What You Didn't Know About The Natural Version Of Green Beer

Believe it or not, the first glass of a bright green beer — one of the most universally beloved traditions of St. Patrick's Day — wasn't poured in Ireland; It was created in the United States. Nowadays, most green beers are born out of a simple lager and a drop of food coloring, but its introduction wasn't so simple (via Betty Crocker). Over a century ago, a part-physician, part-nightclub aficionado introduced the drink hue to the world by mixing a beer with wash blue (AKA, laundry detergent), according to Smithsonian Magazine. Why fret over a hangover, when you can worry about being poisoned instead, right?

Nonetheless, green beer has become a St. Paddy's Day staple. If you want to celebrate but you don't want to choose between getting poisoned or getting a stomach ache from loads of food coloring, we have some good news: There are actually some natural green beers out there!

If you're lucky, you may be able to grab this one from your local liquor store shelf: Fantôme Magic Ghost is a Belgian ale sweetened with green tea, which gives it the perfect subtle Irish hue to feature on your Instagram story. It's described by Food and Wine as "having notes of lemon zest, pear, and even a hint of bubblegum." The best part? It clocks in at 8 percent ABV, so you're bound to have a St. Paddy's Day to remember with just a few of these natural green drinks.

The reviews are mixed on this St. Patrick's Day special beer

But, as we all know, a higher alcohol percentage doesn't always mean a better drink. We're looking at you, Four Loko. Some reviewers who were fortunate enough to track down a bottle of Magic Ghost don't feel so lucky after all — one BeerAdvocate commenter writes, "Truly one of the most terrible creations I have ever seen — a drain pour if there ever was one."

Some other reviewers aren't quite as harsh, but still left wondering exactly what this natural green beer is trying to achieve. One poses the question, "... why does it look like thin Pea Soup?"

Despite some skeptical commentaries, this seasonal beer is rated 4.14 out of 5 stars overall. Many are a fan of the bright green color, thanks to its naturally occurring properties. One reviewer summed it up to a mere appreciation of the beer, stating "I love saisons, I love the color green, so it was a fun beer for me." And while it may not be a top-of-the-line brew, sometimes, all you need is just that: A fun beer.

You can brew your own green beer at home without a single drop of food coloring

If you're put off by the mixed reviews for Magic Ghost, but you don't want to add artificial color to your St. Patrick's Day drink, you can still make a natural green beer at home (without laundry detergent, we promise).

Matcha powder makes a great addition, but if you don't like the taste of Magic Ghost, you probably won't be a fan of this green tea version, either (via Tasting Table). You can also dye your favorite beer, whether it's a Coors Light or a local brew, with a bit of protein-packed spirulina. This will make your beer stand out from the artificially-dyed ones since spirulina makes more of a deep, forest green than a radioactive-looking substance. One word of caution: Because spirulina is algae, use just a dash for a touch of color. Too much might make your beer taste fresh out of the ocean, which might ruin your holiday altogether (via Wholefully).

If neither of the above sounds appetizing, there's one more option that might make the most natural green beer of all: wheatgrass. According to Wide Open Eats, wheatgrass has an earthy taste to it that mixes well with a hoppy beer for an effortless green beverage. Add some wheatgrass powder to the bottom of your favorite pint, pour your brew, and let the glass do the work. The end result? A tasty, natural green beer to cheers with all night long.