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How to Make Green Beer for St. Patrick's Day 2018

Green beer in the Molly Malone's Irish Pub seen during Saint Patricks Day celebration on March 17, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. (Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images)

St. Patrick's Day: a day of drinking and merriment for all, Irish-blooded or not. If you're a fan of St. Patrick's Day, you'll likely be out and about celebrating this weekend and that revelry will probably include some consumption of green beer. Not everyone is a fan of green beer, but it sure is festive. According to Food & Wine, green beer's origins can be traced back to a doctor. A coroner's physician and eye surgeon named Dr. Thomas Curtin first colored beer green for a St. Patrick's Day party at the Schnorrer Club of Morrisania in 1914 in the Bronx, New York. His inspiration may have stemmed from an old Irish custom in which people would add green shamrocks to their drinks for St. Paddy's Day. They referred to this as "drowning the shamrock."

Curtin actually used an iron powder called "wash blue" that was used to whiten clothes. While nobody would recommend using blue detergent, to this day blue coloring is still the best way to achieve the perfect green-hue. That's thanks to beer's natural yellow color. If you're ready to drown the shamrock and want to make green beer of your own, you're in luck.


St. Patrick's Day Green Beer Recipe

  1. Use a light-colored beer. The lighter the hue, the greener the beer. Darker beers would require too much food coloring, which could change the flavor of the beer.
  2. Add your food-coloring. You can use green dye if you so choose, but blue food coloring is recommended, especially if you are using a yellow-hued light beer. Start with only three drops of food dye to the bottom of your glass. As you pour the beer in, the color will mix in making it a lovely green. If you want a deeper color green, add more coloring.
  3. Now raise a glass to Ireland and drink up.