Putting on the green is a daily event at many East Bay bars, and as far as great beer joints go, there are plenty. But when it comes to green beer, only one thing matters: a whopping big St. Patrick’s Day celebration. So if your preferred way to honor the Irish is pipers, green beer and corned beef with cabbage, say “top o’ the day” at these fine establishments.
Brennan’s in Berkeley
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Hofbrau hours differ)
The green beer and Irish coffee flow freely on St. Patrick’s Day at this third generation family-run bar and grill. Brennan’s has been synonymous with Irish since its founding, a fact reinforced just inside the entrance where you’ll see the original 50-year-old neon sign with a leprechaun and an Irish coffee. This year there’s corned beef, cabbage and boiled red potatoes, Irish Coffee ice cream (must be 21 or older) and Irish coffee bread pudding. Also expect to find an at-capacity crowd, a piper coming in and out, and faithful regulars who consider this the place to see and be seen if you’re putting on the green.
McGee’s Bar and Grill
Hours: Mon to Sat — 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sun –10 a.m. – 2 a.m. (Grill hours differ)
After 32 years, McGee’s has it right: lots of parking, a varied menu, an outdoor patio, friendly staff, big screen TVs, and remember we said parking? No use in frustrating your designated driver just so you can have some of the 150 pounds of corned beef McGee’s serves on St. Patrick’s Day, alongside plenty of that green beer. If green beer isn’t your thing, just ask bartenders Brian, Glen, Shelly and Renee to mix up whatever makes you feel most festive.
Dublin Sports Pub and Grill
Hours: Mon to Wed — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thur to Sat — 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sun — 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Well, it is in Dublin, so of course the Dublin Sports Pub knows how to put on its St. Paddy’s Day finest: all day corned beef and green beer. Plus, with 54 beers on tap including Guinness, you know it’s the kind of spot you want to include in your St. Pat’s celebration.
E.J. Phair Brewing Company and Alehouse
Hours: Mon to Fri — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat to Sun — 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
E.J. Phair always makes St. Patrick’s Day into an event with food, live music and green beer, This year, the popular microbrewer ale house promises an event as big as ever. The menu will be varied, but E.J.s promises corned beef and cabbage, and yes, there will be a bag piper too.
Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.