You'll find green beer nearly everywhere in the Quad Cities this weekend, but do you know why we consume that stuff on St. Patrick's Day? Here are 5 things you may not know about the tradition.

1. The Freight House in downtown Davenport plans to color 150 barrels of beer with about 6 quarts of green food coloring according to a QC Times article.

2. Green Tree Brewery in LeClaire has a beer that has a natural green color called Berry Barely Blonde that's actually green because of the blueberries used to make the beer.

3. The best green beer is made with blue food coloring because it balances light beer's natural yellowish hue. Obvious but not obvious.

4. According to the first volume of Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History, there's a centuries-old Irish custom known as “drowning the shamrock” in which drinkers literally add green shamrocks to their beverages on St. Patrick’s Day.

5.  Some serious brewers have experimented with green beer, including Dogfish Head in 2005 and New York’s Captain Lawrence in 2013. Both used spriulina, a blue-green algae, as colorant according to Food & Wine article.

It's a tradition for me to throw back a pint of the green stuff. Some of my fellow revelers swear the food coloring changes the taste. Scientifically, that's not so, but who knows what kinds of tricks the mind plays. My grandfather said he'd never consume any food or drink that wasn't naturally green. To all, I say cheers!



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