While St. Patrick’s Day is widely considered to be an Irish holiday, it is celebrated worldwide. Many people gather with their family members and friends, enjoy a parade, and drink a delicious pint of beer or two. Beer plays a major role in St. Patrick’s Day, so operators have to plan in advance.What is the origin of beer, and how can commercial food and restaurant operations ensure it is properly prepared?
History of Beer
Beer has been inextricably tied to human civilization since the dawn of time. There are some anthropologists who believe that as ancient humans moved away from being hunter-gatherers and gravitated more toward farming and agriculture, they gained enough knowledge to brew large amounts of beer. There is evidence that almost the entire animal kingdom, including elephants and small insects, consumes alcohol. It should come as no surprise that as humans gained more knowledge, they gravitated toward alcohol as well.
The first commercial brewing operation in North America arrived in 1632.The Dutch West India Company established it in New York City, which was then known as New Amsterdam.
Over time, breweries would scatter across the country as settlers continued to move away from the East Coast into the heartland of North America. Now, craft beer is a major industry in the United States. It has been estimated that the industry itself is worth more than $114 billion.
St. Patrick’s Day and Beer
While beer has permeated just about every aspect of human culture, it is most closely associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday is based on St. Patrick, and his story goes all the way back to the 5th century.
St. Patrick’s day takes place in the middle of Lent. While Lent is about sacrificing for religion, it also means that Catholics can forgo the restrictions of Lent to engage in feasts associated with St. Patrick. It is an opportunity for people to let loose just a bit and enjoy drinking beer. On St. Patrick’s Day, people drink green beer to honor the traditions of St. Patrick. The first green beer was crafted in 1914, and beer continues to be colored using harmless green food coloring.
Today, people continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking beer, and it has been estimated that nearly 13 million pints of Guinness, an Irish beer, are consumed during the 24 hours of St. Patrick’s Day.
Go Seasonal With Beer Selections
Today, people have fallen in love with craft beer, and craft beer means creativity. One of the best ways for commercial kitchens and breweries to tap into this creativity is to develop seasonal beers for holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day. With thousands of breweries open throughout the United States, breweries must find a way to stand out from the crowd to get people in the doors. Offering seasonal craft beers can be a great way to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
There are plenty of food and beer pairings that commercial kitchens can suggest on St. Patrick’s Day. Rich meats and root vegetables, for example, pair well with sour and tart beers. Game birds tend to pair well with hoppy beers. Cheese, commonly consumed on St. Patrick’s Day, tend to pair well with Belgian beers.
St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse for people to get together and party, and beer is an essential ingredient of that. Commercial kitchens that reach for seasonal beers and serve the best draft beers for St. Patrick's Day (and year round!) will have an easier time generating repeat business and expanding their customer base
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