St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for the Gaelic guys and gals. Perhaps it represents the bastardization of another cultural holiday, but even those without an ounce of Irish blood can’t resist an excuse to slurp beer all day.
With St. Paddy’s Day falling on Sunday, the masses will flock to local Irish pubs throughout the weekend. But bars of all denominations are getting in on the action.
English watering hole Brit’s Pub raises a pint with its Irish brothers and sisters Saturday, as Minneapolis’ St. Patrick’s Day parade (6:30 p.m.) passes its Nicollet Mall doors. Bagpipers will pop in for a pre-parade serenade at 5:30 p.m. and the Hammer Band takes over in the Clubhouse Lounge at 7 p.m. Though Brit’s prides itself on its English beers, for this occasion the Guinness is sure to be gushing. (1110 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-332-3908 or www.britspub.com.)
For years Uptown’s Herkimer Pub and Brewery has been brewing in the German tradition. But on St. Patrick’s Day, the Lyn-Lake brewpub debuts an Irish milk stout in honor of the shamrock celebration. All day Sunday, its Kerry From Derry Milk Stout will flow for $4 a pint, as will shots of Jameson and Powers. (2922 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-821-0101 or www.theherkimer.com.)
Insinuating that bro bar Johnny Tequila’s Drinking Taco is in any way attuned to Mexican culture would be as suspect as asserting the Loch Ness Monster’s existence. But presumably tacos and tequila will be on the menu during its weekend festivities. At least the Saturday and Sunday drink specials are Irish-themed, with $3 green beers, $4 Jameson shots and two Irish car bombs for $10. (430 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-333-3864.)
Belgian-inspired Harriet Brewing happens to be celebrating the first anniversary of its taproom, which opened last year on St. Patrick’s Day. The south Minneapolis brewery is hosting events Thursday through Saturday, but things get green on the eve of St. Paddy’s Day. Its beer will stay true to its Belgian roots, but the music is Irish-flavored, with Celtic rockers Lehto and Wright performing at 6 p.m. and the Sweet Colleens taking the stage at 9:30 p.m. (3036 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. 612-315-4633 or www.harrietbrewing.com.)
Butcher & the Boar may not have an official national allegiance (though its commitment to sausage, bourbon and beer is unwavering). But like Harriet, the acclaimed restaurant is putting an Irish spin on its first birthday party (2-10 p.m. Sunday). The meat-minded culinary team will riff on Irish classics and special bourbony brews will be available, including Fulton Libertine aged in Knob Creek barrels. The Jolly Groggers, Broken Spoke and Four Pints Shy will perform in the beer garden, as the indoor dining room will shut down for this back-yard bash. (1121 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-238-8888 or www.butcherandtheboar.com.)
In St. Paul, the Wild Onion’s menu is getting a dose of Dublin, as the neighborhood/college bar will serve shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and Guinness stew Saturday and Sunday. If you prefer your Guinness in a pint glass, they can accommodate (and you can keep the glass), or enjoy $4.50 Baileys and $5 Jamesons. Naturally, slamming all three at the same time is an option, as Irish car bombs are $7. (788 Grand Av., St. Paul. 651-291-2525 or www.wildonionbar.com.)