Beer or Cocktail? Yes, Please. The Maturation of Beer Cocktails

Late summer is in full swing and you may find yourself in quite a dilemma as Happy Hour rolls around and you are again stuck deciding between a refreshing beer and a tasty cocktail.
Not to worry my friend, a new era has dawned and it is now acceptable to have both – at the same time! That’s right, beer cocktails have burst onto the bar scene with their vibrant creativity, diverse flavors, and serious ability to pack an alcoholic punch.
The surge in popularity stems from the nostalgia of shandygaffs, which is a mixture of beer and soda popularized by old Englishmen and the more recently nostalgic car bombs, sake bombs, and Jäger bombs popularized by college students across the nation.
These beer cocktails are not the fist pounding, unceremoniously plunged together, and gulped down drinks of the past. The creators of alcoholic bombs have graduated and matured into adulthood and so have their palates.
Recipes that have hit mainstream include:

  • Black Velvet: a mix of stout and champagne
  • The Boilermaker: a combo of quality beer and a shot of whiskey
  • The Groundskeeper: a medley of ale and single-malt scotch
  • Michelada: a beer, lime juice, and hot sauce mixture served margarita style with a salt rim

Quality ingredients and flavor seems to be the main criteria of beer cocktail mixology. Aficionados and novices alike are ordering beer brewing kits, hoping to create the perfect blend of hops, barley, and other accompaniments to produce the perfect base for their savory beer cocktails.
Beer brewing at home has become a pastime for these beer cocktail diehards who are never satisfied with the status quo.  Some opt for brewing with flavor profiles such as chocolate and orange, coriander and rosemary or lemon pepper. Effectively producing the perfect craft beer requires marrying together of spirits and shaping the next bar room staples.
Texture, complexity, and flavored beer cocktails are now the sophisticated choice. So next time you find yourself stumped on what to order at your local bar, get the best of both worlds and indulge in a craft beer cocktail.