In order to make sure you are set when it comes to your favorite ale this St. Patrick’s Day, or any other drinking occasion, I set forth to taste some of the more common and, not so common, alcoholic brews to help guide you on your quest.

First up is a well-publicized beer, but one that might be hard to find … Hite. Yes, that’s the name, Hite. If you’ve ever driven out to Vegas, I’m sure you’ve seen the billboards littering the desert. Tracking this one down was a must because of its strangely familiar name. After finding the beer at a local liquor store, I was pleasantly surprised to know that it was worth the search.

Hite is made from spring water, which I thought was irrelevant, but it’s not. Not by far. This almost tastes refreshing. The crisp taste of the natural water makes a huge difference and pushes along the smooth taste.

Reminiscent of a light beer, it still packs a punch, but doesn’t fill you up. The only caution with this is not to get too large of a pack. Due to its extreme drinkability, you might find yourself halfway to the wind before you even know you’re there.

Next up is a stark contrast: Smithwick’s. This red Irish beer comes from the original capital of Ireland, Kilkenny. Brewed by monks, this is Ireland’s oldest ale, and with that comes its roasted malted flavor. It leaves a slightly bitter taste in your mouth after, but once you go for the second pint, it all fades away. The alcohol content is a bit higher than normal beers and the taste is not for the faint of heart.

This beer is good to start your night with because anything after it that looks light will taste terrible, and you will be forced to turn to whiskey, which we all know is the true goal on St. Patty’s Day. There are only a few other brews that can follow this one up in taste in the same night, and that leads us to our next one on the list.

Guinness: the standard of all Irish pubs. Some say it’s the devil in disguise because of its low calorie count and wicked full-bodied taste. Or maybe it’s the fact that when coupled with a shot of Baileys mixed with Jameson, this Irish Car Bomb in the making is about as deadly as it gets.

All concoctions aside, Guinness is truly a refreshing beer with a bad rap as a heavy hitting filler-upper. The initial taste is sudden, but the rest is light. Made with the freshest water on the planet, this beer won’t weigh you down and can keep you moving all night long.

Keeping with the Irish theme I would be remiss if I left out Harp. The pale lager from the North end of Ireland is in complete contrast to those brewed in the center of the emerald isle. The taste instantly makes it easy to drink, and that makes this a top choice on any night of the week.

Popular in Canada and Australia, it is one of the tougher beers to find stateside. However, if you do manage to track this down at your local alehouse, pound away my good man. The alcohol content isn’t too heavy and the aftertaste fails to leave a heavy beer stench on the breath.

A unique fact about this particular beer is that it came from the house that built Guinness and Newcastle, and the only place you can actually find the bottles with the Harp logo are in Canada and the United States.

Last on my list is Coors Light. Why? How come? What am I thinking? Well, after tasting several beers, drinking the silver bullet from aluminum is pure in an American sort of way. It tastes as sharp as the can itself, but also mixes well with almost any other liquor you can find on the shelf. A sure bet anytime you’re looking for a refreshing bit of booze when you can’t pick anything else.

I hope this helped you in your quest for total beer domination on this American celebration with our Irish brethren. Erin Go Bragh, and may the luck of the Irish be with ya!