For those that have not traveled to Ireland or have yet to step foot into an authentic Irish Pub, we have a wee bit of advice.
Ordering a Black & Tan is a pretty serious insult to the Irish.
You likely know the drink. A layering of the slightly more buoyant Guinness Stout on top of the paler, more dense, Harp Lager. “Black & Tan” seems a pretty good name. But it turns out the tasty mix of roasty malt and floral hoppiness is not the only place Irish folks have seen that particular pattern.
You see, back in the early 1920's, England sent forces over to Ireland to try and suppress the IRA. Violence and brutality were the chief hallmarks of these forces, and they terrorized the people of Ireland. Known officially as the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, they wore khakis and black shirts, and “Black & Tans” became their moniker. Even though this happened nearly a century ago, the memory of their brutality lives on.
So when going for your favorite St. Patrick's Day beer this weekend, best to ask for a Half & Half. And by golly, order me one too!