Bar owners, bartenders look forward to Green Beer Day

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States was held in Florida’s Spanish Colony. There are 6.5 times as many Americans claiming Irish ancestry as there are Irish people in Ireland. Guinness sales grew by 819 percent as a result of serving 13 million pints. In 1961, a group of citizens in the Georgia city of Augusta attempted to dye the river green for St. Patrick’s Day. Since then, the New York City parade has grown to be the largest in the world. The tradition of green rivers in the White House went into effect during the Obama administration.

Before Green Beer Day, Miami’s student government launched a campaign called “Life is Priceless” encouraging students to call 911 and highlighting Miami’s Good Samaritan policy. However, the body of the beer will turn darker and have a slight evergreen hue in the right light. The coolest part is the ​foamwill pick up the food coloring, and though it may not last long, take on that green color.

A woman wrapped in a boa, wearing a sequined top and green tutu made of tulle, dances around a crammed bar. A few feet away, friends play cards at a table filled with half-empty plastic cups of beer and liquor drinks. “Miami University students’ high-risk drinking rates consistently rank higher than the national average,” the report states. This year, fewer bars opened while it was still dark outside. And this was the first year law enforcement conducted a drunken-driving checkpoint near campus, starting at 7 a.m.

While other students headed to Brick Street for their first stop of Green Beer Day, senior Emily Holmes began with Skyline Chili. Sergio, a DJ at The Woods who asked just to be recognized by first name, said the bar had been busy the previous night, and slow in recent hours. Murphy started celebrating early in the morning, but he doesn’t have plans to slow down or sleep for the rest of the day. Next door, Gina Vale, junior supply chain and operations management major, sat outside Bagel & Deli with a friend. With a trip to a fraternity house before stopping by Brick Street when it opened.

It’s a day that one alumnus says, in between sips of beer around 9 a.m. It’s a day – and night – Miami University officials dread. Both had one word for the vibe at the bar throughout the day — empty. Tessa Ralinobsky, an employee at Steinkeller, said the restaurant has been busy since it opened at 4 p.m., although she is unsure whether it will stay that way as the night goes on. Sarah Perry, a junior French, violin performance and music education, played her fiddle by Skyline Chili for anyone willing to listen to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, many of which were GBD partiers. Kylie Miller, leasing manager at Annex apartments, and Alyssa McKoy, an employee at The Verge, handed out bottled waters, gatorades and snacks to students in Uptown park.

Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin invented this beverage as a result of his experience in New York City. He was born in Ireland and came to the United States in 1886. He invented a variety of beverages, including green beer, while working as a coroner. He added a drop of wash blue dye to his beer to make it green, draft vs craft beer which became known as “green beer.” This beverage is well-known throughout the United States, and it has been around for quite some time. On St. Patrick’s Day, green beer is celebrated in a variety of ways. During the celebrations surrounding St. Patrick’s Day in Oxford, Ohio, green beer is served.

An hour later, at a bar across the street, a student has a cup of vodka mixed with Sprite in one hand. She turned down the maple syrup that was also offered over the patio railing by a volunteer. Ward said the biggest trend in the last five years at Miami is more people who say they’re drinking with the intention to black out. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Maraschiello said, discussing the spotlight the university has been thrust into. “My cynical view is after six months this will be swept back under the rug.” The university encouraged professors to hold class with “meaningful” and “gradable” activities on Thursday.

Local bar owners tried various names for their new day of drinking (including “Wild Irish Fun” in 1981) before settling on the name “Green Beer Day” in 1982. Green beer was consumed in Oxford on St. Patrick’s Day prior to the university calendar change just as it was all over the country. Green Beer Day has been called Miami University’s “biggest tradition” although it is not sanctioned by the university. There is even a Green Beer Day if you need another reason to drink green beer. Green Beer Day is a day-long party where celebrants drink beer dyed green.

Some move to a fraternity house across campus where students use Styrofoam cups to scoop a green liquor concoction for guests. At 4 a.m., students drop their cups and scatter as police bust a party at Spring Street. Mckewin and Stahulak grabbed breakfast at Church Street Social before hitting bars Uptown and grabbing a green bagel from Bagel and Deli. “I never really celebrated Green Beer Day when I was a student here because I didn’t go out before I was 21, and then COVID kind of took over my upperclassmen years,” Mckewin said. At the Phi Delt Gate, one group of students said GBD is part of Miami’s culture, whether the university endorses it or not. While university officials and law enforcement are weary of GBD celebrations, one anonymous student said it’s no different than any other weekend of the year.

Green beers are made with a young beer that is high in acetaldehyde, and they taste sour like green apples. If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a lighter color, you can also dye beer green, such as a pilsner or pale ale. In Ireland, it is well-known that the patron saint of the country was not born there. Lent is frequently lifted by religious orders in order for people to celebrate St. Pat’s Day. It was customary for church services to mark Saint Patrick’s death on the first St. Patrick’s Day. Green Beer Day is a Miami University tradition that occurs on the Thursday before Spring break.

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