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A St. Patrick's Day Tradition - Green Beer

Updated on February 4, 2013

To Beer or Not to Beer on St. Patrick's Day

While looking for something funny to write about for St. Patrick's Day, I came across a laugh out loud beer hat. So I decided to search for green beer to see where it originated and why people drink it. I found much more than I bargained for and so I am passing on this important knowledge for anyone considering a night of celebration with green beer.


Green Beer
Green Beer

When Did Beer Turn Green

How Green Is My Beer

Whatever I tell you about the origins of green beer is pure folklore and must be taken with a grain of hops. The consensus is that this custom started in America. Boston or New York seem to be the favored birthplaces. It could have been the nineteenth century but certainly by the twentieth century America was in full green drinking mode. An early documented account occurred around 1914 at a New York social club where green beer was served at a St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Who would have invented something like green beer? Would you believe Dr. Curtin, a coroner, has the dubious distinction of being named the creator of this exotic drink?

Photo: Stock Photos

Leprechaun Holding Beer Mug
Leprechaun Holding Beer Mug

Do You Really Want to Know How Green Beer is Made

Well, You Should Have Said No

Green beer, it is said, is the combination of an unspecified amount of blue dye in an unspecified amount of beer. Don't worry there are lots of recipes that will suggest what that mixture should be, but the original concoction remains a well guarded family secret. Today almost all recipes use green food coloring and light beer. Blue was the original dye used, since way back in time blue was the color associated with St. Patrick.

Here is one of many recipes I found in my very careful search for the origins and uses of green beer.

Start with light colored beer and add three to six drops of green food coloring per 12 to 16 ounces of beer. Stir. Can anything be more simple to do?

Photo: Image is clickable to original site


Why Is Everything Green

Something to Do With Ireland

As I said the original color for St. Patrick's Day was blue. But green came into vogue as early as the seventeenth century as the color of choice to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Green became a symbol of Ireland because it so rainy in this lovely country that everything is always green. In fact, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. So whenever one wears green it is a tribute to the lush Irish landscape. If you wear green on St. Patrick's Day you will have the Luck of the Irish, which I assume is good.

Photo: Wallpaper, image is clickable to original site.

Toothbrush and Mouth Wash
Toothbrush and Mouth Wash

A Word of Caution

Watch the Green in Your Beer

So here we are with our great green beer hat and our filled mug of green beer ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Before you put that mug of green to your lips may I spoil your fun for just a moment. When was the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned? None of my business you say. Well, I am only trying to protect those pearly whites.

If your teeth are not pearly white, then you may have to rethink that glass of green beer or you will have green stuck to your teeth. The green dyes adhere to plaque like they were made for each other, so perhaps a trip to the dentist for a professional clean should be considered if you want to enjoy your green beer without the after effects.

Don't fret, there is a cheaper way to help ward off green morning teeth. Brush well and use mouthwash before you go to bed. What you do for your morning hangover is another story.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Oh My Everything is Green

Of course, you are going to wear your funniest, favorite, brightest green outfit and sing all the Irish songs you know. If you are in New York, watch the Empire State Building turn green. How about if you live in Chicago? Look for the Chicago River in all its green glory.

You could go green for the whole day by eating naturally green foods, forget the dye green beer is enough, buy an eco-friendly product, tell your neighbor to brush his teeth before your party - maybe not!


St. Patrick's Day is a Day for Wearing Green

So many holidays, so much fun. Is St. Patrick's Day a fun day for you?

Do You Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day

What do You Think - Your Opinion is Valuable to Me

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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Trying to support Holiday lenses... thanks for doing so as well! ;-)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      That is definitely a LOL hat. I did not enjoy any green beer this year, but have certainly had my share in the past.

    • wadsworth lm profile image

      wadsworth lm 

      7 years ago

      I love green beer, just as long as I do not drink too much.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      7 years ago

      Fun lens! I've only had green beer once, just for the sake of saying that I had some. It tasted just the same - naturally. I learned a lot here, thanks!


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