Sure, it's dark, sure, it may seem filling, but as beer choices go -- caloric and otherwise -- you can do much worse than Guinness (expected to be a popular choice in bars and pubs around the country today).
A 12-ounce bottle of Guinness Draught will provide 126 calories. The same amount of Guinness Extra Stout offers 153. And Harp (note to beer-drinking neophytes: it's a lager from Ireland, so you can choose it if you're no fan of stouts but still want to be in the spirit of things) comes in at 142.
Twelve ounces of Budweiser, inevitably used as a comparison for such things, offers 145 calories. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale comes in at 175. That latter company's stout packs a 225-calorie punch, and its Bigfoot, I'd like to point out, comes in at 330. Seriously. 330.
A fine drink, to be sure, but 330 calories?
If you're drinking by the pint -- and today, you probably will be -- that'll be 210 calories for 16 ounces of Guiness, says Calorie Count.
Here's some similar information on soda bread (it's best not to drink on an empty stomach, after all):
-- 267 calories per serving in this L.A. Times recipe.
-- 192 calories in this AllRecipes.com version.
So soda bread isn't a nutritional powerhouse -- it's a fine accompaniment to many things nonetheless.
And because we've your best interests at heart, we'll remind you of Jeannine Stein's blog post earlier in the day: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a drink or three? Read this first. (It's about what alcohol does to the body -- not the calories, just the alcohol).
-- Tami Dennis
Photo credit: Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images