Just Like James, I’ll Be Drinking Irish Tonight

Buried under the marketing of its big-brother, Guinness, Kilkenny is a creamy secret that Irish beer drinkers need to uncover for themselves. //Photo: Jason Ruiz

Long before Against Me! was writing songs about drinking Guinness, St. Patrick’s Day was a holy day of reverence for Irish-Catholics. Now, what’s become a of day celebrating a culture  known for its dark beer, it’s ironic that green is the overwhelming drink of choice.


KilKenny isn’t the black, viscous sludge that’s become synonymous with Irish beers, but it’s a big part of the island’s history. Originally brewed by Smithwicks, which is Ireland’s oldest brewery, the beer borrows it’s name from a town in Ireland and it’s recipe dates back to the 14th century. That means this beer is older than this country!


It’s a nitrogen-infused, cream ale that’s red in color and smooth in texture. Using nitrogen to pressurize the barrels produces smaller bubbles than carbon-dioxide allowing for Kilkenny and other stouts and ales to maintain their creamy head. When poured from the draught, it resembles a Guinness until it makes the transition from muddy water to a brilliant amber color with a silky garnish of foam.


The beer is a bit deceptive because it drinks like a much thicker beer but tastes much lighter. Like it‘s more famous parent beer, Guinness, Kilkenny is not a very stiff drink (4.3 percent alcohol). However, it does go down a lot easier than the “milkshake of beers”.


Once only available at the Dubliner Pub in Washington D.C., Kilkenny can now be found nationwide on tap as well as in cans with nitrogen widgets to help deliver that pub feel at home.



~ by J. Ruiz on March 19, 2012.

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