Here’s some great pubs to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day

Having a few drinks on St. Patrick’s Day go hand-in-hand, but not for the reason you might think.

It may not be a day off for us on the West Coast, but in Newfoundland and Labrador, and of course Ireland and Northern Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday—and a well-earned holiday.

If you didn’t know, the day commemorates St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, but now, it’s mostly a celebration of the heritage and culture of the Irish—like me and my family!

My family is mostly from Northern Ireland and I can guarantee I will be bombarded with sloppily-written text messages and chaotic video calls Friday morning (which is Friday evening to them). I’ll be lucky to make out a few words, but I’ll make sure to return the favour on Friday night.

Drinking and St. Patrick’s Day go hand-in-hand, but not for the reason you might think: Catholic Lent restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol lift for the day, making it a historically indulgent day for most Catholics—and now, everybody.

In that spirit, many people will be heading to pubs to celebrate the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day.

And there’s a few particularly great places that came to my mind for celebrating.

Here they are.

Irish Times

This one’s a no-brainer—it’s in the name and you know they’re going to celebrate in style. Irish Times will likely be packed with people celebrating St. Paddy’s day, but they’re celebrating all weekend too—specifically with an Irish Whisky Hooley hosted by the Greater Victoria Festival Society on Sunday afternoon.

The whiskey-tasting event at the Irish Times Pub is bound to be a hoot!

Bard & Banker Pub

Not too far down the road, Bard & Banker is likely to have similar St. Paddy’s day celebration (sans Hooley). But I can guarantee all the old and young bucks will be out having a few Guinesses and a few whiskeys in celebration of old St. Patrick and the fighting Irish.

Bard & Banker has the Irish and English style pub down pat, so it’s a great place to hang your hat.

Smith’s Pub

If you want to celebrate at a pub, but you don’t want the chaos Irish Times might bring, consider heading off the beaten Government Street path and going to Smith’s.

It’s an old-school-style pub with great craft beers. In fact, the last time I went I bumped into an Irish guy and we had a chat about his home country.

The Beagle Pub

If you’re in James Bay and you don’t want to walk (stumble) too far home, head to the Beagle Pub.

It’s got great pub fare, a lively atmosphere, and a great selection of beer—and yes, Guinness. In fact, the Beagle is tapping a keg of Guinness in ample anticipation of a busy night.

The Penny Farthing

I feel like my family would shun me if they knew I was putting an Olde English style pub on a list of places to visit on St. Patricks’ Day, but alas: this is the perfect place to celebrate in Oak Bay.

It’s cozy, everybody is friendly, and they’ve got a great menu. Plus, the Guinness is tapped and ready.

Moon Under Water Pub and Distillery

If you’re around Rock Bay, Moon Under Water is a must-visit. It’s got a neighbourhood pub vibe and its bartenders are always serving something unique and creative. This weekend, its Shamrock shafts and Green Lightside of the Moon Session Lager.