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Best Beer to drink with Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner?

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I'm off to the store soon. Do we want Guiness? Something else? What beer will you have with yours?


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  1. Xena,

    You're probably already back. Enjoy your Guiness, but I recommend trying Mackeson's Triple Stout. It's soother and sweeter than Guiness. I think it's Irish as well but I'm not sure.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Magnum

      Egads! You recommended an ENGLISH beer for an IRISH feast!

    2. I recommend Smuttynose Imperial Stout or Southern Tier Jah-Va, if you can't find Guiness Extra Stout in bottles (not that nitro-can/-bottle bullshit). Even if you can find the bottled Extra Stout, I'd still go with one of the aforementioned brews. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try drinking something other than stout. If you still want a nice dark beer, pick up a tasty German(-style) schwarzbier.

      1. Well, Mackeson's English in name only (well, also in style- since sweet stout is more of a British style, anyway). Brewed in Cincinnati by Boston (sic) Beer Co., label owned by the Belgian Inbev -which doesn't even bother to have it contract brewed in the UK anymore, last I looked, and when it was it was a different product (much lower ABV that the "strong" version in the US).

        And, for that matter, Guinness Extra Stout, in the US, is a Canadian product from Moosehead. So, if you want a REAL Irish beer, have a Killian's....

        Just kiddin', just kiddin'.... Me, I had Troegs Nugget Nectar with my Corned Beef and Cabbage, but I also made it last Monday, so I'm not too hung up on the whole "traditional" thing. I also ate it with nice Italian bread, too, since I couldn't find any good rye.

        1. It doesn't have to be Guinness, but any Irish Dry Stout should do. Guinness Extra seems to have lost a bit of zip on its fastball, but the sixer I got last year about this time was still pretty good.

          This year, however, I got something local, and I feel like I've been transported in time back around 25 years ago to when I had my first Guinness Extra Stout. It's been a long time since I was actually jazzed about an Irish Dry Stout (not among my favorite styles, I suppose, for whatever reason) and it went soo well with my corned beef sandwich. The one I have is from Defiant in Pearl River, NY (extremely local, unfortunately), but I have also had a good version from Schlafly's in Saint Louis before. The bottom line, I guess, is that you don't have to necessarily limit yourself to something from Ireland (Guinness, Murphy's, etc.), but sticking within the style is not such a bad idea.

          1. Thanks everybody. I went to the store this morning with the list you all provided and the only one they had was Guiness Extra Stout. I picked up a 6 in case I don't get back out but if time allows I will head to a store with a larger selection this afternoon. Thank you very much for your help and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

            1. Smithwick's is always a good choice.........................

              1. Lest we lose our perspective, we must keep in mind that the Irish don't eat corned beef and cabbage on this day anyway. That said, I had a lovely Harp lager on the golf course this afternoon that I think would go nicely with the dish.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Bob Brooks

                  So, then a fake Irish beer like Harp (brewed in Canada for the US market) would be fine accompaniment for a US-traditional fake Irish meal of Corned Beef & Cabbage.

                  Now there are some who might mention that Guinness' parent company, beverage giant Diageo, is just interested in saving money and fuel and getting us the freshest beer, by brewing in Canada for the US market, rather than shipping a heavy item like bottled beer on long ocean voyages from Ireland. But, then, why not brew it at a brewery they already OWN (the former Schaefer plant outside Allentown, PA. http://www.realbeer.com/news/articles... ) rather than contract with a competitor (either Labatt or Moosehead, in Canada)?

                  Why, then, they couldn't use the deceptive "IMPORTED" on the label.

                  1. re: JessKidden

                    I recently went to a Japanese restaurant, and all their beer where the standard "Japanese" offerings. I asked the waitress if they had any beer actually from Japan, and she told me ALL their beer was imported from Japan. I told her that if she were to read the label, she'd see that these beers were actually brewed in Canada. She simply reiterated that they were "imported from Japan".

                    I should bring in some Hitachino Nest one of these days so they can try a real Japanese beer.

                    1. re: Josh

                      Hitachino nest was pretty damned fantastic when I had it a while back.

                      I'd kinda like to drink beer in Japan...

                      1. re: Josh

                        Yeah, that's pretty typical of retailers of beer, both on- and off-premises. It certainly makes one wonder how truthful the rest of a menu is ("fresh" fish, pasta and vegetables, "homemade" salads and desserts, etc. Just don't look in the kitchen at all the 5 gallon plastic buckets, microwaves and freezers...).

                        Wasn't A-B brewing one of the big Japanese lagers in LA for a time? (Damn, no "Imported" label possible.) Seems I heard that they also made some of the draft beer in the US market for the Mexican brewery they own a part of- (can never remember which one it is) which is REALLY deceptive since a tap handle doesn't have ANY "small print" on it...

                        I think there should be a tradition (sort of "reverse tipping") that when one finds an error on the beer menu or gets mis-information from a server, the beer is free!

