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    Green Beer For St. Patrick’s Day?

    Green is the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but green beer? Well, that’s another story. Students last week at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio got their hands on their own emerald-colored brew during the annual “Green Beer Day” celebration, according to reports by MSNBC.

    The annual all day drinking tradition – which was celebrated this year on Mar. 5 – originated at Miami University and typically falls on the Thursday before spring break. Since St. Patrick’s Day usually falls during spring break for these students, they created “Green Beer Day” as a way to celebrate early.

    The event is not endorsed by the college or the town of Oxford. Each year, uniformed and plain clothes officers prowl around for underage drinkers. According to reports released by MSNBC News, $2,000 have been set aside from this years budget to pay officers who will be asked to work overtime for the event.

    Green beer is not uncommon at bars on St. Patrick’s Day itself. The trick only requires five to six drops of green food coloring and some light stirring, according Slashfood.com. But the taste is basically exactly the same as whatever beer the dye is mixed with.

    “It still tasted amazing,” says Nick Maturro a senior and health science major at Stony Brook University who wet his whistle with green beer last St. Patrick’s Day.

    But others prefer a beer so dark that green food coloring is not powerful enough to turn it green, and that’s Guinness. Due to powerful advertising campaigns, Guinness has become synonymous with the holiday. In fact, in 2006, the company received criticism from the alcohol industry watchdog, the Marin Group, for a commercial that featured three men on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day running downstairs in their pajamas to open boxes and boxes of Guinness. The watchdog group blamed Guinness’s holding company Diageo, with condoning irresponsible drinking in the morning, according to the Marin Group’s website.

    Last year, Diageo’s Guinness and Anheuser-Busch joined forces with a petition called Proposition 3-17 to encourage Congress to declare St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday, according to the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness. The effort obtained more than 352,000 signatures.

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