Forget green beer, try Guinness with a shamrock


As several beer drinkers get ready to embark on their yearly tradition of hitting the pubs for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, some of them may be surprised to learn that their beloved green beer is not actually an Irish custom.

According to the Tampa Bay Times article “Deconstructing: the history of green beer,” the tradition of coloring beer green may have gotten its start in Boston or New York City, both of which have a large number of citizens with Irish blood flowing in their veins.

“Drowning the shamrock”

While green beer may not have gotten its roots from the Emerald Isle, there is an old custom associated called “drowning the shamrock.”

After attending the special events of the day, drinkers would venture to the pubs, throw a shamrock and guzzle the alcohol with the leaf.

According to According to, another method of drowning the shamrock is to take a shamrock that has been worked in a hat and put it in the last drink of the night. After proposing and then honoring a toast, the shamrock is taken out of the class and thrown over the left shoulder.

The act of drowning the shamrock does have to be done with only whiskey. Beer lovers can also pick their favorite Irish stout for their drink. If they are short on shamrocks, they can use a shamrock cookie or shamrock candy as a substitude.

How to make a shamrock in a glass of Guinness

If drinkers are unable to find a clover near their house, they can probably go to the local pub and have a shamrock drawn in the foam of their Guinness.

If the bartender allows their customers to draw their own shamrocks, here are a few steps:

1. Pour at a 45-degree angle and pour to about ¾ of the way full.

2. Leave the glass to settle for around 2 minutes.

3. Pour to the top and as you are doing it, draw a shamrock by starting with a figure-eight sideways and continue to loop to the top and finish.

Here is also a video of how to put a shamrock in a pint of Guinness

St. Patrick

Why drink beer on St. Patrick’s Day

Some of the deeds of St. Patrick may be known to some people. Some say he drove away the snakes from Ireland. Others may remember how he used a three-leaf shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.

As to why so many drinkers consume alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day, which is known as Pota Phadraig – Patrick’s Pot – comes from an Irish legend, according to St. Patrick’s

According to legend, there was an innkeeper who served St. Patrick a small shot of whiskey.  St. Patrick decided to teach the innkeeper a lesson about generosity by telling him there was a devil who fed on the innkeeper’s dishonesty. In order to banish this devil, St. Patricks said the innkeeper would have to change his ways.

After some time had passed, St. Patrick returned to the inn to find the innkeeper filling the glasses of patrons with alcohol, all of the way to the top. St. Patrick and the innkeeper walked down to the cellar where St. Patrick banished the devil.


About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.

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