Tipperary Hill Guide 2017

Forget green eggs and ham. Drink this green beer, fam.

Aline Peres Martins | Staff Writer

Tipperary Hill celebrated Green Beer Sunday this past weekend , but its color only seems to mask a taste of Coors Light.

Editor’s note: This article is a Thirsty Thursday review of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub’s green beer.

As kids from The Francis Academy of Irish Dance performed their routine down Lowell Ave at noon on a Sunday, patrons drunkenly stumbled out of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub with pitchers of beer in hand. There was clapping and cheering for the dance group, the pipe bands and the van from Harrison’s bakery giving out bags of green cookies.

But none of the cheering compared to the roar that came from the crowd when the Coleman’s truck showed up at the end of the parade. It was carrying the one thing almost everyone in the crowd had been waiting for: green beer.

Green Beer Sunday is a staple in the Tipperary Hill community of Syracuse — a day full of drinking and Irish pride.

It began when Peter Coleman, the owner of Coleman’s Pub, decided he was going to “import” tanks of green beer from Ireland a few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day in the 1960s. He did this, he says, in order to kick off St. Patrick’s Day season.

In the Tipp Hill neighborhood, St. Patrick’s Day is significant. In the late 1800s, the Irish potato famine coincided with the rise of the salt industry in Syracuse.

Tipp Hill is located just southwest of West Fayette Street and Erie Boulevard, where the old Erie Canal and train yards were located, according to Dennis Connors of the Onondaga Historical Association. This is where, at the time, a lot of the salt production was occurring, so the Westside neighborhoods of Syracuse became increasingly German and Irish.

These influences can still be seen today. From the upside down traffic light on Tompkin’s street that was installed in the 1920s because the Irish community was unhappy that the British red was above the Irish green, to the people that live there.

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Aline Peres Martins | Staff Writer

Drew Ellis, a 53-year-old resident of Eastwood, is the drum major for the Highland Pipe Band. His family came over from Scotland in 1763. He knows that the green beer isn’t actually imported from Ireland, but he still said he believes the event brings the Irish and Scottish communities in the area together.

“We do this every year,” Ellis said. “It’s a brilliant idea. Green beer is kind of a little bit of Irish luck we celebrate our heritage every year this way.”

The parade with the bagpipes and Irish dancers, certainly shows this side of Green Beer Sunday.

But there is also a flip side to it: Drunk college kids and Syracuse residents showing up at 10 a.m. to day drink.

Halina Kalinowski, a 25-year-old LeMoyne College student said that while she is actually 50 percent Irish, she does not go to Green Beer Sunday to explore her Irish roots. She also knows full-well the green beer is not imported from Ireland.

“I am just here to get drunk,” said Kalinowski. “I don’t expect much. It’s Coors Light.”

She waited in line in front of me for more than half-an-hour, surrounded by cries of drunk guys saying, “There’s snow in my Guinness.”

I must say, if your goal is to try an exotic variety of green Irish beer, this is not the place for you. The beer really does just taste like Coors Light. So if you’re there just for the beer, it is not worth it. As the guy behind me in line said, “No beer is this good.”

But if you want to get a head start on your St. Patrick’s Day festivities and drink some mediocre beer while listening to bagpipes and seeing adorable babies dressed in green, Green Beer Sunday is for you.

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