving up drink specials like the “Shamrock Shooter.” Shades’ taproom and to-go options open at 3 p.m., where they’ll be slinging the aforementioned green beers and $5 bowls of Irish stew. 

Lucky 13 Bar and Grill, best-known for massive, mouth-watering burgers, is getting into the St. Patty’s Day spirit with the Lucky Irishman burger (paired with an Irish stout, of course) and specialty cocktails like the Irish Rose (a sweet pink whiskey drink), or go for brunch before 1 p.m. and get the corned beef hash.

Pat’s BBQ, likewise well-known for setting a high standard for BBQ, is serving up a St. Patrick’s Day special of smoked corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and soda bread.

Yes, Feldman’s Deli is a Jewish deli, but, according to management, both “the Irish and Jews love their corned beef!” For St. Patrick’s Day, the deli’s corned beef and cabbage are available for lunch and dinner, and they’re taking pre-paid pick-up orders in advance.

Finally, if you don’t want to takeout your Irish feast or subject yourself to green-clad crowds, there is another option: prepare your own St. Patrick’s Day feast at home. Harmons’ Chef Lesli Sommerdorf releases at least one new Irish-inspired recipe every March. This year, it’s Corned Beef and Colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with, you guessed it, cabbage. You can shop for the grocery items you need in-store or order online and pick them up.

Now for another dose of reality. The CDC is recommending people “avoid crowds and gather virtually, outside or with people who live with you” this St. Patrick’s Day. (But, the CDC also once recommended we celebrate St. Patty’s Day by “eating green fruits or vegetables,” and I am not confident anyone followed that piece of advice.) For those who do decide to get their Irish on outside the home, you know the drill: social distance and mask up. If it makes you feel better, make it a green mask. Sláinte!

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Christie Porter
Christie Porter
Christie Porter is the managing editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, writing about everything under the sun, but she really loves writing about nerdy things and the weird stuff. She recently published her first comic book short this year.

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