Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day: What’s the Story?

Two of the most popular associations with St. Patrick’s Day are beer and the color green. People love to enjoy their favorite brews while celebrating in festive green attire. It’s all well-known tradition. However, what’s perhaps lesser known is the combination of the two that is becoming a St. Patrick’s Day hit!  

Green beer is a fun option for some St. Patrick’s Day creativity and Americans have latched on to the idea. It’s super easy to make, and anyone can do it at home. Simply crack open a light-colored beer and add a drop of green food coloring. It doesn’t change the flavor or any of the beer’s characteristics, only its color.

Surprisingly, the idea of colored beer originated a while back. It is said that in 1914, coroner’s physician and eye surgeon Dr. Thomas Curtain first colored beer for a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Schnerer Club of Morrisania in the Bronx in 1914.

Today, the idea lives on, even beyond St. Patrick’s Day. Green Beer Day began at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Participants dye their beer green and commonly begin festivities as early as 5 AM. It’s celebrated annually on the Thursday before Spring Break.

When it comes to choosing the right beer, light-colored brews are best for getting the strongest green coloring. However, if you play around with a darker beer you will see an interesting effect. Stouts and dark beers are too dark to show off much of a green hue, but the head will take on the green coloring and turn the foam green: although it may not last long it’s cool to try.

If you haven’t jumped on the green beer wagon yet, give it a try this year. Not only is it creative and fun, it’s an easy way to find more holiday spirit. Don’t forget to stop by your local store for all things St. Patrick’s Day: we have food coloring and beer, plus lots more festive foods like scratch-made Irish Soda Bread!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

21+. Please drink responsibly.