                        1. re: JessKidden

                          It's either Kirin or Asahi that's brewed in Los Angeles. The others are brewed by Molson in Canada. You can sometimes find Japanese-brewed stouts by those companies here, but that's pretty rare. Orion is still brewed in Okinawa.

                          1. re: JessKidden

                            > It certainly makes one wonder how truthful the rest of a menu is [...]

                            You know, I can't get behind a comment like this at all. While it's true that a lot of these Japanese brands are brewed in Canada or the US, most people (including a lot of retailers and restaurant owners) don't know and don't care where they're brewed. I hardly think that correlates to a lack of quality or freshness of food in such an establishment. They are simply trying to offer a Japanese brand of macro-lager to satisfy their customers, many of whom would unlikely find a brand such as Hitachino Nest particularly appealing (aside from the charming labels). Also, consider that the Japanese-brewed versions of these products are often unavailable in the US, even to those businesses who would prefer them. If you want to talk about freshness—especially in a low-alcohol, bottled lager—would you rather have a beer that was brewed in Canada and shipped via truck to the US, or one that was brewed in Japan, shipped via sea to the west coast of the US, then distributed across the country?

                            1. re: braineater

                              If they "don't know and don't care" about the beer they sell (all they have to do is read the label to find out) and give false information when questioned, then I feel safe in wondering if that carelessness and ignorance might carry over to the rest of their business. Why beer should be somehow exempt from truthfulness is beyond me.

                              I know the reasons why many imports are contract-brewed here, and freshness is but one consideration. If retailers and some brewers were open about it, I might not object so much.

                              1. re: JessKidden

                                I'm sorry, but I think you're being unrealistic in your expectation that the wait staff at a sushi restaurant (or say, an Irish pub serving Guinness and Harp) should be aware of the fact that Sapporo isn't actually brewed in Japan. It's a Japanese brand, and that's all most consumers really care about. Maybe the owners or alcohol buyer should be aware of this fact, but how often do the owners wait tables? My guess would be never.

                                As for retailers being aware of and open about such things, well... you're expecting a lot of people. I worked at a liquor store where I generally knew far more about the beer than the owner or manager did, as neither of them was particularly interested in such things (the owner could barely be bothered to keep the store well-stocked, let alone worry about if something was contract brewed or not). You will likely encounter a lot of this sort of thing, except in places that expend the time and money in hiring and further educating staff with an interest in the products they sell.

                                These are things people *should* know about the products they sell, but to most people their job is just that, a job, and they don't care to spend the extra time researching obscure facts about something they care little about once they go home.

                                Anyway, unless I'm at a very beer-focused bar or restaurant, I generally expect the wait staff to know more about the food (through sampling dialy specials and such) than the beer—assuming there's even anything worth drinking on the menu.

                                1. re: braineater

                                  Hey, I'm not saying that it's NOT unrealistic to expect good service and accurate information on menus and from the staff of a retailer or restaurant, but commenting on it is, well, sorta the reason a website like this exists.
                                  But, if you think that I'm just trying to get the "get a free beer if we lie about it" offer going, you're right. (Oh, and it shouldn't come out of the employees' tips, either.) <g>

                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                    Well sure, if we're just after free beer, then I'm going to start calling all sorts of wait staff on their mistakes. There are all sorts of clueless bartenders out there who owe me free pints.

                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                      I'd get you a beer in my bar any old day...

                                      1. re: therealbigtasty

                                        If you're expecting "fresh" Guinnes, you're in trouble. All of it is aged, so you can go to the brewery on the old sod and it's the same stuff you get in the U.S.

                      2. I'm a lover of Guiness extra stout with cbc.

                        1. Haven't visited a beer thread in awhile but not much has changed: some good information mixed in with a lot of condescending and attitudes. Must be the hops......

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: TonyO

                            "Haven't visited a beer thread in awhile..."

                            Uh, the bulk of this thread is from 2007, which was also "awhile" ago. There's probably still some condescension and "attitudes" in the threads from 2010, tho'.

                            Go figure- on the internet, no less!

                            Still, if my replies were some that you found irksome, I apologize. The combination of the topics of the deceptions of the multinational brewing behemoths like Diageo and A-B-Inbev *and* the "plastic paddy-ization" of the green-beer drinking holiday of St. Patrick's Day will bring out the worst in some folks, I guess.

                            But, there is good news. After an absence of close to half a century, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (a much different beer than either Guinness Draught or Canadian-brewed Guinness Extra Stout we get in America) apparently is being exported to the US again. Reports have it on the shelves in the NYC area- here's the newly approved US label for it (borrowed from the TTB's site) -

                            1. re: JessKidden

                              Thanks Jess, some of the "good information" I was pointing out !

                              1. re: JessKidden

                                Wow- that was a long time coming. I never thought I'd see the day- I'll have to check out Whole Foods next time I'm across the river (or better yet, ask my local guys in Fort Lee if it's available here). Thanks for the tip.