Yeah! Springs a' comin, and so is St. Patty's Day! Soon, we will all be expected to be drinking Guinness, Jameson, and watching NCAA basketball games on our smartphones, occasionally erupting into uncontrollable fits of joy because a basketball player from SW Underdog State scored the basket (I do like that phrase, been saving it for a drink name sometime, it's in the orphanage).
Perhaps you have a non-conformist bone in your body, and would like to try something slightly different. (Be careful how you express this, especially if you're in St. Paul, unless you want to get cold cocked . . . j/k, I live in St Paul.) Back in the day, all I drank was Jameson. I used to joke I supported one full time employee at the distillery. I've read that the Irish most likely first invented whiskey by boiling down beer. Over the years, they've gotten much better at it. Bushmills Black Bush black label blended whiskey is pretty awesome if you enjoy the smooth, easy drinking properties of fine Irish whiskies. Redbreast Pot Still Whiskey is the way to go if you want something more robust.
I asked Mr. Alvey at The Four Firkins, the awesome beer store in St. Louis Park, what a good alternative to Guinness would be (Alvey being Australian, he threw no punches). He said, "Keep it down! There might be an Irishman in the store!" Again, I kid. Three brews he suggested were Bell's Kalamazoo stout, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter, and Brau Brothers Moo Juice oatmeal milk stout. These might be hard to find at most pedestrian bars, but all the more reason to check out some of the great craft brew pubs popping up and the beer sections of better liquor stores that are wisely expanding its selections.
The explosion of craft cocktails has been matched by that of micro brews and unique craft beers. So to quote Homer, Simpson that is, "A toast to alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, most of life's problems." And if you don't like that, we can discuss it over a Stroke Me Clover, the new LBV St. Patty's Day cocktail.