Local and Organic Beers to Drink on the Day We Celebrate Another Kind of Green
Have a local or organic beer on St. Patrick's Day and show your support for the wearing - and drinking - of the green.
It’s the day that everyone’s a little bit Irish and many of us mark the day with a glass – or two - of beer. So, Bethesda Patch looked for ways to drink green by seeking out local and organic beers being served in Bethesda restaurants on St. Patrick’s Day.
What makes a beer local? A local beer is made within 100 miles of Bethesda, and we’ve got some great breweries within that range in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. What makes a beer organic? That’s a little more involved, and depends on using organically grown barley and hops with some organic brewers also adapting the brewing process to be more environmentally friendly.
The results are positive with many organic beers getting great reviews. Whether your choice is organic or local for St. Patrick’s Day we’ve found an assortment of choices to enjoy in Bethesda restaurants or the comfort of your home. We hope you’ll try these options on St. Patrick’s Day and beyond and support the brewers and purveyors who are making Bethesda a little bit Greener every day!
Local and Organic Beers for St. Patrick’s Day at RiRa Irish Pub, Redwood, Food Wine & Co., and Rock Bottom Brewery
RiRa Irish Pub at 4931 Elm Street will serve two local beers from Frederick-based Flying Dog – Raging Bitch Belgian IPA and Classic Pale Ale, and will also offer Samuel Smith Organic Lager from Yorkshire, England. Samuel Smith is one of the few remaining independent breweries in England and the oldest brewery in Yorkshire – so try not to miss this chance to raise a glass of their Organic Lager – the only organic beer we could find that’s being served in an Irish restaurant in Bethesda on St. Patrick’s Day.
Several other popular Bethesda restaurants will offer local and organic beers for St. Patrick’s Day. Redwood at 7121 Bethesda Lane will offer two local beers – a Light Lager from Fordham, an Annapolis-based microbrewer and Victory Ale from Old Dominion of Ashburn, Virginia.
Moving up from Bethesda Row to Wisconsin Avenue there’s also a chance to have local or organic beer at Food Wine & Co. at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue. “We’re going to have two or three choices from Maryland and Virginia, and one organic offering in either a keg or a bottle,” says Francis Namin, owner.
Then, of course, there's Rock Bottom on Norfolk Avenue where the beer is brewed right onsite -- you don't get much more local than that!
Popularity of Organic and Local Beers Still Building at Bethesda Establishments
You might ask why there aren’t more Bethesda restaurants offering local and organic options for St. Patrick’s Day. “There are reservations about shelf life for organic beers, and the distributors are not pushing them," says Francis Namin, who hopes to change that over time. “It’s basically a culture and we are working together to change it.” Given this, we thank the restaurants that have made the effort, and encourage others to give local and organic beers a try. We hear there’s alot more out there to explore!
Cork 57 Offers Local and Organic Options for At Home Celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day
Cork57 at 4910 Bethesda Avenue, owned by Fred Namin, brother of Francis Namin of Food Wine & Co., has many local and organic beers for those who prefer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home. Brian Murphy, Cork57’s Sommelier, suggests several options for the holiday. Murphy says that two organic beers from Peak Brewery of Portland, Maine – an IPA Nut Brown Ale and an Espresso Amber Ale – are great organic beers to try. “The Espresso Amber Ale is one of the better coffee-infused beers I’ve tasted recently and the IPA is a bigger, bolder IPA because of the organic hops,” says Murphy.
Murphy also says that an organic beer by Peruvian brewer Cusquena, based in Machu Pichu, is great to try as well, explaining that “Cusquena actually gets their water from a really high altitude which makes an amazing beer.”
For local beers, Murphy suggests The Raven Special Lager, produced in Baltimore by Baltimore-Washington Beer Works and the selection offered by Dogfish Head of Bethany Beach, Delaware as well as Flying Dog and Old Dominion – the same brewers selected by RiRa Irish Pub and Redwood restaurant. For those who would like to drink something special other than beer on St. Patrick’s Day, Murphy suggests an organic hard cider by J.K. Scrumpey’s, produced in Michigan, which comes in a 22 ounce bottle. “The apple coming through is very dominant and is one of the better ciders I’ve tasted. It’s even better that it’s organic,” says Murphy.
We hope this gives you plenty of options as you wear green proudly and drink green proudly this St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy the day. Erin go Bragh and Green go Bragh!