beer-cocktails-0611-lTrust us, it’s fine if you don’t know what a beer cocktail is; neither did we until recently. But if you like either beer or cocktails, then read on because this one’s for you.

In recent years, bars across America have seen a rise in popularity of something called the “Beer Cocktail” – the result of mixing beer with other types of brews or even various spirits and liqueurs. The beer cocktail must stand apart from the beer itself, improving upon the taste of the original beer. The beverage also primarily appeals to two different types of consumers: the craft cocktail connoisseur and the craft beer enthusiast.

David Donaldson, Beverage Director of City Tap House in Washington, DC, has his own unique approach when it comes to concocting the ultimate beer cocktail. He believes that “the beer should be the star, with the additions designed to highlight its best features.” 

Donaldson’s Recipes for Success:

  1. Respect the Beer.  (Obviously.)
  2. Wheats are to be used in order to let other elements shine, whereas stouts can be used to stand up to bolder ingredients
  3. Let the beer be the star of the show, only add other ingredients only to highlight the best features of the beer.

Erick Castro, bartender and proprietor of San Diego’s Polite Provisions and New York’s Boilermaker, takes a different approach to Donaldson in making the perfect cocktail, preferring to concentrate more on the cocktail while still maintaining a beer base.

    Castro’s Recipe for Success:

  1. Pair each spirit with an appropriate brew
  2. Replace sparkling wine with beer
  3. Don’t over-dilute the cocktail – the beer will naturally dilute the cocktail.

Some bartenders and proprietors have even been going beyond the norms of beer cocktails and getting creative with the ingredients. Janelle Whisenant, a bartender at Washington DC’s Compass Rose, whips beer and syrup together to create her own twist on creating the beer cocktail, for example.

This all sounds ideal to us, and we’re sure it does to you all as well. So with that – what concoction would you like to combine for your own beer cocktail?