How to Make Green Beer

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the excitement for green-themed festivities, parades, and particularly green beer, bubbles up! But what’s the story behind this vibrant brew, and how can you safely enjoy it at your celebrations? Let’s explore the whimsical world of green beer, ensuring your St. Paddy’s Day is both festive and informed.

How to Make Green Beer

Creating green beer for St. Patrick’s Day is a fun and easy way to add a splash of color to your celebrations. Here’s how you can do it:


  • Light-colored beer (pale ale, lager, or pilsner works best)
  • Green food coloring (liquid or gel)


  1. Choose Your Beer: Select a light-colored beer to ensure the green color shows up vividly. A clear glass will display the color best.
  2. Add the Food Coloring: Before pouring the beer, add a few drops of green food coloring to the bottom of the glass. The number of drops depends on how vibrant you want the color to be – usually, 3-5 drops are sufficient for a pint.
  3. Pour the Beer: Slowly pour the beer into the glass. The pour should be gentle to avoid too much foam, which can affect the mixing of the color. As the beer fills the glass, it will mix with the food coloring, turning your beer a festive green.
  4. Stir (if needed): If the color isn’t fully mixed, gently stir the beer with a clean spoon. But usually, the pouring action is enough to evenly distribute the color.
  5. Adjust if Necessary: If the color isn’t as vibrant as you’d like, you can add a couple more drops of food coloring. If you add more, do so gently and stir slowly to avoid foaming.
  6. Serve Immediately: For the best effect, serve your green beer immediately while the head is still frothy and the color is bright, making it a delightful addition to your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.


  • Start with less food coloring and add more as needed. It’s easier to intensify the color than to dilute it.
  • Use a light beer for the most vibrant color. Darker beers can be used, but the green will be less noticeable.
  • Remember, the food coloring won’t affect the taste, so your beer will be just as refreshing as always.

Is Green Beer Safe to Drink?

Absolutely! The transformation of your beer to a festive green hue is simply a matter of food coloring. The dye used is typically FDA-approved and safe for consumption, so as long as you’re using a quality food-grade colorant, your green beer is as safe as its original golden self. Just ensure to add the dye responsibly, as a little goes a long way.

What Kind of Beer Should I Use to Make Green Beer?

The best beer for turning green is a light-colored beer, such as a pale ale, lager, or pilsner. These lighter varieties ensure that the green color shines through brilliantly, making your brew visually striking. Dark beers like stouts or porters can be used, but the color won’t be as vibrant or noticeable. So, for the most vivid green, stick to the lighter shades of beer.

What Does Green Beer Taste Like?

Green beer tastes just like regular beer! The food coloring doesn’t alter the flavor, so your pint will retain its original taste profile. Whether you prefer a hoppy IPA or a smooth lager, your green beer will deliver the same flavors you know and love, just with an extra pinch of festive cheer.

Where Does Dyeing Green Beer Come From?

Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of green beer is not from Ireland but is an entirely American innovation. The concept is believed to have started in the early 20th century as part of the larger St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States, where everything from rivers to beers turns green. The practice likely began as a fun, visual way to embrace the holiday’s theme, showcasing the playful spirit of St. Patrick’s Day festivities in America.


Making green beer is a fun, easy way to add an extra splash of color to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It’s safe, tastes just like your beloved beer, and is a nod to a uniquely American tradition of celebrating Irish heritage.

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search