How much fun is it to drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s day is green beer day, and it’s a fun way to celebrate (over 21, of course) with a plate of Irish Nachos!

Two mugs of beer cheersing

What is Green Beer?

This recipe is super easy to make, a great way to celebrate St Patrick’s day and goes perfectly with, you guessed it, corned beef and cabbage or Irish Stew!

Undoubtedly, green beer is an American invention, and it’s certainly not an Irish Tradition. A physician first colored beer green for his party back in 1914, and the trend really took off!

Nearly everything can be turned green on St. Patrick’s Day, why not beer?

Food colouring being poured into two mugs

Ingredients for Green Beer

Beer: For the brightest green color, choose a pilsner, lager, or pale ale. Darker beers like stout will make a deeper green color but may require more coloring. You’ll need 12 oz of cold beer and 2-4 drops of liquid food coloring for each glass you want to make.

Coloring: I use liquid food coloring, as it’s easy to use and readily available. Gel food coloring can also be used and will make a rich color, you’ll just need a little bit.

Alternatives for more natural food dyes include:

  • Stir about 1 tablespoon of wheatgrass juice into a glass of beer.
  • Put 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina in a small bowl, whisk in a little beer, then pour into a beer glass and add the rest of the beer.

These options will change the flavor of the beer, but they’re a fun way to enjoy a green drink without food coloring.

How to Make Green Beer

Green beer looks brightest when a pilsner, lager, or pale ale is used.

  1. Pour half the beer into the beer glass.
  2. Add 2 to 4 drops of green food coloring to the glass.
  3. Stir and fill the glass to the top with the remainder of the beer.

Even the foam will turn bright green!

If your glass is chilled/frozen and you add the food coloring first, it can freeze to the bottom which is why I add half of the beer first. Another option is to add a few drops of food coloring right to the can/bottle of beer before pouring it.

How to Make Green Beer Without Food Coloring

For a non-food coloring method (one that won’t stain your teeth or your clothes), here are three alternatives to turn beer green!

  • Stir about 1 tablespoon of wheatgrass juice into a glass of beer.
  • Put 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina or 1 teaspoon of matcha powder in a small bowl, whisk in a little beer, and then pour into a beer glass and add the rest of the beer.

These options will result in a change in the flavor of the beer but will result in a fun green color! Happy St Patricks’s Day!

St. Patricks Day Favorites

Mugs with green beer on a marble board with a can of beer being poured in
5 from 8 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Make Green Beer

Green Beer is mandatory for St. Patricks Day! This recipe is festive & simple!
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 beverage


  • 12 ounces light beer
  • 2-3 drops green food coloring additional if required


  • Chill glasses in the freezer for 15-20 minutes if time allows.
  • Fill the glass with about 4 ounces of beer and add 2 drops of food coloring.
  • Pour the remaining beer over top.
  • Very gently stir to combine and enjoy!


Start with 2 drops of food coloring and add additional drops if required to darken the color. 
Light beers are best for green beer. Dark beers like stout won’t color as well and may require more color
5 from 8 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 99 | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 71mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage, Drink
Cuisine American, Irish
Green Beer in glasses with writing
glasses of Green Beer with writing
pouring glasses of Green Beer with finished drink and writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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