I’ve been a beer lover for a while now, and I can’t recall ever not liking at least some kind of beer. When I lived in France, my beer-loving tastebuds were at a loss over how few beers there were on tap at bars and how dire the selection of beer was all across the country. Even in Irish pubs, the fanciest beers around were Kilkhenny, Guinness and Grimbergen. Not awful beers, but you try living in a place with only the same 3 beers ever on tap and you’ll understand how spoiled we really are here in the good, old US of A.
So, with a totally uninspiring selection of beer, I wasn’t all that surprised when I found out that people were resorting to drinking “beer cocktails.” I did, admittedly, drop my jaw and cringe my nose the first time I ever saw a bartender add red syrup to a pint of beer and then spray in something from his carbonated tap. But, then I realized that (even in a beer-forsaken city) sometimes non-beer-drinkers just need a little nudge to fall over into the vast and often intimidating world of beer. And, besides that, some of those mixes are actually pretty good. So much so, that I even found myself changing things up a bit, ordering the occasional panaché instead of the usual bottle of Leffe Brune.
In preparation for the approaching Hopfields opening, Bay and Lindsay have been having fun mixing up some beer cocktails, and they’ve held a few tastings with friends to experiment with combining beer and non-beer substances. Here are a few of the beer mixes we’ve been playing around with:
Panaché (Shandy) – beer with a pour of sparkling lemonade
Monaco – same as a panaché with a bit of grenadine syrup added in (pink beer!)
Tango – beer with a splash grenadine syrup
Michelada – beer with a bit of spicy bloody mary mix, worcestershire and hot sauce
Black Velvet – Guinness (or other stout beer) with champagne
So, what’s your take on “beer cocktails,” and what else are you brave enough to mix into your beer?