How and Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Rhode Island
Ten local spots for year-round Irish food and drinks, plus where to listen to Irish music and sip stouts from area breweries.
St. Paddy’s Day Music: Where to get your Irish jig on.
Blackstone River Theatre, Cumberland
For a traditional Irish celebration, Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland is hosting Lúnasa, an Irish band named after the Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh. These top talents hail from Ireland and have pieced together a melodic interweaving roof wind and string instruments to create breathtaking cultural arrangements. Online ticket sales are closed, but reserve your spot over the phone before the show begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. Tickets are $35 in advance, $38 at the door. 549 Broad St., Cumberland, 725-9272, riverfolk.org
McBride’s Pub, Providence
While there is live Irish music weekly on Tuesdays from 7–10 p.m., there will be a special two-session live music performance of Irish and Celtic music from Turas Irish Band on St. Patrick’s Day from 1–4 p.m. along with a performance by Sean Connell from 8–11 p.m. For an added bonus, McBride’s Pub also has a Guinness ripple machine! 161 Wayland Ave., Providence, 751-3000, mcbrides-pub.com
Aidan’s Pub, Bristol
Enjoy bagpipes and live entertainment at this waterfront pub as part of its annual celebration. 5 John St., Bristol, 254-1940, aidanspub.com
Fastnet Pub, Newport
This classic Irish spot offers live Irish Seisiún Sundays from 6–9 p.m. 1 Broadway, Newport, 845-9311, thefastnetpub.com
The science of pouring a Guinness
Guinness should be poured from a tap equipped with a special spout that uses both nitrogen and carbon dioxide to dispense the beer through the lines. This creates a cascading effect, where the bubbles travel down and around the glass rather than up. The color changes from creamy light to dark ruby red as it settles. The head should be eleven-sixteenths of an inch. The smaller the head, the sweeter the beer, whereas the thicker the head, the more bitter the brew.
The 119.5 second pour
Hold a Guinness harp glass at a forty-five-degree angle and pour three-quarters full, let cascade for one hundred and nineteen-point-five seconds, according to Guinness. Top with foamy head poured upright.
Irish bartender method
Pull the spout toward you and pour straight into glass until three-quarters full, let cascade for one-and-a-half minutes. Top with foamy head with the spout away from you.
Standard bartender method
Pour at a forty-five-degree angle and finish with a continuous upright pour without settling.
Canned beer pours
If tapped Guinness isn’t available, a canned pour at home can be just as satisfying. The can must be chilled and poured into a room-temperature glass. A chilled glass will disrupt the nitrogen gas process. The can contains a nitrogen-filled widget to emulate a draft pour.
Ladle it in
This works for a black-and-tan-layered beer. Pour a light beer, preferably an IPA, at an angle to fill the glass about two-thirds. Pour a Guinness over an inverted spoon to create the layered effect.
Flip the can upside-down directly into a glass and let it fill. For extra flair, pour it vertically from as high as you can.
Don’t like Guinness?
Here are some other local stouts.*
Crooked Current Brewery
Oatmeal Raisin Stout
Extortion Eggnog Milk Stout
Chocolate Cherry Stout
Chocolate Habañero Stout
Chocolate Orange Stout
Grey Sail Brewing
Dave’s Coffee Stout
Revival Brewing Company
White Electric Coffee Stout
Long Live Beerworks
Return of the Warlord , a double coffee Imperial Stout
Proclamation Ale Company
Black Hexes Imperial Stout
Broze oatmeal milk Stout
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
The Answer is Cake Imperial Stout
Optical Traces Imperial Stout
Zzzlumber Imperial Stout
The Guild Warren
Espress Yo Self, Espresso Martini Stout
Foolproof Brewing Company
Mexican Chocolate Stout, Russian Imperial Stout
Twelve Guns Brewing
Barrel 2, Peanut Butter Stout
*Subject to change based on seasonality and availability.