Thinking about heading downtown on Sunday for one of the many St. Patrick’s Day parties that are filling the streets? Be sure to take the subway, because you certainly won’t want to be driving home after kicking your day off with an Irish Car Bomb at 6 am. Then again, you may want to eschew the green beer and Guinness overflow in favor of someplace a little less raucous — and with a better tap list. Here are five Luck of the Irish celebrations happening across town that feature some of the best craft beers in the West, and with at least a little less elbow jockeying at the bar. The Escondite You can head downtown for a pint without getting mixed up in the hordes of drunk revelers running to Casey’s Irish Pub. Just cut over to The Escondite on Boyd Street, where they’ll be churning out their signature burgers, as well as a few special plates of corned beef hash. You can also enjoy folksy music all day long, plus drink discounts on the familiar St. Patrick’s Day labels. Or just head for one of the separate craft beer taps, always flowing with options from Alesmith, North Coast Brewing and more.
Lucky Baldwins’ Belgian Beer Festival May Be Just What You’re Looking For Every serious craft beer drinker has that “A ha!” moment, where the pints align and the world is made different. Instead of low-ABV “lawnmower beers” that come in can packs of 30, some unique local pint or bottle of never-before-tasted brew from far away changed the way they thought about beer, forever. For me, it was Belgian beers. Then, I went backpacking in Europe. First to Germany, where my hosts had me saying “Prost!” with every pilsner I tried to suck down. Still nothing. I went to Munich and sat with a stein in the Hofbräuhaus, trying to understand a culture that I was inexplicably on the other side of. And then I went to Belgium. Sitting in a café off the Grote Markt in central Brussels, I ordered an abbey beer from the bar menu, and immediately understood. I had my “A ha!” moment. Now you can have your Belgian beer moment too, thanks to Lucky Baldwins Pub in Pasadena. The fifteen-year-old craft beer bar has long been at the forefront of delivering inspired beers to discerning customers in Southern California, and the culture that has come up around them, leading more and more drinkers through the Lucky Baldwins doors over the years, simply because they were the only real game in town. To help celebrate their successes and push further down the road in their love and admiration for Belgian beer styles, Lucky Baldwins is dedicating their taps and bottle program to the abbey ales over the next two weeks. read more…