No, the Secret to Green Beer Isn’t Blue Food Coloring

In full disclosure, many of my friends in the craft beer industry frown upon the notion of “green beer,” but many enjoy adding to the fun of St. Patrick’s Day.

A writer for Thrillist.com claims the secret to making green beer for St. Patrick’s Day is using blue food coloring.  And when we saw the article, we thought, “Wow, that’s a great tip.  We’d never heard that before.”  But here’s why . . .

We watched a bunch of YouTube videos, and it turns out he’s just wrong.  Using blue and yellow to make green works in art class, but not with beer apparently.

If you add a drop or two of blue food coloring, you end up with turquoise beer.  It’ll still be green-ISH.  But green food coloring works much better.  So ignore the hype and just stick with green.

Here’s how it looks with blue

And here it is with green.

Here are three more tips if you want to make green beer for St. Patrick’s Day . . .

1.  It works best with light beer, like a lager or pilsner.  The lighter the beer, the greener it’ll look.  So things like Bud Light and Coors Light work well.

2.  Use somewhere between 2 and 5 drops of green food coloring per beer.  It depends on what type of beer you use, and what shade of green you want.  So try it with two drops first, then add more if it’s not green enough.

3.  Add the food coloring to your glass BEFORE you pour the beer in.  It mixes better that way, so don’t need to use a spoon or slosh it around.  (If you want to mix MASS quantities, here’s how to do it with kegged beer.) 

(And here are three natural ways to dye your beer green without food coloring.)

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