Great Beer: The beer that put Long Ireland on the map


Long Ireland Celtic Ale

I had envisioned launching into a nostalgic yarn about my origin story.

I was going to tell you all about how, before I became a full-blown craft beer geek I, like my fellow, cretinous fraternity brothers, drank Busch, Bud, Milwaukee’s Best (The Beast!) and pretty much anything that went for $5 a 12-pack.

I was going to mention the few beers that acted as a gateway of sorts for me — such as Bass Ale, one of the vanguards that sent me on my way down The Path.

In a clarion voice I would gush about how Long Ireland Beer Company’s Pale Ale reminds me of my beloved Bass.

Things went awry when I took my first sip. Rather than the biscuit, toffee-like notes of Bass (and the Pale Ale), my tongue was slathered with a slick, slightly bitter wash that made me realize that this thing was a red ale. 

I bought the wrong goddam beer. 

I somehow ended up with a six of Long Ireland’s Celtic Ale.

No matter. I am a trooper and a consummate professional. I am drinking this thing! And writing about it too!

The nose itself is some kind of tartish fruit. My beloved biscuit nose lingers in the background, like your little brother in the backseat of your car as you take your girl out on a date. 

The taste is sharpish, slick, and a tad sour. I am reminded why, in general, I do not dig Reds.

But a lot of people do. And this beer itself ain’t half bad and at 5% ABV, so it’s not hard to understand why it’s the beer that put Long Ireland on the craft brew map. I would say the Celtic Ale would be great for wings (the more scorching, the better), a barbecue with, say, really sweet and smoky pork, a Long island Ducks game or watching sports on the tube — basically any place where beer is needed but not the focus.

Per Beer Advocate, other beers representative of this style are: Smithwick’s Ale, Newcastle Werewolf, and Murphy’s Irish Red to name a few of the more well-known ones. If you like those, you will most likely enjoy this.

We’re halfway to St. Patrick’s Day — which Long Ireland marked Saturday with its fifth-annual party at their Riverhead brewery — so now is as good a time as ever to give this a shot. 

Many have found this to be a great beer for their St Patrick’s Day lineup.

Me? I’ll be heading back to Bellport Beer for Long Ireland’s Pale Ale, methinks.