This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Country #6: Ireland

Beer: Wrasslers XXXX Full Stout

Brewery: Porterhouse Brewing Company, Dublin, Ireland

ABV: 5.7%

All I know is that Wrasslers has nothing do with the WWE, and that the name of the brewery makes me want a steak.
I have a lot of Irish blood in me, and I have the freckles and history of sunburns to prove it. So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, it seemed appropriate to celebrate my heritage by staying inside and drinking beer. The weather in San Diego cooperated: it was cold and pissing rain outside, whipping the palm fronds into a frenzy. Lovely day for a Guinness!

However, I drank all the Guinness last night, and I forgot to take pictures. So, the wife and I braved the rain to go on a beer run today.

Dead soldiers from the night of March 16th.
Unfortunately, Guinness is only at its best on draft, and doubly unfortunately, Guinness is really only at its best on draft in Ireland, or so says everyone I know who has been.  Since Guinness isn’t perfect out of the can or bottle, I figured I would try something different. Luckily, I stumbled upon a store in my neighborhood that carried beers by Porterhouse Brewing Company, one of only two Irish microbreweries that exports to the United States. 

Porterhouse Brewing Company wants to remind you that they are from Ireland. And that Guinness is not genuinely Irish.
The weather still called for a stout, so I grabbed a Wrasslers XXXX Full Stout. I’m not sure about the etymology of the Wrasslers part of the name, but the brewery’s web site says the XXXX refers to the alcohol content (which is not that high, but is high for a stout) and robust flavor. The brewery claims that Wrasslers is made with a turn of the (20th) century recipe that would have been similar to revolutionary Michael Collins' brew of choice. And in an ode to The Big Fellah, there he is, right on the front of the bottle. 

That's Michael Collins, not a cop.
Whatever Michael Collins was drinking in 1900—when he would have been 10, and probably drinking stout anyway—it must have been tasty, because this is a really, really good beer. It’s a fizzier, thicker, and more bitter stout than Guinness, and with all the chocolaty, coffee-flavored, roasty complexity that Guinness lacks. Even though it didn’t pour with much of a head, it was still extremely tasty; I can only imagine what it tastes like on tap (East Coast people: Porterhouse actually owns and operates a pub in New York… you should probably check it out). It also got better with each sip as the temperature came up a bit, a sign of a good beer.

I'm not sure about the utility of the pull-tab cap, but it certainly does make for a unique look.
And of course, it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. Luckily, I have an obliging wife, and a pound of boiled food never tasted so good. Sláinte!

The chef, the dinner, the beer, and the dog.

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