Beer is beer, cocktails are cocktails, and even casual drinkers swear that the the twain never meets. But the last few years have seen a rise in mixing beer with other liquor, with these mixes featured from the likes of Bon Appetit, Eater, and Buzzfeed. A handful of local bars have been offering beer cocktails or their spin on the few well-known combinations out there. Is this a trend that that we’ll be seeing here soon?
Lee Watson, former beverage consultant of Solaire and currently for Antonio’s Tagaytay and Nest in BGC, isn’t so sure about it becoming a full-fledged trend in Manila, but he can see how an interest for beer cocktails could develop here. He witnessed the beer cocktail trend of Portland from two years ago, “The way I saw it, a lot of people were into beer…there was a big movement on cocktails. I think the process of evolving and finding cocktails is that people find some new ingredient they can always play with.” He thinks that at the time, beer was the “it” ingredient, on the heels of the microbrewery trend. Watson sees a mirrored progression here, starting with the growing availability of imported European beers and craft beers.
What’s the draw to beer cocktails? “It’s a different flavor profile from what you get in cocktails. It has the bitterness of the hops, it has the carbonation, it has that nice fruity, crunchy flavor that goes down. I think it’s because it’s different that it appeals to people.” He goes on to stress, with a good beer cocktail, “You’re not taking beer and trying to change the flavor of the beer, you’re trying to utilize the flavor of the beer.”
While many more remain attached to their cold bottle of San Mig, here’s a run-down on some of the basic beer cocktails out there.
1. Black and Tan
Sometimes known as a half and half, this drink is one of the simplest versions of a beer cocktail. Served straight up, it mixes a pale beer with a dark beer, hence its straightforward moniker. The heavier stout is often layered on top of the paler brew to keep them from mixing. This basic has many different varieties that stem from it, usually replacing tan with the color or name of the paler beer that was used.
Boilermakers have both American and British origins; the British version mixes a half pint of brown ale and a half pint of draft mild, while the American iteration combines beer and whiskey for a more potent mix.
If you ever pretended to be one of the adults when you were a pimply preteen, you probably tried drinking some Cali shandy to feel a little grownup. The lower alcohol content of shandy is caused by mixing beer with soda, which creates a much less lethal beer cocktail.
4. Sake bomb
Alcoholic bombs always remind one of spring break; there’s a little novelty in dropping your shot glass into an even bigger dosage of alcohol or sometimes Red Bull. Sake bombs pair the subtlety of the Japanese libation with the more aerated beer.
5. Irish Car Bomb
Drank similarly to the sake bomb and the American version of the boilermaker, the Irish car bomb is the most indulgent one of all. Made with half a shot of whiskey, half a shot of Irish cream and one pint of stout, the whiskey and cream are combined into a shotglass, dropped into the stout, and downed in one go.
Instead of margaritas at your next Cinco de Mayo bash, serve up micheladas, a beer cocktail that’s similar to a Bloody Mary in terms of its savory heaviness. The beer gets mixed in with lime juice, tomato juice, spices, and sometimes a shot of hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
You can try mixing the beer cocktails at home after a long night out, or grab a beer cocktail at the following bars:
The Butcher Shop
Address: Ground Floor, Wumaco Bldg, Lane P Corner 5th Ave, Bonifacio Global City
Global Beer Exchange
Address: Tritan Ventures Building, Paseo De Magallanes Center, Makati
Address: 105 V. A. Rufino Corner Esteban Streets Legaspi Village, Makati
Wolf and Fox Gastropub
Address: Two Parkade, Fort Bonifacio