Brewing Local Pride: Mass.-Made Irish Stouts

March 4, 2013 4:22 PM

(Photo Credit: John Harvard’s/Facebook)

In recent years, a conflict has been brewing between the Boston area’s deep Irish roots and its local pride. Guinness – a staple in Irish pubs around the world – is seeing more and more competition from local breweries. If you don’t believe us, just take a look. (Keep in mind that not all stouts are created equal. There are cream stouts, milk stouts, chocolate stouts, oatmeal stouts, imperial stouts, and probably the most famous, an Irish, or dry stout.) Here are just some of the Irish-style stouts that are being made in Massachusetts. Also make sure to check out some of the Bay State’s Irish Reds.

Related: Made-In-Mass. Irish Reds

(Photo Credit: Paper City)

(Photo Credit: Paper City)

Riley’s Irish Stout

Paper City Brewing Co.

Holyoke is home to the “other” big St. Patrick’s Day parade in Massachusetts; it’s home to a lot of Irish pride; and it’s home to Paper City Brewery Company. The brewer’s banner sums it up: Irish Tradition By The Glass. Like Guinness, Riley’s is an Irish-style stout with a frothy tan head. It is available in 12-oz bottles in select locations.

(Photo Credit: Mystic/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Mystic/Facebook)

Mystic Descendant

Mystic Brewery

Mystic describes this one as “a beer descended from the cultural history of the Boston harbor area.” At 7% ABV, this combination of dry Irish Stout meets an English porter packs a punch, but still goes down smooth. Mystic opened up a tasting room, so if you aren’t sure, go try it first.

(Photo Credit: Lefty's/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Lefty’s/Facebook)

Irish style Stout

Lefty’s Brewing Co.

Lefty’s Irish Style Stout is a bit stronger than a traditional dry stout. At 6.8% ABV, it has a well-balanced kick to it.

(Photo Credit: Harpoon/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Harpoon/Facebook)

Dry Irish Stout

Harpoon Brewery
South Boston

Finally! We’ll use the same logic we used when describing Harpoon’s Celtic Red. Harpoon brews beer. Harpoon is headquartered in South Boston. Therefore, Harpoon must brew an Irish Stout (See – because it’s in Southie). The Winter-Spring 2013 test batch has shown up in a handful of bars around Boston. The question is whether it will stick around.

(Photo Credit: John Harvard's/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: John Harvard’s/Facebook)

Irish Dry Stout

John Harvard’s Brew House

Because John Harvard’s has rotating taps, getting your hands on this one isn’t definite. The brew pub requests people to call ahead to find out what’s on tap. Their Irish Dry Stout comes in at 3.9%, which translates to “order it by the pitcher.”

(Photo Credit: Gardner Ale House/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Gardner Ale House/Facebook)

Naked Stout

Gardner Ale House

Gardner Ale House gives you two Irish stouts served on tap and in growlers to choose from: the 2012 Great International Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Naked Stout and the thick nitrogen-filled Nitro Naked Stout. Given that it’s an hour-and-twenty-minute drive from Boston without traffic, we recommend trying both and just spending the night there.

(Credit: Boston Beer Works/Facebook)

(Credit: Boston Beer Works/Facebook)

Curley’s Irish Stout

Boston Beer Works

One can assume the name is a salute to once-Boston Mayor James Curley, an Irish American. This Irish Stout is available on draft at Beer Works brew pubs and is sold in bottles at a handful of locations around Boston.