What not to do for St. Patrick’s Day

“Oh dear god, not again,” –bartenders everywhere this Sunday. iStock photo

Yes, this Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, or as some have dubbed it, the “Celebration of Questionable Irish Heritage.” Like many other alcohol-related “holidays,” St. Patrick’s Day is generally marked by an embarrassing display of piss poor behavior and drunken antics typically reserved for university students and Australians.

This year it falls on a weekend, so it’s going to be extra special. By all means, dress up in green, have a pint (or seven) of Guinness and go watch that Pogues cover band that only plays one show a year. But don’t be that asshole. You know the one.

If you don’t, then here’s some handy advice on what not to do this St. Patrick’s Day.


Don’t claim dubious Irish ancestry

Just like the other 95% of Canadians who claim Irish ancestry, you’re not Irish. Doesn’t matter what 23AndMe.com said. Just because your great-great-grandmother was born in Tipperary, doesn’t mean that you are Irish—it means your great-great-grandmother was Irish. You know who’s Irish? People who were born, raised and/or currently live in Ireland, and a lot of them are sick of your bullshit. You don’t need to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, anyways. So check your passport, bud. You’re Canadian, just like the rest of us.


Don’t drink green beer

Why? Why would you do this? Why would you ruin a perfectly good beer by adding green food colouring to it? If you want to drink like an Irish person, order a Guinness (or a locally-made dry Irish stout, like Persephone’s or Ravens Brewing’s). Don’t like stout? Get a Harp’s or a Kilkenny (or, if you can find it, Crannóg Ales’ Gael’s Blood, an Irish red ale brewed with potatoes). But green food dye? Your great-great-grandmother would be ashamed.


Don’t visit an “Irish Pub”

Is there anywhere more obnoxious than an “Irish” pub on St. Patrick’s Day? They tend to crank it up to what I call “Maximum Boston” for the day, and it can be a bit much, to be honest. But hey, if you want to wait in line for 45 minutes for a plastic cup of warm green beer, knock yourself out.


Don’t overdo it

Yes, it’s fun to tie one one and get festive and all that. But you know what isn’t fun? Trying to get green vomit stains out of your favourite shirt. Especially if it’s not even your vomit. In keeping with the theme of the day, have a hearty Irish stew or shepherd’s pie before you head out on the piss.


Don’t be a feckin’ gobshite

You might think that the unironic “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” T-shirt is hilarious, but it’s not. Same with the constant potato jokes (seriously, more than a million people died in the potato famine, cut that shit out). And for the love of Henry Shefflin, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. I don’t know who Patty is, but I’m sure she’s lovely.


“So what should I do then, you grumpy old prick? By all means, continue to tell me how to live my life!” Glad you asked. Here’s some suggestions for craft beer-related events this weekend that are actually going to be a lot of fun, and you should totally check them out.


Beer Goggles (Rossland)

Red Mountain Resort is going craft with its sixth annual beer party at the base of the mountain. Friday, March 15 from 5-9pm, and Saturday, March 16, from 3:30-7:30pm.


Brewfest (Vancouver)

The UBC Alma Mater Society is hosting this beer festival on Friday, March 15, at 6pm at the Nest Atrium with 10 breweries and cideries from across the province. Tickets only $15 at the door, and includes your first drink.


WISE Hall’s St. Paddy’s Day Bash (Vancouver)

An East Van tradition, the WISE Hall’s annual St. Patrick’s party features live music from Shane’s Teeth and the Staggers and Jaggs. Saturday, March 16, 8-11:30pm.


Big Rock (Vancouver)

Celebrate all weekend long at Big Rock’s St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Party, Friday, March 15 to Sunday, March 17. A different stout cask ale will be tapped each day, along with live music from the Mike Machado Trio (Friday) and Chris McMullan (Saturday and Sunday). Have yourself a proper Irish breakfast while you’re at it, or a traditional shepherd’s pie.


Canoe Brewpub (Victoria)

No cover, live music by OK Charlie, $6 pints of amber ale all day and Jameson whiskey flights (danger!) make this a must if you’re on the Island. Sunday, March 17.


Dead Frog Brewing (Langley)

Live music from Lisa Rae Simons, bangers and mash on the menu, and an all-natural green-coloured beer on tap (OK, this one gets a pass, I guess). Sunday, March 17.


Moody Ales (Port Moody)

Live music from the Digby Scallops and Irish-inspired beers on tap. Sunday, March 17.


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