By Lizzy Buczak

Green beer is a staple of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.

What you didn’t know is that green beer has a history that dates back to 1914!

Here are a few fun facts about green beer that might come in handy at the bar.

  1. It is assumed to have been created by Dr. Thomas Curtin, a corner’s physician and eye surgeon. He colored beer green for the first time in the Bronx in 1914.
  2. Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History says the custom is known as “drowning the shamrock.” Drinkers really added green shamrock’s to their drinks to celebrate.
  3. While the beer is green, the best beer is made from BLUE food coloring. Why? It balances a beer’s natural yellowish hue to give you the perfect green!
  4. Some beers like Dogfish Head experimented with adding spirulina, a blue-green algae, to achieve the color. So healthy beer right?


Want to make your own and avoid all the crowds at the bars?

You’ll only need 3 things – beer, a glass and green food coloring.


  1. Put 3-5 drops of green food coloring in a pint glass.
  2. If you’re using food coloring in the little squeeze bottles, the green is the best option as the blue makes it more turquoise.
  3. Grab a light colored beer like a pilsner or pale ale and slowly pour it into the glass.
  4. For a brighter more vibrant color, add a few drops of coloring in after you pour the beer in.
  5. Serve it up solo or with some delicious Irish snack!



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