The History of Green Beer

Mar 8th 2020

St. Paddy’s day is just around the corner, and it’s got us thinking about what makes the holiday so special: Irish folk music, corned beef and cabbage, shamrocks, pots of gold—and green beer, of course! While we’re excited to celebrate this beloved holiday, we can’t help but wonder where the tradition of drinking green beer came from. Just how did drinking green beer become a St. Patrick’s day staple?

Surprisingly, the colorful beer isn’t an Irish-born tradition. The beverage, which uses a little blue food coloring and a whole lot of moxie, is said to have actually been created in America by Professor Thomas H. Curtin in 1914. The story has it that Curtin, a physician, wanted to make a green beer for his clubhouse, so he began tinkering with different concoctions. Lo and behold, blue food coloring was the secret ingredient Curtin needed. The blue hue mixed with the natural yellow of the beer to make the perfect green brew.

Despite the claims that Curtin came up with the creation, variations of green beer were making the rounds a few years prior. In 1910, the Spokane Press published a story with the headline, “Green Beer Be Jabbers!” The story was about a bar called First Avenue Bar serving the drink to a group of patriotic Irishmen, and if the author’s poetic description of the beverage is anything to go by, he may have indulged in a pint or two. The article reads, “It is a regular beer, apparently it has not been colored locally, it tastes like beer and looks like paint, or rather like the deep green waves in mid-ocean with the sun striking them through.”

Phew! Green beer bejabbers, indeed!

After the Irishman and other patrons got their first sip of the green brew, its popularity grew rapidly. explains, “By the '50s, green beer was a mainstream symbol of a holiday that was becoming less specifically Irish and more American. The tradition spread across the country, and bartenders caught on that it was easy to make green beer and even easier to drink it. Eventually, the beverage became so popular that it went international, too. As late as 1985, United Press International reported that the Irish were still being introduced to the delicious, unusual drink made in their honor.”Whether indulging in the popular drink is on your to-do list or not this St. Paddy’s Day, there are other ways to get in on the fun. Our St. Patrick’s Day themed kits are the perfect way to show your Irish pride—and ensure you don’t get pinched!

McGillicuddy Full Persian Chain Maille Bracelet

May the Luck of the Irish be with you when you make this Full Persian bracelet that would make any Irish leprechaun green with envy.

Summer Day in Tipperary

Just the mention of Ireland and the image of the vibrant green fields of Tipperary come to mind. The sweeping pastoral views only enhance a sunny summer day in this peaceful place. Tipperary Castle, with its magnificent residence and lush tapestry of rich green Irish fields, is a balm to the soul.

No matter if you choose to celebrate the holiday with Guinness in hand or hunting for four-leaf clovers, just know that we, the Weave of the Maille, are wishing you a happy and safe St. Paddy’s Day.