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Irish Beer for St. Patrick’s Day: To Go Green or Not To Go Green

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There’s one thing that may be more traditional than corned beef for the Irish, what could it be you ask? Beer of course. And whether you’re heading to the Shamrock party downtown, celebrating in a small bar, or at home with friends and family, you can add some traditional (or less traditional) beers to your festivities. But the real question is, should you go green with your beer?

Although green beer isn’t really an Irish tradition, dying your beer to fit the St. Patrick’s Day color of choice is fun and festive. If you want to dye your beer green, all you need is some green food coloring and a light beer so the color shows through.

Many food coloring boxes stick to primary colors, and green might not be available. If your elementary school education serves you correctly you should know that blue and yellow make green, so not to worry if you get to the store and find green to be missing from the shelves.

You can also dye other drinks green, if you’re not a beer fan (try lemon-lime soda for the under 21 crowd or the designated drivers or an apple tini for those looking for something sweet).

GuinnessIf you’d rather not dye your tongue green with green beer to show your Irish spirit, maybe you’d prefer to go the more traditional route. And when most people think of traditional Irish beer, they think Guinness.

Guinness is a traditional Irish Stout with a rich consistency and slight bitterness from the roasted malt.  Some say Guinness can be a meal supplement from all the antioxidants from the hops and barley. Maybe we won’t go so far in recommending you replace your breakfast or lunch with a Guinness, but it’s definitely a great beer to enjoy if you only plan to have one or two (because they can be filling).

Murphys Irish Beer

Other dark beers and stouts you can try if Guinness isn’t your thing are Murphy’s Irish Stout which is known for its smooth and balanced mocha flavor that blends well with coffee and chocolate, and Beamish Stout, a dense, malty, dark and chocolaty stout. Out of all the stouts, this one is the most full-bodied and should be savored slowly.

For those looking for a lighter beer, try Harp Lager. This light tasting beer is similar to domestic lagers, so if you don’t usually step out of your comfort zone, this could be the one for you. Smithwick’s Irish Ale is another favorite. This smooth red ale with caramel maltiness and a hint of hops is a great beer to try as well.

Want to venture into the mixed drink category? Check out our story from last year’s St. Patrick’s Day for some recipes.

There are many more Irish beers to choose from, and many liquor stores and grocery stores should be well stocked today. Just remember, enjoy responsibly and be safe out there.


San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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