Beer Good!

Another week, another hangover. I come to you this time kind of continuing my “back-to-school” theme with drinks based around that college party standard (and standard of pretty much any other party, really), beer!

Who doesn’t like beer? Well, lots of people, actually, but they’re all objectively wrong. Beer is great! And you probably just drink your beer without doing anything fancy to it. But why not experiment every now and then. In the spirit of exploration, here are seven beer-based mixed drinks to try the next time you’re bored with your Bud.

Beer Buster

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
  • Chilled Beer

beer-cocktails-busterI figured I’d start with the strongest drink first tonight, instead of ending with the strongest drink like last time. It’s probably a lot better for my pacing. Vodka in beer is a pretty good way to get a buzz going fast — and after last week’s disappointing Jäger-fest, who couldn’t use a good buzz?

I’m really not a fan of adding hot sauce to stuff, especially drinks. Sometimes I feel like the only person I’ve met who doesn’t think that hot sauce is a magical elixir that makes anything better. There’s a time and place for everything, but it’s certainly not on my burger.

This drink, however, isn’t all that bad. It ups the alcohol content of your beer with vodka, and the added spice actually works well. It’s not incredible, but it’s an interesting flavor, and it’s worth trying if you like spicy things — just don’t ruin an expensive beer with this. If you don’t like spicy things, you could just drink beer with vodka in it, but then people might call you an alcoholic.

In any case, this would probably be a hit at a lot of college parties. Combine the ingredients in a beer glass of your choosing and enjoy.

Black and Tan

  • Lager or Pale Ale
  • Stout

beer-cocktails-black-and-tanThis is one of the more well-known drinks on the list tonight. It’s often served layered, but as you can see in the picture above, it’s not necessary to layer it. Layering that much beer in a glass that big isn’t easy without the appropriate equipment (plus the bubbles make it hard to layer any carbonated beverage), so I opted to just let the two beers mingle. I honestly think it’s better that way. If you wanted to taste two beers individually, you can order two beers individually. Allowing the beers to mix together creates something much more interesting than a layered drink, pretty though a layered drink may be.

I really like this drink, because I’m not all that into stout. I appreciate it and enjoy it, but I can only do so much bitter. If you use a lager, then it cuts the bitterness of the stout quite well. I’m sure with a pale ale it would be a much different experience, but I’ll try that another day. For now, this is a beer concoction that would make a Mormon reconsider things.

Combine the two beers in a beer glass of your choice. Layer them if you can, but don’t worry too much if you can’t.

Boiler Maker

  • 1 shot Whiskey
  • 1 glass Lager or Pale Ale

beer-cocktails-boiler-makerThere are three ways you can do this drink. First, you can do it as a shooter-chaser combo, where you down the whiskey and then chug the beer. Second, you can do it as a bomb shot where you drop the full shot glass into the beer and chug the mixture. Third, you can pour the whiskey into your beer without any drama and either chug it or drink it (though it’s expected that you chug it).

I chose the first option. Kind of a weird choice for me, because I’m not that good at chugging things, and sometimes shots of straight liquor can hit me wrong if I over-think it and briefly upset my stomach (which happened this time). So the actual experience of drinking this drink was not all that pleasant, but it ought to be judged on its own merits. As a shooter-chaser combo, it’s a good way to get a buzz. As far as flavor goes, the combination works well. It depends on the whiskey you use, but the whiskey flavor adds a nice, more refined layer to the beer. It’s a bit sweet if you use something like bourbon.

Anyway, I already explained how to make any version of this drink earlier, so I don’t think I need to explain it again. Make it, enjoy it, but be aware that doing more than two of these might just mean you’re an alcoholic or severely depressed (or both). Or maybe you’re just a college student at a party making bad decisions.

Shandy

  • Lemonade (or Lemon-Lime Soda, I guess)
  • Lager or Pale Ale

beer-cocktails-shandyI have some differing opinions on this to report. I thought this was really good, because I’ve had pre-made Shandies out of bottles, and those aren’t very good. This made me understand why someone would choose to drink a Shandy in the first place. My wife, however, thought this tasted like blood. A good part of that might be that I used beer from a can. So, take that for what you will. This might be good. It might taste like blood. If you’re a vampire, that might be great news for you! However, if you don’t happen to be a mythical creature of the night who for some reason frequents my blog, maybe try this with bottled beer to help cut the metallic taste.

So, vampires and college students, given my experiences with bottled versions of Shandies, I wasn’t expecting something good here. I was pleasantly surprised with how the lemonade blended with the beer, bringing sweet, sour, and bitter together quite effectively. I’m sure it would be even better if I hadn’t used store-bought lemonade. Yes, I was too lazy to combine water, sugar, and lemon juice. Shut up.

Combine the two ingredients in equal parts in a beer glass of your choice. Drink, and enjoy if you can. If you can’t, try to find someone who avoids sunlight and garlic to offer it to, I guess.

Shandygaff

  • Ginger Beer
  • Lager or Pale Ale

beer-cocktails-shandygaffThis is like a Shandy that’s a bit spicier. I’m not sure which drink came first, but in reading the Shandygaff, I learned that it is believed to have come from British slang for a pint of beer. The original phrase was “shant of gatter.” Shant meant “pub” and gatter meant “water.” Thus, we have “pub water” in a Shandygaff. See? You get to learn something, too.

This isn’t that intense or potent, but it’s still a very good drink. Ginger beer can be a really weird drink on its own, but it works here. The beer makes the ginger beer more palatable, and the ginger beer adds complexity and spice to the beer. It’s a very good mutual relationship.

Make it the same way you make a Shandy.

Depth Charge

  • 1 1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Lager or Ale

beer-cocktails-depth-chargeWith the relatively large amount of peppermint schnapps in this drink, I wasn’t expecting something good. I clearly underestimated the power of the beer. The beer flavor is strong enough to counter the large amount of peppermint schnapps. Ergo, this drink is essentially just a beer with a bit of a minty kick — perhaps something to make your breath a bit better.

This is a nice and light drink with a little bit of mint. I don’t think I can’t say anything else about it. So, yeah. Mint and beer. It’s cool. I’m not sure why someone thought, “You know what my beer really needs? Mint!” But still. It’s cool.

Make it exactly how you expect to make it.

Michelada

  • Lime Wedge
  • Kosher Salt
  • Mexican Lager

beer-cocktails-micheladaThis is apparently a Mexican classic, and it loosely translates to “my cold beer.” There are several variations of it, and I’ve given you the simplest version of it. You might see tequila and Tabasco in other versions, but all versions are based off of some combination of (Mexican) beer, lime juice, and salt, served over ice.

Well, feel free to look up other versions and add lots of ingredients, but whatever version you pick, this might be the one way to make Corona enjoyable. I’d definitely suggest a better beer than I did, but if you can’t find one, Corona will work, and it’s actually drinkable here.

In any case, this is a simple change to beer, but it’s quite pleasant. If I were an upper-class type, I would totally order this while lounging by the pool. Make this at your next college kegger to bring in some class.

Start by rimming a pilsner glass with the lime wedge and salt (I suppose pilsner glasses are kind of specialized, so use another glass if you must). Then squeeze the lime wedge into the glass and drop it in. Add ice and fill with beer. Have fun, you classy motherfucker.

Denouement

Beer. Probably the best thing humanity has to offer. Go have some.