At 4 percent, draft Guinness has a relatively low alcohol content. That will help some people drink from the time they get off work on St. Patrick’s Day until the time they should be waking up for work the next day. Others, though, will still get pretty wasted, helping the holiday live up to its nickname, “Amateur Day.”
While St. Patrick’s Day has religious origins, the American iteration is less about patron saints and more about pitchers and pints. We meld stereotypes of Irish and Scottish culture together and embrace the one-eighth, -12th or -16th of Irish blood that we might have. Those who don’t have any Irish in them — which probably includes many who say they have Irish in them — can simply wear green and fit right in.
Here are a few Irish and not-so-Irish pubs to pop into on Paddy’s Day. Go out and eat, drink and dance to loud, fast music. The pipe bands will be making the rounds, so if you bar hop you might see the same group at more than one place.
For a relatively authentic Irish/Scottish experience
The Irishmen, downtown Everett’s Irish pub, has been celebrating “St. Paddy’s Day” the whole month. March 17 will be especially raucous, with live music beginning as early as 2 p.m. and Guinness being poured the right way — in two shots so that the foam settles. The shows go on after Monday, with live Irish music on March 21, 22 and 29.
Shawn O’Donnell’s kicked off a week of St. Patrick’s Day festivities with Irish Pub Trivia on March 11. It opens at 7 a.m. on Monday for a full day of events, including face painting, a magician, a beer garden, a buffet and, of course, bagpipes. They can offer you special rates at the Comfort Inn across the street if you’re the type who can’t handle your Guinness.
A younger crowd
O’Finnigans on Highway 99, known for “White Trash Wednesday” and trays of Jell-O shots, will have a tent out front with homemade food cooked up by the mother of one of the owners. There won’t be any pipe bands inside; instead, karaoke will be blasting as it is every night at O’Finnigans. Someone will at least sing U2.
Located on the southern border of Snohomish County, Getaway Tavern in Mountlake Terrace is stationed between your local nightlife scene and downtown Seattle. That means you can feel like you’re going out on the town while also cutting your designated driver some slack. Sing karaoke, chow down cabbage and play pool and pinball with a crowd in their 20s and 30s.
Focus on the food
McMenamins in Mill Creek will celebrate with food specials. They’ll have corned beef and cabbage, Irish Reuben and Irish stew that you can wash down with an Irish Stout Nitro beer or Irish coffee. One bagpiper will be playing.
If you’re in Marysville, check out Home Plate Pub for some grub. They’ll be serving up the St. Patrick’s Day classics with a pipe band for entertainment at 7 p.m.
For a friendly atmosphere
Kroakers will change its name to “PC O’Ruckers” in order to become the only Irish bar on Rucker Avenue. Expect to find friendly neighborhood vibes inside and cabbage bowling outside. Expect corned beef sliders and drink specials.
For a very laid-back vibe
Stop by The Scotsman, a small restaurant buried in a residential area of Mukilteo. It has a full menu as well as extensive wine list, but owner George K. Black of Scotland runs it like a pub back home. Live music will come in the form of soothing acoustic guitar, not blaring bagpipes. The place holds about 30 with additional seating outside.
For those who want more than Guinness
Scuttlebutt Brewing Company has bagpipes and drums scheduled for 4:30 p.m. And lots and lots of beer.