Everybody loves Beer. It could easily be said that knocking back a few brews is one of the great pleasures in life.
And especially, since the start of the craft brewing revolution, where a myriad of variations that range from Belgian Pale through to American Sour have been created, beer really has something for flavour palette.
But even with all that choice, you sometimes just want your beer to get a little more into the spirits of things – in other words, you want a beer cocktail. And we’ll be the first to tell you that if you’re not drinking Beer as a cocktail, you’re seriously missing out.
Beer Cocktails are perfect for whether you’re watching your favourite sports team play or just can’t decide between a refreshing brew and a delicious mixed drink. And without hesitation, we’ll tell you that Beer and liquor make a great combination.
Now if the idea of a Beer Cocktail is restricted to a Shandy (Beer & Lemonade) a Snakebite (beer, cider & blackcurrant cordial), or a Boilermaker (Beer & Whiskey), then we have seven drinks that will easily show that Beer Cocktails can be just as grown-up as the regular variety.
Beer is a great way to add both length and flavour to a spirit-based drink. The key to a well-crafted beer cocktail is in the flavour of the brew itself and balancing that with the spirit, liqueurs and even mixers you want to use.
But what might seem like a trend that won’t go away isn’t new at all, beer cocktails are as old as cocktails themselves.
And for good reason: beer may indeed be delicious on its own, of course, but using it in conjunction with spirits, juices and liqueurs, they open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Now, many beer connoisseurs will tell you that to truly understand the depth and characteristics of the infinite number of beer variations available is a lifelong pursuit. Everything from the region where it is produced and the ingredients (including the type of yeast), to the brewing method, will further define the style of the beer.
Pale Lagers and Pilsners
Pale lager and pilsners are golden-coloured beers that are lighter in flavour and lower in alcohol content. This style of beer became popular in what is now the modern Czech Republic and Germany.
Dark lager is malty and smooth, with toasted caramel flavours. These beers tend to have mid-range alcohol content and lower bitterness profiles.
Red Ales, unlike Amber Ales, use speciality roasted malts that create a unique complexity within the finished beer and gives it a sweeter, butterscotch or caramelized flavour.
Bocks are heavy on malty flavour, making them sweet and nutty. Bocks have lower alcohol levels, while Doppelbocks, Weizenbocks, and Maibocks move up the alcohol scale.
Brown ales feature malty overtones and tend to have toasty, caramel flavours. They typically feature mid-range alcohol content and hop bitterness.
Pale ales are generally hoppy but lower in alcohol content than IPAs. They are typically light, drinkable beers.
India Pale Ales (IPAs)
IPAs (short for India pale ales) boast strong hop bitterness with piney and floral flavours. These beers also have high alcohol content.
Porters are all dark in colour, and they feature flavours reminiscent of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. They tend to be more chocolatey than brown ales, and less coffee-like than stouts.
Stouts are dark beers that are similar to porters, but with stronger roasted flavours. This style also features mid to high alcohol levels.
Belgian beers are known for their spiced, sweet, and fruity flavours and high alcohol content. Despite their high alcohol content, Belgians are usually low in bitterness.
Wheat beers obviously use wheat as their malt. They are generally lighter in colour and alcohol content with tangy flavours go well with fruit.
Wild & Sour Ales
Wild or sour ales are typically very low in alcohol, and feature tart, sour flavours that come from (safe) bacteria in the brewing mash.