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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the Buffalo Irish Center

Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 16:34:07-04

Melanie Camp is at the Buffalo Irish Center on Abbott Road for St. Patrick’s Day.

Today is all about tradition and wearing of the green and for some it’s about pouring a pint. Guinness Brewery Ambassador Michael Reardon paid a visit to the Buffalo Irish Center to certify the Irish Center staff in the art of pouring a perfect pint.

There is an art to pouring the perfect pint of Guinness and Michael Reardon knows just how to do it. It is a two- part process. The perfect pour is a lesson in patience. You have to be patient and wait for the pint to settle. It doesn’t matter how busy the pub is the pint needs to settle. Reardon says the nitrogen in the beer breaks out of the beer, rushes to the top of the glass and creates that thick rich cream that Guinness is known for, and it lasts about 119.5 seconds and then you go for the second part of the pour which is called the top-off. The beer goes directly under the spout and the spout should never touch the liquid or the glass. You actually push the top handle away from you which gives you flow control and you are going to bring that cream to the top of the glass just proud of the rim, let is settle for a few more seconds and there is you perfect glass of Guinness.

There are so many deep traditions with St. Patrick’s Day. Randy McPhee, vice chairman, Buffalo Irish Center says there was a state religion in Ireland, which was Catholic, and St. Patrick’s Day was a holy day of obligation for Catholics and most people in Ireland simply just went to church and went home. He says it wasn’t a big deal.

Mel says it wasn’t always good to be Irish in America or Australia. There was a lot of discrimination against Irish people, so the parades were about celebrating the culture that not everybody respected. Randy McPhee says the Delaware parade, the larger of the two actually started in the 1800’s with the Irish who made it somewhat into the middle class in what they used to call steam heat with nothing to eat. He says it was to show they made it into society, that they made it into the professions, they were a respectable people, and it was to celebrate the Irish culture and heritage and their climbing of the ladder in America where of course, we use to have signs that would say I.N.A. or Irish Need Not Apply.

There are two parades this weekend. The old first ward which is the smaller of the two and that’s on Saturday and the large parade on Delaware Avenue on Sunday. Randy says it is a wonderful thing, it’s a hopeful thing and that’s why we are so welcoming at the Irish Center of everybody. You don’t have to be Irish to come here. He says we are open to the public, we are not a club. Mel says there are so many activities to do here. There is a great bar there for socializing but they also do language classes and culture classes. There are various cultural organizations that meet there, and Randy says they all have a home.

Who was St. Patrick? Randy says he spread Christianity to the Irish. The three-leaf shamrock is how he taught the pagans the father, the son and the holy ghost, the religious idea that they were all the same but different gathered in one entity.

Laura Gill, Tom Gang and Company Catering joins Mel. Today they will be serving 150 to 200 traditional Irish breakfasts and tomorrow they will be serving between 500 and 600 people with the Civic Irish luncheon, so a traditional corned beef cabbage lunch.

Mel is ready to try a traditional Irish breakfast with blond and blood sausage, bangers, Irish bacon, eggs, tomatoes and home fries. Laura says the Irish are mainly farmers and this is what they farmed from the land. Laura says it is a traditional farm to table breakfast.

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