The practice of combining light and dark beer in the same vessel dates back more than 1100 years! It is documented that 9th century Vikings, during hostile exploratory visits to the Celtic Islands to the south, grew accustomed to mixing equal parts of their northern pale beer and the darker beer brewed by the locals. Vikings in Ireland...surely there were black and tan devotees in this crowd.
In the 16th century, the expression "black and tan" referred to a breed of hound dog used for stag hunting. From the 19th century to the present, however, the term has been reserved for our good buddy, the black and tan coonhound.
The term also refers to members of a British auxiliary police force (the Royal Irish Constabulary) employed in Ireland from July, 1920 to July, 1921. When Irish nationalist agitation intensified after World War I, a large proportion of the Irish police resigned, to be replaced by these soldiers. Since there were not enough RIC uniforms for the new men, they were equipped with khaki service dress supplemented with constabulary uniforms, so that they appeared in a strange mixture of khaki and dark green, some with a khaki tunic and green trousers, others in all khaki, some with civilian hats, but most with green caps and black leather belts of the RIC.
The "black and tans" were quite brutal and committed many atrocities against the Irish during these years. Absent in their background was the constable's role as servant to the community in the protection of life and property. The Black and Tans in fact acted more like an occupation army. Eventually over 8000 Black and Tans were distributed over Ireland to strengthen police posts, to make Ireland "hell for rebels to live in."
The legendary Irish dry stouts that brought about the black and tan renaissance are always on top in the glass. This is no coincidence when one considers the character and resolve of Irish people...Brütül