Belly up. This St. Patrick's Day also marks the 250th anniversary of the beer most famously associated with Ireland, Guinness. Whatever your choice of ale, Gregg Glaser, an editor with Modern Brewery Age, All About Beer and Yankee Brew News, shares with Ron Schoolmeester for USA TODAY his list of favorite places to pour a pint on this side of the Atlantic.
Nine Fine Irishmen Las Vegas Build a pub in Ireland, ship it to the USA, then plunk it down on the Vegas Strip — what a concept! But that's exactly the story of Nine Fine Irishmen, a pub in Sin City's New York-New York Hotel and Casino. "It even has the distinction of selling more Guinness than any other bar in the entire country (171,500 pints last year)," Glaser says. 702-740-6463; ninefineirishmen.com
McGuire's Irish Pub Pensacola, Fla. This pub is also the place for grub. "Noted for cooking up some of the best Irish fare in the Southeast, McGuire's has been awarded Florida Trend Magazine's Golden Spoon Award for the past 13 years," Glaser says. "Be sure to try the Irish boxtys (garlic mashed potatoes rolled in herbed bread crumbs and flash fried) on the appetizer menu — they're as good as any you'll find in Dublin. And the drinks aren't bad, either." 850-433-6789; mcguiresirishpub.com
Pour the Perfect Pint New York City This is one of two pubs of the same name in Manhattan — the first is the popular watering hole at Times Square. This four-floor pub is a few blocks away at 203 E. 45th St. "What's different is the décor," Glaser says. "You'll feel like you're actually enjoying a beer in Dublin, thanks to the Irish bric-a-brac, authentic gas lamps and thatched walls on the rooftop deck." 212-867-8159; theperfectpintnyc.com
Irish Snug Denver This is one of the few pubs in the nation that has what's called a "snug" inside, Glaser says. "A snug is a small, private room with direct access to the bar. While you might not want to seclude yourself on St. Patrick's Day, this will give you a true Irish pub experience." 303-839-1394; irishsnug.com
StatsAtlanta "Most people might not typically consider a sports bar an ideal place to raise a pint on St. Paddy's Day," Glaser says, "but Stats in Atlanta is the exception. The best part is their unique setup whereby a table for bar patrons houses taps, so that you can pour your own pint instead of waiting for your bartender to do it." St. Patrick's Day is a bit more subdued here. "Their festivities won't be centered around loud music and shot girls, but rather communion with good friends and family." 404-885-1472; statsatl.com/home.php
Tom Bergin's Tavern Los Angeles This place is perhaps best known for its Irish coffee (coffee and Irish whiskey topped with whipped cream). But there's plenty more. "Upon entering you are immediately drawn to the famous 'Horse Shoe Bar,' which is said to have been the inspiration for the TV show Cheers," Glaser says. "Another inspiration for the show, according to lore, was the pub's 'regulars' vibe, which is brought to life through the thousands upon thousands of cut-out shamrocks, each bearing the names of happy bar patrons that have flocked to this famous pub over the years." 323-936-7151; tombergins.com