Green Beer - a St Patrick's Day tradition

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March 17, 2017

by Carrie Arndt


New Yorkers have been celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with green beer for over half a century, and while it’s not representative of true tradition (the official Saint Patrick’s Day color is actually blue!), it has come to symbolize the mainstream holiday in cities across America.

When it comes to drinking on an average day, ‘green’ isn’t typically a quality you’d look for. In fact, the term ‘green beer’ is used by industry professionals to describe under-aged beer, which isn’t fully fermented and can be harsh on the stomach. But in this occasion, in its context, the glorious and almost radioactive green color has become powerfully linked to the emotions and memories people associate with the holiday.


Green beer is a cue; on Saint Patrick’s Day, it serves as both a novelty and point of unity.


Image result for green beerGreen beer is just one example of how consumers approach products in sometimes surprising ways. Where you might typically expect rejection based on taste, color, or aroma, emotional responses occasionally re-position the product in a favorable light. Thus, our Saint Patrick’s Day tradition continues.

There's a really interesting article here if you'd like to learn more.

Curious about how to make your own green beer?

It’s simple - just add a few drops of green food coloring into a mug of light-colored beer, and mix. Recipe here.

Carrie is Research Executive at MMR NYC