If it is any day other than St. Patrick's Day,  you'd probably send beer back if it was green.  But on that one day...people go looking for it.

Green beer isn't even an actual Irish tradition

They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  The funny thing is that many of the things we do on St. Patrick's Day aren't Irish at all! Even the corned beef and cabbage that we eat isn't a real Irish tradition.  They think that might have come from the immigrants who came here.  When they wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, often they didn't have much money.  Corned beef was cheaper meat back in the day and that's where they think the tradition came from.

Why do we drink green beer on St. Patrick's day?

According to the beverage architects at Flavorman, the story began back in 1914 with a man named Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin.  He was throwing an event and wanted to make it seem more festive.  So he figured out a way to turn everything in his restaurant green...including the beer.

His green beer wasn't made the way ours is now

In 1914, they didn't have the food colorings that we have now.  So what did he use?

Crazy enough, he actually used a product that was made to whiten laundry.  It was called "Wash Blue" and it had a blue tint.  But when you added it to the beer, it was just enough to color it green.

Didn't it make them sick?

You would think if he was adding a laundry detergent to his beer, it would make people sick...or at the very least make the beer taste awful.  But according to this story, it didn't.  That's why it caught on here in the states.

How do they make it now?

Don't buy green food coloring if you want your beer to turn green.  And definitely don't go looking for "Wash Blue" laundry detergent.  Instead use a couple drops of completely safe blue food coloring that you'd find at the store, and enjoy!

Or...you could just go buy some at these places.  I reached out on Facebook to find out where there would be green beer in WNY this year.  As it turns out, a lot of the suggestions were in the south towns.  And some of them are even offering green ciders or wines.  As always, we encourage you to call the establishment to make sure they will have it if it is a really big deal to you.


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