What makes a beer green?
July 4, 2008 · Updated 1:15 PM
By Bill Mickelson
Whats Up writer
Green beer is one of those things that immediately comes to mind around this time of year.
But what exactly is it that makes a beer green?
Heres a hint: its not the bottle and its not vials of green food-coloring that one adds to a glass of suds just to give it the impression of being Irish for the holiday.
When I was growing up in this county, everybody did the green beer thing, Silver City Restaurant and Brewery brewmaster Don Spencer said. I dont know where that came from. Id like to think that weve moved beyond that. ... Making your watered-down industrial American lager green is not going to make it taste any better or come any closer to the traditional Irish lager.
Its an aesthetic thing. Like how every year the city of Chicago floods its main river with green dye on March 17.
Spencer has spoken his piece on that concept for beer, and while he wont supply green food coloring for Silver City patrons on St. Patricks Day, whether or not they choose to bring their own is up to them.
Instead, Silver City annually brews up its own Irish stout to fete the occasion, which this year Spencer has named after his new bride Shannons Irish Stout.
While brewed at the Silver City lab in Silverdale, Shannons Irish Stout resembles the dark-roasted brews of Ireland a working mans beer, Spencer said, with a relatively low alcohol count but a light bodied richness and a thick, long-lasting head, best served from the tap.
The Silver City kitchen will also be using the seasonal stout to braze its corned-beef and cabbage entrees.
Its been a pretty standard beer over the last few years, Spencer said. Well have it for about two to three weeks and then its gone.
Another March 17 standard thats been around for ages and wont likely be going anywhere anytime soon as the token saint of St. Patricks stouts is, of course, Guinness.
And while we could probably spend the rest of this article rapping about the rich and malty goodness of a good pint of Guinness, beer-drinkers reading with interest have likely already had that discussion and will likely have one or two Guinness beers this St. Patricks regardless.
So instead well move onto a few other Irish-brewed options for celebration.
Rob Defilippo, co-owner of Tizleys Europub in Poulsbo, said on personal preference, hes not a big fan of the fat Irish stout. He prefers the more hoppy, easy-drinking Irish-brewed Smithwicks.
And Jameson, always Jameson, he said, referring to the famed Irish whiskey.
Smithwicks which you can find at a few select places around Kitsap, including Tizleys is the main traditional Irish brew, famed as Irelands oldest ale. Its a red ale thats been made in the countrys oldest operating brewery since the 18th century.
Smithwicks is lauded as Irelands third most popular beer after the G-men and our final St. Patricks suggestion Murphys Irish Stout.
Murphys traditional Irish Stout is Guinness main competitor. It has the same smooth and creamy texture with a bit less bitterness.
Its been brewed in Ireland at Murphys Brewery since in 1856. Carrying a rabid Irish following, the stout hit its volume zenith in the United States around 1997 but has since declined.
Murphys is tough to find in Kitsap these days, but its available in the keg can at Tizleys.