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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheese & Beer o' the Irish

This year, before you don your green and head out for some scary green beer, check out some of Ireland's finer exports!

Irish Cheese

Willem's Family Farm
Macroom, County Cork, Ireland

Originally from Holland, the Willems family moved to Ireland more than 20 years ago to make their Gouda-style cheese. Made from Pasteurized cow's milk and aged 12 months, Coolea is semi-hard with notes of caramel. Perfect with Porter!

Cashel Blue
Grubb Family Farm
Suir Valley, Tipperary, Ireland

In 1984, Cashel Blue became the first blue cheese produced in Ireland. It's made from Pasteurized cow's milk and aged for six months. It's name comes from the Rock of Cashel in South Tipperary. Rich and creamy with a salty tang, Cashel Blue is mild enough for people who don't like a strong blue, but flavorful enough for true blue cheese lovers. Try it with an Irish pear cider!

Cahill's Irish Porter
Cahill's Farm
Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland

Cahill's Irish Porter is handcrafted with Pasteurized Cow's  milk from Limerick and North Cork counties. The addition of Guinness Porter gives it a unique marbled appearance. Rich caramel flavors and a semi-firm texture make this cheese great for snacking. Try it (of course) with a pint of your favorite Irish Porter!

Gubbeen Farm
Schull, County Cork, Ireland

Love a good stinky (washed rind) cheese? Tom & Giana Ferguson have just the cheese for you! For 8 months of the year, their cows graze on the lush grasses of West Cork, producing the flavorful milk used to create Gubbeen. Semi-soft with a washed rind, Gubbeen is made with traditional rennet and aged 6-8 weeks to produce a rich and pungent earthiness.

Aged Irish Cheddar                                                     

Started over 40 years ago shortly after the creation of the Irish Dairy Board, Kerrygold sources milk from small family owned dairy farms throughout Ireland, and uses it to craft their many cheeses and rich Irish butter. Made from pasteurized cow's milk, their vintage Cheddar is very limited in production and is aged 2 years. 

 Irish Beer

Guinness Stout
St. James Gate Brewery
Dublin, Ireland
 It all started in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed the legendary 9,000-year lease on the St. James Gate Brewery. The rich black beer with a creamy head and notes of roasted malt born at St. James gate has since become in many opinions THE Irish beer. In 1840 the first shipment of Guinness set sail for New York. More than just a beer, to many, Guinness is a ritual. Poured slowly in stages in order to create the perfect balance of supple and frothy, and in some cases layered with other brews to create a "beer cocktail"; every Guinness lover has their favorite way to enjoy this classic Irish favorite.

O'Hara's Irish Stout

Carlow Brewing Company

Bagenalstown, County Carlow, Ireland

One of the newer Irish breweries, Carlow Brewing Company was founded in 1996 by Seamus O'Hara and began production in 1998. O'Hara's Irish Stout is wonderfully complex with notes of coffee and cocoa. 

Harp Lager

Guinness Brewery

Dundalk, Ireland

From the fine folks that bring us Guinness, Harp lager was first produced in 1960 in response to the rising popularity of continental lagers. After being purchased by Diageo, Harp was separated from Guinness in 2005. Light & smooth, Harp is a great pint for a warm afternoon. 


Smithwick's Brewery

Kilkenny, Ireland

 In 1710 John Smithwick (pronounced SMID-ick) founded his brewery on the site of a Franciscan monastery used by monks to make beer since the 14th century. It remains Ireland's oldest operating brewery. Due to religious and political issues, it wasn't until 1827 that the Smithwick name hung over the brewery. Though the brewery was sold to Guinness in 1965, and later along with Guinness became a part of Diageo, it continues to produce it's Irish Red Ale just as it has for centuries. Smithwick's rated one of the top 5 best tasting beers in Ireland by the McHale Beer Tasting Club in Ireland. I tend to agree!

So, before settling on a plastic cup of green Budweiser, why not opt for some REAL Irish beer, and be sure to try some of Ireland's fantastic cheeses! 

St. Pat's in T-Town:

Looking for tasty cheeses? You can find many of these cheeses locally at:

Ladonna's Fancy Foods
1615 E. 15th St.
Tulsa, OK 74120

Whole Foods Market
1401 E. 41st St. 
Tulsa, OK 74105

Looking for beer? You can find these beers (and just about any other beer you may be after) at 
Collin's Midtown Liquor
    1685 S. Yale Ave
    Tulsa, OK 74112

Wanting to find these tasty brews out and about? Check out these great local spots and their St. Pat's Day Festivities!

On Cherry Street:

Kilkenny's Irish Pub
1413 E. 15th St.
Tulsa, OK 74120


James E. McNellie's Public House
409 E. 1st St.
Tulsa, OK 74120

Arnie's Bar
318 E. 2nd Street
Tulsa, OK 74120


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