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Thread: St. Patrick's - green dye in beer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    59

    St. Patrick's - green dye in beer

    I'm so sorry to ask this question. I've worked in a few brewpubs, but now I run an Irish pub, and green beer is simply EXPECTED around St. Patrick's Day. It's amateur day, for sure.

    Once the beer is in a keg, what is your best, safe method for making it green? Many distributors/brewers have stopped doing this for bars.

    (And now I will duck under the bar to avoid brewers yelling at me for ruining the natural color they tried so hard to create.)


    Cheers,
    --Jake Tringali

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    216

    Talking green beer

    Oh man..know the feeling...sigh!

    I had the same situation years ago....we used blue food dye (from a supermarket) and added it to a cask (Firkin) of pale bitter. Can't remember the measurement but I think it was 50grams....I'd do a trial first........don't know how to get into a keg.....


    Tariq

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    san diego, ca.
    Posts
    185
    I feel ya man. I run an Irish brew pub and people still want green beer here. If memory serves right. The last time I made it, I degassed a keg, added a shot, literally, of green dye and filled as usually. This was for a light lager.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    693
    Give your bartenders a vial of green food coloring. Would you like one drop or two, ma'am? I did that at one restaurant and they decided to use all the colors in the dye pack. It actually was fun seeing people walking around with blue, orange, and red beer in addition to green.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    993
    Quote Originally Posted by lhall
    Give your bartenders a vial of green food coloring. Would you like one drop or two, ma'am? I did that at one restaurant and they decided to use all the colors in the dye pack. It actually was fun seeing people walking around with blue, orange, and red beer in addition to green.
    I'm with Linus, add the dye to the glass. Use the old "I don't want to taint my draft lines, keg, etc. with artificial dyes, you know it may carry over and ruin several kegs." Good Luck!
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    san diego, ca.
    Posts
    185
    I tried that but the owner was smart and had me use a jockey box so "it wouldn't be a big hassle to replace the lines".....I wanted to go with the bartender idea. but it was me saying yeah and 4 bartenders saying they were too busy....punks =)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    29
    Add it to the glass. We offer green beer for St Pats day and just add a couple of drops to our blonde. Bartenders love the green fingers too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194
    Yeah rookies day for sure. After years of protesting and being strong armed into it I now just give the bartenders a bottle of green dye and let them add it at the bar. They usually predose a bunch of pint glasses with a couple drops and then set them aside for quicker filling/less green fingers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    962
    I once had an owner demand green beer. I refused to put it in our brewpub beers, but offered to put it in a purchased keg of Bud. He accepted my counter offer and I pulled the spear out of a quarter barrel and poured in some green food dye. He then made radio ads announcing that we had "Green Bud" on tap, humoring a number of people. Probably only about 3 gallons were sold...and I felt somewhat redeemed! Of course the next day, we could hardly give it away.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    59

    Green beer

    Thanks for the advice. One cup at a time might not work, as I forecast selling 4,000 beers that day. I'll try to remember to let you know how this went. Turning beer green - I'll hate myself in the morning, but I'll drown my sorrow in Guinness and high sales numbers.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oconomowoc, WI USA
    Posts
    106

    Green Beer

    Disengage the tavern head, turn off the gas, (CO2), and unscrew the coupler for the "gas in" on tavern head. Pour 10cc of dye into the “gas in” on the tavern head, screw back on the gas in coupler, turn on CO2 reengage the tavern head and shake the keg.

    I did two year at and Irish brewpub………..

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Homer, Alaska
    Posts
    93

    natural kind herb green beer

    You can also try the European herb Woodruff also known as Sweet Woodruff (asperula or gallium odoratum) like the Berliner's do in Berliner Weisse. It will give the green color plus add flavor and aroma.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    993
    Quote Originally Posted by canyon
    You can also try the European herb Woodruff also known as Sweet Woodruff (asperula or gallium odoratum) like the Berliner's do in Berliner Weisse. It will give the green color plus add flavor and aroma.
    Great idea except people who request green beer don't want any flavor or aroma!
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    59

    Green beer

    As promised, here is the end followup to this thread. I ended up getting the distributor to make the green beer for me. I had ordered 45 Guinness kegs, plus a whole bunch of other items, so I had the distributor take the cheapest lager (Miller Hi Life) and convert it to green color. We had 2500+ guests on St. Pat's, plus a busy week prior to it, and we ran out of green beer at 6:30 p.m.

    Cheers!

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