I will confess to being a NorCal Beer Geek. I do my best to spend my money on small production northern California beer so as to help the small breweries stimulate the local economy. There are some great local options to consider when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Moylan’s Brewing Company’s Dragoons Dry Irish Stout and Danny’s Irish Style Red Ale, also made by Moylan’s, are just two examples.

Green beer is a popular choice in bars on St. Patrick’s Day. To make one yourself, you simply add food coloring to a light hued beer. I prefer to celebrate St. Paddy’s day wearing green, not drinking it. One tradition that I stay true to is making myself a Black and Tan. I enjoy making it as much as I enjoy drinking it. I can’t help but to marvel at the contrast of color as the dark stout sits on the lighter colored pale ale.

Traditionally, a Black and Tan is made with Guinness and Bass, but you can use a local craft brewed stout and pale ale in their place. To make one yourself, start by pouring the pale ale into a pint glass approximately half way. You will then need to grab a spoon and place it slightly into the pint glass, upside down. Slowly pour the stout so that it flows off the back of the spoon and into the pint glass. The result is a thing of beauty to look at. Up top, you will have a white head sitting above the black that transitions to different shades of brown, auburn and tan colors from top to bottom.

Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day. As always, I encourage you all to designate a driver, call a taxi or use public transportation if you will be having your Black and Tans at a local pub.

-Peter Lopez Jr.