Why Do We Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick's Day Beer

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably think of beer—green beer, to be specific.

But why do we drink green beer on St. Patricks’ Day? Here’s an explanation of the tradition:

  • We drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day because green is the color of shamrocks, which are traditionally associated with the holiday.
  • Green beer is an American tradition, not an Irish one. As late as 1985, the Irish were still discovering the trend.
  • The first green beer was reportedly served in 1914 at a Bronx social club by an Irish coroner in New York City named Dr. Hayes Curtin. However, it’s possible that green beers were served earlier than that.
  • Back then, the green color was actually poison! It came from a drop of an iron wash solution that was used to whiten clothes. No need to worry, though. Nowadays green beer gets its color from nontoxic blue or green food coloring.
  • “Green beer” used to mean something else entirely. The term referred to beer that had not been fermented long enough, making anyone who drank it feel unwell. Thanks to better beer production, the only green beer you’re likely to encounter these days is the kind served by your local Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, so it’s time to stock up on beer. If you’re making green beer at home, we recommend using our Shock Top Belgian White or Bud and Bud Light. Place your order from Triangle Distributing today and get ready to celebrate all things Irish!