Green Beer for St. Patrick’s Day: Some Say ‘Yay’ and Some Say ‘Nay’
When I see barkeeps rolling out the barrels of green beer around St. Patrick's Day, it brings a bit of a smile to my heart to think of all of the lads and lassies wishing – if even for a day – to be Irish just for the craic.
Green beer doesn't actually come in barrels. It doesn't come from Ireland either but there's no need to spoil their fun. Let them think that the wee people and fairies brew the stuff in hollow trees so they might go on the gargle for a few hours while wearing shamrocks dancing on springs on their heads and bawdy plastic beads of green around their necks.
Irish Central.com says green beer was invented by an Irish-American, Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtain at a Bronx, New York social club in 1914. Dr. Curtain's family emigrated from County Carlow when he was just five years old.
According to Irish Central, Dr. Curtain used one drop of "wash blue" to turn a glass of beer green. The site says wash blue "was also, in fact, poison, an iron powder solution used to whiten clothes."
Today, food coloring is the most common way to turn beer green, however, the BruSho says there are other more natural ways to get the job done.
So what do some local folks with Irish roots think of green beer on St. Patrick's Day?
Taunton Mayor Shuanna O'Connell says, "It wouldn't be St. Patrick's day without green beer."
Fun 107 morning personality Michael Rock replied, "I'm not really a beer guy, believe it or not. I would probably be a fan, though. Green beer seems fun. I enjoyed it in my college days!"
Ray Roberts, who with his wife Cid owned New Bedford's former Bunraddy's Irish Pub during the Irish Pub Craze of the 1980s says, "Only non-Irish want it. Just a nuance."
Barry Flynn was the owner of New Bedford's former Hibernia Irish Pub, is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and was born in Carrigtwohill in County Cork, Ireland.
"I never heard of green beer until I came to America. I believe it's in Ireland now but the best Irish beer is red and you can't change that color. It's a lovely day for Guinness," he said.
Bridget Daly, who hails from Tullamore in County Offaly, Ireland, and is the proprietor of Bridget's - An Irish Tradition in Norton, Massachusetts, is a savvy and successful businesswoman. Daly is neutral on the green beer vs. no green beer debate but says she "understands that lots of people get a kick out of it."
Since Massachusetts has the second-highest percentage of residents with Irish ancestry in the nation, you can expect the beer – green or otherwise – to flow on St. Patrick's Day.