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Dia de San Patricio

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For those of you that don’t speak Spanish and/or are not practising for an upcoming trip to Cuba, that there headline is “St Patrick’s Day” (I think), which falls on this upcoming Thursday. Instead of having my headline hidden in a sea of english versions, I thought I’d go with something different. So sorry to disappoint, this isn’t article about St Paddy’s in Havana, as if such a thing exists.


Sorry about the crushing poverty.
Here, have a green hat.

St Paddy’s day is about as close to a beer-themed holiday as there can be, but honestly it has about as much to do with good beer culture as Xmas does with Jesus. Sure, there’s something about Irish culture and whanot, and that might include a pint o’ the black if you’d like, but hey, buckets of cheap green beer! Woooo! Yeah!

Except not. Ever notice how rotten you feel the next day? Even if you really restrained yourself and only had 8 pints? And how that never happens any other night of the year? Ever also notice how green beer is always made from macro lager and tastes like complete shit, even worse than the crappy lager tasted to start with? Think all these things might be related?

In the end, it turns out pouring gobs of coloured high fructose corn syrup into beer is a shit-poor way of going about things, even if that beer is likely almost entirely corn to start with. There are a few alternatives, like spiking lager with blue caraƧao (blue + yellow = green) which works colour-wise, but congratulations fucknut, you just created 20% ABV light lager. Enjoy your evening on that party bus.


I hope they at least hose it out a bit before school tomorrow.

Alternatively there have been a few attempts at actually brewing beer with algae mixed in to give it that particular hue, but the results have been mixed (from “decent” as per above to “ugh” as per Dogfish Head’s attempt, which scored abnormally low for a DH beer despite even having the word “Good” in the name).

But why all the fuss? Beer is sweet, lovable, and nigh perfect in its existing form, and has natural hues from almost clear through, well, the exact opposite. As well, adding colouring to your beer is just going to piss off the brewers. In yesterday’s post on VancouverBeerBlog, Jack Bensley, Brewmaster from Russell Brewing was quoted as saying “I hope people can appreciate it for what it is rather than putting some green s@#t in it.” That’s the sound of man speaking through clenched teeth. I rather suspect if you coloured his beer he might come over and kick your idiotic ass.

So, by all means, go out and have fun this Thursday. The afore-mentioned VBB article has an excellent summary of places where you can get good, non-coloured beer in Vancouver. In addition to that, Howe Sound’s Brewpub is taking things to the next, much more awesome level, by releasing live snakes in the pub and awarding prizes to whomever can rid the motherfucking bar of the most motherfucking snakes. How cool is that?

Written by chuck

March 15th, 2011 at 11:14 am