Green Beer … Who Does That

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Is the tradition of dyeing and consuming green beer on St.Patrick’s Day a true Irish one or an Irish-American sensation? To begin, St.Patrick was not Irish. A boy born to wealthy parents was kidnapped from Britain and taken to Ireland, and the day celebrated as St.Patrick’s Day is actually the day of his death. Some Irish individuals believe the drinking of green beer on St.Patrick’s Day goes back to the legend of the leprechaun, but as Irish immigrants began to settle in Boston and became scrutinized and discriminated against, they chose to show pride by using the color green to distinguish all things Irish.

The leprechaun, a fairy of ancient Irish mythology, was adopted by St.Patrick as a religious teaching tool in his converting of druids and pagans into Christians. Using a comparison of, To the great rewards of God to those who seek in Him, with seeking and finding the leprechaun’s pot of gold, St.Patrick states,”like the leprechaun, God remains hidden from human view, is to be feared, and so holds great rewards for those who seek and find him”. Common belief of the Irish was, the leprechaun used the green Irish countryside to hide himself so the color green became closely associated with it and St.Patrick.

Irish-Americans celebrate Green Beer Day, which began in 1952 at Miami University in Oxford,Ohio. This celebration does not coincide with St.Patrick’s Day but does allow another day of celebratory green merriment. There is no complicated recipe to making green beer, a green food coloring is simply added to a light pilsner or an ale. A green brew can also be made by combining powdered wheat grass juice or Spirulina(blue-green algae) and beer. Both of these mixtures are packed with antioxidants, minerals, and B-vitamins and are said to ease hangovers because of these properties.

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