Saint Patrick Drank Green Beer
Green Beer has as much to do with St. Patrick’s Day as the Snakes being driven out of Ireland by St. Patrick. I wanted to look into the legend of St. Patrick a little, so that this St. Patrick’s Day when I am sipping my green beer I don’t just think oh yeah that dude that drove the snakes out of Ireland.
We always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in my family, and not just as the universal drunk day it has become. My mother always loved Ireland, the history and the music. She was drawn to it. And she taught me a similar love for that Emerald Isle, at least for the music, the food, and especially the ales!
I never cared much for why St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated all I cared about was the music, that is until I was old enough to also enjoy the ale. As for St Patrick I heard the legend of him driving the snakes out of Ireland. Any quick Google search will assure you that there were never snakes in Ireland. The snakes being driven out are perhaps used as a metaphor for some sort of ‘evil’ or ‘paganism’ the church loves to drive that out, whatever they think that ‘evil’ may be. Below I am pasting information about St. Patrick from Wikipedia, for anyone who may be interested:
“Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius; Irish: Pádraig [ˈpˠaːd̪ˠɾˠəɟ], Old Irish: Cothraige) was a fifth-century Romano-British Christianmissionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland, along with saints Brigit of Kildare and Columba. He is also venerated in the Anglican Communion, the Old Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Churches equal-to-apostles and the Enlightener of Ireland.
The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Early medieval tradition credits him with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland.
According to the Confessio of Patrick, when he was about 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day is observed on 17 March, which is said to be the date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.”
So let’s enjoy this cultural holiday, have a green beer and share an Irish toast or blessing with a friend. Either at a pub or at home and listen to some of the wonderful music of this place my mother taught me about. Let me share some of my favorite Irish Blessings with you as well as how to make green beer at home.
Green Beer at Home:
I added a drop or two of green food coloring to a glass, and then poured my Guinness Blonde® in and voilà green beer without having to go to a busy pub on Paddy’s Day.
Irish Blessings and Toasts: