I’m of Irish descent. If you couldn’t tell by my name perhaps my St. Patrick’s Day rant last year tipped you off. I’m proud of my heritage, so it should be of little surprise that my next foray into our Colorado historical beer series (1916 being the first) would be a dry Irish stout.

The Irish played an important role in Colorado history. During the mining boom of the late 1800’s, the Irish flocked to Colorado to flee from discrimination in eastern cities and work the mines in the flourishing West. Leadville in particular boasted a particularly large Irish immigrant population.

Out of the mining boom, the Irish were able to establish themselves as part of the community through saloon ownership. From there, they became trusted members of the community and eventually held political office in Denver. Such prominent Irishmen such as JK Mullen and Jack Healey have secured their place in Denver history.

The story of the Irish in Colorado is the story of the American dream of hard work and success. I believe that after a long day in the mines or a long day as a saloon operator, Denver’s Irish immigrants would have sat down to a big mug of dry Irish stout. A BIG mug is the important part. So, as a tip of the hat to all of that hard work and endurance, we will be serving our dry Irish stout in 20oz mugs. We have dubbed the beer O’Connell’s Lead Stout, a tribute to yet another Irishman who’s found success in a saloon in Denver (maybe I’ll be mayor someday?), and a tribute to Leadville, the place where the Irish first found a home in Colorado.

Another saloon proprietor, in Troy, NY (thanks Dave from the Ruck), recently told me that his mission is fellowship for the community. Renegade has that same mission, but I had never used that word to describe it. So in an act of blatant theft, come join us for some great beer and fellowship! Sláinte!