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Food fight: Irish beer

| Thursday, March 15, 2007

Three brands. Two imbibers. Only one you'll remember tomorrow.

Meet the drinkers

Rob Amen: I'm getting paid for this• Let me tip my hat to the gent at the Clark Bar & Grill who poured three near-perfect pints.

Jessica Severs: People who drink green, watered-down commerical crap on St. Patrick's Day should be beaten with a shellalagh.

Smithwick's, $4

Rob: That's Smittick's, for you yinzers. A superb reddish ale with a taste so unique that you feel like you're sipping a pint in Dublin. A bit hoppier than Harp -- almost enough to make you happier drinking it.

Jessica: My second-fave. Lager can't hold a shamrock to the sharp, hoppy bite and gorgeous ruddy color of this ale. The flavor isn't as strong as Guinness, but it's more intense than Harp. And the carbonation gives it the pop of a soda.

Harp, $4

Rob: Ah, music to my ears -- and taste buds. This golden lager goes down smooth and packs a flavorful pop, even more than Smithwick's. A good starting point into the Irish genre for you Iron City and IC Light types.

Jessica: The perfect social beer. The color of a sun-drenched barley field, light and crisp, it goes down easy with a light hop bite on the tongue. It's my least favorite of the three but still far superior than most popular commercial beers.

Guinness, $5

Rob: Winner, and still the granddaddy of 'em all. Enjoy the aroma before indulging in this rich stout with a coffee-like flavor

and thick head. Eat beforehand, 'cause you certainly won't be hungry afterward.

Jessica: Skip dessert and order up the black beauty of beers. Smooth yet robust, lightly hopped with a roasted, slightly sweet taste. Drink it from the bottle and you'll miss the show: the creamy head slowly separating from the rich, decadent body.

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