CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This unusual style of beer appears once a year. Every Saint Patrick's Day, several thousands of bars pour out green beer for their customers, but is it really safe?
Two downtown Cleveland bars that participate, Dive Bar and the Barley House, both use green food coloring to dye the beer before serving it to customers. A lighter beer, such as Bud Light or Miller Lite, is used because the lighter it is, the greener the beer. To achieve a properly tinted beer, the Barley House used several drops of green food coloring in their cup, then poured the beer straight from the tap. Very little stirring was necessary. The bars have a difficult time calculating how much green beer is served each year because it is mixed up for each order.
According to U.S. News, green food coloring has been linked to headaches and cancer, but it is unlikely that one person could consume enough green beer to cause any sort of medical issues. Some reports even show that, other than the added calories, beer in moderation can be beneficial. Even though the coloring is not considered extremely harmful if used sparingly, it is still advised to stay away from the green coloring because it is artificial.
Lindsay Malone, an RD with the Cleveland Clinic, said, "On Saint Patrick's Day, if you have a treat that has some green food coloring in it, you're probably not going to experience any negative health effects, but keep it to a minimum. Malone added, "Really try and focus on those foods that are naturally bright in color so that you get some vitamins and minerals."
In conclusion, according to several reports, drinking green beer is fine, as long as consumers drink it moderately.