(Warning: this article may give you a buzz and should be read responsibly.) 

Yes, it’s true, St. Patrick’s Day honors a fourth-century priest who may very well have saved Western Civilization. But let’s be honest, these days it’s really about the green beer.

So with March 17th just around the corner, we’re embarking on a virtual pub-crawl to sample how the world’s top beer brands are performing on social media. And for those who like their online engagement best served cold and frosty, you can play along at home: just crack open your #FavoriteBeer and take a healthy swig every time you see the word “Facebook.” Guaranteed to be the most enjoyable reading you do all day.

#10 – Blue Moon: 143,600+ Facebook Fans
This popular Belgian White from Colorado has a distinct citrus taste (courtesy of Curaccao orange peel) and a distinct branded image (courtesy of its watercolor-inspired advertising.) Appealing to a more sophisticated set, Blue Moon invites Facebook Fans to turn their Facebook Photos into “Blue Moon Art”. Similar to other photo-enhancing programs, Blue Moon’s “Photo Crafter” app gives photos the watercolor treatment. It’s either that – or the “beer goggles effect.” Hard to tell.

#9 – Foster’s: 279,000+ Facebook Fans
Foster’s is celebrating “the Art of Chilling,” inviting Facebook Fans to send their friends a “Chill Head” – a Wall-Post icon representing one of 17 different ways to chill. (Only the Australians could possibly classify so many ways to relax.) There’s Chillhead Boombox, Chillhead Surfer, and Chillhead Burp to name a few. Match them to your friends’ personalities and Foster’s posts them to their Facebook Walls. We looked, but Chillhead Drunk-dial wasn’t one of the choices.

#8 – Stella Artois: 502,000+ Facebook Fans
For a tutorial in cultivating pretension, drop by the Stella Artois Facebook page. You’ll (maybe) be invited to (maybe) join their exclusive online La Societe club. (Maybe). It’s “invitation only” after all. Which means upon entering your email address you get this: “Thanks, we’ve added you to our waiting list.” To get the full charming effect, be sure to read that with a French accent.

#7 – Guinness: 504,000+ Facebook Fans
Of all beer brands on our list, Guinness has the most authentic claim to cashing in on St. Patrick’s Day. So much so, in fact, that it’s flooding its wall with anything and everything St. Patrick’s Day-related. From helping Facebook Fans map out their St. Patrick’s Day route with the Pub Finder app, to fun facts, and even asking fans to partake in helping set the World Record for the Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Party. Over 52,000 Guinness partygoers have already committed to being part of this epic party – and helping consume over 13 million pints of Guinness on March 17th doesn’t sound like it’s too hard to do.

#6 – Corona: 1 million+ Facebook Fans
Corona’s got a new Facebook app called “Beach Break” which is supposed to engage users in online challenges allowing you to earn points which can then be redeemed for Corona bric-a-brac. (Who hasn’t ALWAYS wanted that Corona retractable pen?) Here’s the thing: you better be sober when trying to figure “Beach Break” out because this is the most complicated Facebook app we’ve ever seen – and trust us, we’ve seen them all. Who knew kicking back a cold one on the sand required a degree in programming?

#5 – Coors Light: 1.3 million+ Facebook Fans
For beer drinkers who love to drink but hate the taste of beer – there’s always Coors Light. Unfortunately, just like the taste of their product, the Coors Light Facebook presence lacks some serious flavor. The “Fan Photo of the Week” post is about as original as it gets around here. But hey, 1.2 million Fans are apparently cool with that.

#4 – Budweiser: 1.7 million+ Facebook Fans
Budweiser’s “Birthday Buds” app wants to help you throw your friend his 22nd birthday party. This clever new app searches through your friends list for people who are about to turn twenty-two, then invites you to select the one you want to throw a shindig for. Budweiser then sends that friend a post on their Facebook Wall giving them the chance to claim a $25 prepaid Budweiser card. To which we say: PREPAID BUDWEISER CARDS?! Why have these been kept from us?

#3 – Bud Light: 2.5 million+ Facebook Fans
Bud Light’s Facebook is sports promo central! Like Basketball? Perfect – enter to win a March Madness sweepstakes. Football? No problem – win a trip to the NFL draft. UFC? You got it – enter monthly for a chance to fly to Vegas to see a fight. But don’t assume this crowd is only about counting down to game time. Just click over to the “Bud Light Recipes” tab. That’s right. Bud Light Recipes. Where you’ll find a how-to for Gilled Mah-Mahi Tacos. Don’t forget the “three sprigs of baby arugula.”

#2 – Skol: 3.5 million+ Facebook Fans
Skol might just be the biggest beer you’ve never heard of. But if you’d like to learn all about them from, say, their founding in 1964, just check out their Facebook page. Skol is the first one of our top global brands that’s already embraced the new Facebook Timeline – a feature that will be forced on all brands coming March 30. (And, no, you’re not already drunk. That timeline? Yep, it’s in Portuguese. Skol is Brazil’s biggest beer.)

#1 – Heineken: 6 million+ Facebook Fans
There’s a reason why this family-owned Dutch brewery is far and away the dominant beer brand on Facebook – and it’s only partly about the beer. Decades of savvy marketing have built Heineken into a global behemoth – which is why, of the many enjoyable apps on display at Heineken’s Facebook page, there’s a very simple one that speaks to their truly international scope. “The Sunrise” is an inspired, elegant little app that invites users all over the world to tweet a picture of the sunrise from their corner of the globe. Complete with an interactive map with clickable tags submitted from users across the continents, it encourages users to “celebrate with the world.”

Which is exactly what we’ll be doing this Saturday as we raise a glass to St. Patrick, to Social Media – and, of course, to beer! If you played along to this article, you should’ve taken 31 swigs for every time “Facebook” showed up – wait make that 32 for that last “Facebook.” Now 33.

For more on the performance of beer brands in social media, check out the Beer Zone on Track Social.

When sharing and Retweeting this article, please be sure to include what your #FavoriteBeer is!