This ad is from 1906.
If I am understanding the definition of bilious right - yes. But that could also be attributed to the fact that my "power hour" for my 21st birthday fell on St Patrick's day, and an of-age friend took me to Norm's where we proceeded to slam as much green beer as possible in a two-hour window. By the time we made it to the house party we were going to afterward, we were both only good for a rally in the back yard before going home. That was the first and last time I ever drank green beer (and that night's proceedings did not stop me from fully celebrating my 21st birthday in style).
The very first beer I had was Schlitz, with a little salt added to it, shared by my dad at a family reunion on a hot summer day in Nebraska back in the day. Then my cousins and I got to watch my dad and grandma and aunts and uncles play Hearts and pinochle, and drink salted Schlitz, while my mom gritted her teeth and counted the minutes until she could get the @#$% out of there. I doubt that adding green food coloring to this mix would have helped my mom's disposition any. But I can safely assume that 'bilious' would be the first word to spring to her mind if I reminded her of Dad's family reunions.
Dawn, don't take it literally. There was a lot of bad beer being produced around the turn of the century, and each maker made claims of purity. Take this ad from our own Fitger's in 1915.
Is the ad talking about beer that is under-fermented, not green in color? A couple of local brew pubs sometimes serve not-yet-ready beer that is murky, and without much head. That's what I think of as "green" beer. You don't get that from our better brew pubs.
Dave is on the right track. "Green beer" is beer that hasnt had time to condition/age. With lagers (which Schlitz was probably mostly brewing) you want it to condition in tanks for a month or so. Ales dont need as much time but you will notice a difference in a really new and a month or so old beer. The "without much head" has probably more to do with undercarbing the beer.
My favorite Terry Pratchett minor character is Bilious, the Oh God of Hangovers.
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