What is St. Patrick's Day?

C'est quoi la Saint-Patrick ?

Hey, what's St. Patrick's Day? Why, in just a few short years, has the whole world started to celebrate this beer-filled Irish holiday?

St. Patrick is one of Ireland's most famous patron saints: according to legend, he brought Christianity to the island, made the shamrock fashionable and freed Ireland from snakes.

March 17 marks the death of St. Patrick and has been considered a religious holiday in Ireland for over 1,500 years.

But in reality, the St. Patrick's Day we know today, and which is celebrated in most Western countries, is a fantastic publicity stunt by the Irish Tourist Board.

Yes, for a long time, St. Patrick's Day was a public holiday during Lent, when everything, including pubs, was closed. It wasn't quite the festive atmosphere we know today.

But one day, Ireland Tourism decided to take advantage of this opportunity to spread the word about their country.

Where did this masterstroke come from?

Well, quite simply, the Irish government thought it would be interesting to use this day to promote Irish culture. In the 90s, they organized a huge festival in Dublin lasting 3 days. The color green was everywhere, with Irish concerts, fireworks and, of course, processions. And of course, for any successful festivity, you need food and drink. Traditional Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, stew and stout pie are served, as well as fish and chips, which, although English, is one of the most popular dishes served in Irish pubs.

And to accompany it all, a nice Guinness.

To give you an example, today, on St. Patrick's Day, Guinness is poured worldwide at twice the rate of a normal day. That's 13 million pints, or 150L per second.

So what is Guinness?

It's a legendary beer, born in the 1700s. Its father, Arthur Guinness, made it so popular that it's one of the world's favorite beers, and the best-selling beer in Ireland. It has become a real symbol in Ireland, with advertisements that say "a Lovely day for a Guinness" or "My goodness, my Guinness". In short

How does Guinness taste?

It's a dark beer, because it's brewed with roasted malts that give it that typical coffee and chocolate taste. But despite this, it is very smooth and light. Its special feature is that it contains nitrogen instead of the classic co2, giving it a super-creamy appearance and texture on the palate. Under pressure, it's divine. And here's where they're really good at it: even in cans and bottles, they've managed to give it that texture thanks to a little nitrogen capsule. When you open the can or bottle, the contact with oxygen releases the gas into the beer, giving it the same texture just before tasting.

Where can you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Ireland has a very large diaspora. I think there are over 100 million Irish people living outside the country. That's what makes this festival so popular around the world and in Valais.

A lot of Irish pubs are going to organize a party, but also some communes or beer bars. I'm thinking of Thyon 2000 or the domino in Sion. This year, the Whitefrontier taproom will also be hosting a St. Patrick's evening, with Irish music, decorations and a fish and chips menu to match our Ireland Call beer, our nitro dry stout. For those interested, it's March 16 at 5 p.m.


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Stout-whitefrontier-Ireland'scall-nitrodrystoutIRELAND'S CALL

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