St. Patrick’s Day
Green beer, shamrocks . . . more green beer . . . . St. Patrick’s Day is probably the premier beer holiday. International IPA Day is great, but it pales in comparison to the worldwide, mass consumption that occurs every year on March 17.
But how did this boozy holiday get started? Is it even Irish? And just what is up with that green beer?
Luckily, we’ve done some digging and made a list just for our loyal fans! Speaking of which, here are . . .
10 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Patrick’s Day
1. St. Patrick’s Day is not an Irish tradition: it’s an American-born innovation. I know – shocker.
“Wait, you mean the Irish don’t go around dressed as mythical creatures, ranting about pots of gold and chugging lager?”
No. No they do not.
2. The green beer you get on St. Patrick’s Day is made by adding blue food coloring. Blue and gold make green. Yeah – science!
3. Generally, the green drink is credited to Professor Thomas H. Curtin, a physician who made green beer for his clubhouse in New York. Curtin’s green beer was around as early as 1914, but other green beers appeared at the same time or slightly earlier.
4. In 1910 the First Avenue Bar in New York served the beer to patriotic Irishmen, and anybody else who wanted to drink a green brew. Apparently “anybody else” was a lot of people.
5. “Green beer” is a term brewers still use today to describe beer that’s too young or “green”. This young beer can contain acetaldehyde, which can make it taste like apples.
6. St. Patrick was not actually even Irish. He was born in the late 300s when the Roman Empire extended to England.
7. At age 16, Patrick was captured by Irish marauders, carried across the Irish Sea and enslaved. He spent six years alone in the wilderness tending his master’s sheep. He prayed . . . a lot.
8. Back in England, Patrick had a dream in which he heard the voice of the Irish he left behind say, “We beg you to come and walk among us once more.” To which he might have thought, “As long as you don’t enslave me and make me tend your sheep.”
St. Patrick took this as a sign and set out for a monastery in Gaul — that’s France today — where he began his religious education. He became a priest, a deacon, then a bishop and returned to Ireland by his mid-40s. He then created convents, monasteries and bishoprics all over Ireland. He’s credited for converting hundreds of thousands of people!
9. St. Patrick did not chase the snakes out of Ireland. As an island, Ireland never had snakes. But the story is probably a metaphor for Patrick driving out Druids and other forms of Irish paganism in the eighth century.
10. St. Patrick is not even a proper saint. He was sainted by a local bishop shortly after his death, and not by the official saint-making mechanism of the Catholic Church (which, to be fair, was not yet in place). He was kind of grandfathered in. Nice on, Patrick!
So now you know the man behind the legend. Still think he’s worth celebrating? We do!
Come join us today, March 17th, for a very special Taproom Tuesday!
For only R50, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our famous burger and a 320ml of #DPBC Black IPA. Special runs from 1630-1830, and live music kicks off from 1700. See you there!