Beamish Irish Stout
Similar to Guinness in bitterness and texture, Beamish is the third member of the Big Three and is a big deal in Ireland.
How big? William Beamish and William Crawford established the brewery back in 1792, so more than three centuries worth of big. So big, in fact, that when Heineken International was getting ready to take over the Beamish and Crawford brewery in 2006, Ireland's Competition Authority put out a report on the state of stout in Ireland. The result: not good.
The authority's inquiry found that stout had dwindled from 70% of Irish beer market share in the 1970s to just 30% by 2006. Beamish wouldn't be immune to the downsizing after the Heineken takeover in 2008. The following year, 120 Beamish workers were let go and the remaining 40 were sent over to the Murphy's brewery. That same year, Heineken halted all Beamish exports.
It's a shame, as it's a nice blend of caramel, cocoa and coffee sweet from roasted barley to match the slight, hoppy bitterness at the finish. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in a place that's managed to get some cans or even kegs brought over from Ireland, park yourself there to enjoy the slight 4.1% ABV and the brown lace foam's long journey down your pint glass.