Drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day is a time-honored tradition on par with trimming the Christmas tree and carving the Thanksgiving turkey. While most holidays revolve around spending time with family and friends, reflecting on what we hold most dear, and counting our blessings, St. Patrick’s Day, at least in the U.S., is a holiday that revolves around getting drunk, and that’s, arguably, just as fun and special. If you’re celebrating at home rather than in that rowdy Irish pub around the corner where you saw your neighbor punch your landlord that one time, pick up a sixer of one of these beers and grab some food coloring, just as god and all the Irish saints intended.
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- Best Light Beer: Kona Light
The best beers to dye green for St. Patrick’s Day are light. I mostly mean color-wise (like, sorry, Guinness isn’t going to work for these purposes), but bonus points, I suppose, if they’re low-cal, too. Take this Kona Light, the winner of our best light beer taste test. “This is by far the best light beer you can buy at grocery stores,” Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling wrote. “It’s downright tropical with notes of pineapple balanced with herbaceous hops.” A light beer that actually tastes like something and can be dyed green? Sounds like we’re in luck (get it?).
- Best IPA: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
The hoppy flavor of this delicious IPA will send you straight to a verdant Irish fen. When she ranked the best IPAs, Justine praised this one—our top pick—for being refreshing, citrusy, and balanced. “It’s just a nice, straight down the middle IPA with a lovely bitter note that runs all the way through but doesn’t coat your palate,” she wrote. IPAs aren’t for everyone, but this one’s a crowd-pleaser—especially when it’s green.
- Best Low-Carb: Budweiser Select 55
If you want to watch your carbs (mostly so you can have more boiled potatoes or instant mashed potatoes with your corned beef and cabbage dinner), Budweiser Select 55 is a great and affordable option. It’s not exactly bursting with flavor, but sometimes a super light domestic beer just hits the spot, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. “Its whispery flavor isn’t at all unpleasant,” I wrote in my ranking of the best low-carb beers. And it only has 1.9 grams of carbs per serving.
- Best Non-Alcoholic Beer: O’Douls
- Best Gluten-Free: Redbridge
When we taste tested gluten-free beers, a lot of our favorites were on the darker side (and, sadly, some of them were gluten reduced rather than gluten free). Redbridge is our St. Patrick’s Day rec because it’s probably the most accessible gluten-free beer and it’s pretty palatable, too. (Also, I did a Google for ya and, yes, McCormick green food coloring is gluten free—and kosher!)
Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!