Beer Cocktails

Fizzy and refreshing, Beer Cocktails are the best of both worlds. When combined with spirits and mixers, beer brings its malty, earthy flavor to both sweet and savory drinks.

Beer cocktails

If you like beer and cocktails, have you considered putting them together? Beer cocktails are a delicious combination that takes mixed drinks to a whole new level.

When you combine the effervescence of beer with the nuanced flavors of various spirits, you wind up with creative concoctions that are fun to drink and share. From classic beer-based concoctions to innovative blends, tap into beer cocktails that will transcend the ordinary pint.

Grab your favorite brew, pull up a seat and toast to the perfect fusion of hops and spirits.

Types of beer

Beer is fermented alcohol produced from water, malted barley, hops and yeast. There are two main classes of beer: lagers and ales. According to Home Brew Academy, lager is made with one strain of yeast, while ale is made with another.

  • Examples of lagers: Bocks, pale American lagers, pilsners, wheat beer, amber 
  • Examples of ales: American pale ales, brown ale, blonde ale, India pale ales (IPAs), stouts, sours, porters
two bottles of corona on a marble countertop.

Which beer to use

When mixing cocktails, it’s important to have the right type of beer on hand for your recipe. You wouldn’t want to use a complex and moody dark beer when a recipe calls for a refreshing light beer. It can change the color and the flavor, and maybe not in a good way.

Pay attention to your recipe and what it calls for. If you need a dark beer or stout, grab a Guinness or similar. A porter could be a good substitute, but it may not have the thick head of foam that stouts have.

If the recipe says to use a “light-colored beer,” you’re probably looking for a lager, wheat beer or pilsner. Anything with “pale ale” in the name tends to be more hoppy, which means it has lots of the bitter flavor of the hops used to make the beer, and it could conflict with the cocktail’s other flavors.

While big names like Budweiser and Corona work well, craft beers are excellent choices and a great way to level up your beer cocktails. Try a new-to-you brew in a cocktail and see how it goes!

Want to make it a mocktail? Use a non-alcoholic beer like Athletic Brewing and sub a non-alcoholic spirit for the alcohol.

Two glasses with berries and mint leaves in them.

Common beer cocktails

There are a number of cocktails made with beer from all over the world. Some are very similar, usually featuring a 50:50 ratio of ingredients.

Shandy: Popular in Britain, the Shandy is a combination of half lemonade and half beer or cider, but usually a light beer such as a Pilsner. It’s fun to play around with, as you can use different flavors of lemonade, such as strawberry lemonade to make strawberry shandies.

Panaché: This French combo of a light beer and a citrus soda like Sprite or 7-Up is refreshing and light.

Radler: From Germany, the Radler is a beer cocktail made by combining a blond lager such as a blonde ale or Hefewiezen with fruit juice.

Best beer cocktails

Ready to make some beer cocktails? Pull out a pint glass and let’s get to mixing!

1
a lime wedge is pushed into a pink corona beer cocktail.
Corona Sunrise
Refreshing and flavorful, the Corona Sunrise cocktail takes drinking a cold one to a whole new level. Similar to a Tequila Sunrise, this drink features tequila, orange juice and grenadine that are added to a bottle of Mexican lager. A spritz of fresh lime juice from the garnish adds an extra layer of flavor.
GET THE RECIPE
2
Beermosa // Feast + West
2-Ingredient Beermosa
This beer-infused mimosa is an ideal choice for brunch or game-watching. Replacing bubbly champagne, beer adds a unique twist to the classic brunch cocktail.
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3
two beerita cocktails next to beer cans
Beer Margarita
The Beerita or Beergarita is a beer margarita recipe that’s as perfect for sipping while watching the big game as it is for your next Taco Tuesday. Made with tequila, lime juice, Cointreau and a Mexican beer, this combo is a treat. Don't forget the salt rim!
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4
a michelada cocktail on a wood coaster
Michelada
The Michelada is a delicious, savory tomato and beer cocktail you don’t want to miss out on. Similar to a Bloody Mary, this drink is made with tomato juice, lime juice, tequila and a splash of hot sauce, then topped with a Mexican lager beer. It's a spin on the Mexican Chelada, made with lager, lime juice and a salty rim.
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5
A Ginger Pumpkin Beer Shandy is a fall cocktail that's reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Sip on this lovely hybrid of sweet, non-alcoholic ginger beer and a spicy, tart pumpkin ale for Thanksgiving and other autumn get-togethers. (via feastandwest.com)
Ginger Shandy
The Ginger Pumpkin Beer Shandy offers a delightful fall flavor, blending ginger beer and pumpkin beer for a perfect entertaining sipper with seasonal flair.
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6
A can-shaped glass of green beer sits in front of another glass and gold bead necklaces.
Green Beer
Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, this easily homemade green beer adds a festive touch with green food coloring, letting you celebrate the luck of the Irish in emerald style.
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7
A glass is half full of dark liquid while foam fills the remaining glass. A can of Guinness sits out of focus in the background along with the cage from a champagne bottle.
Black Velvet Cocktail
The Black Velvet Cocktail, made with Guinness beer and champagne, provides a smooth and velvety drink. It's a sophisticated choice to enjoy anytime.
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8
Two glasses with berries and mint leaves in them.
Cheerwine Shandy
A refreshing cocktail, the Cheerwine Shandy combines the famous North Carolina cherry soda with beer, creating a crisp and flavorful beverage for any occasion.
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9
two guinness floats in beer can-shaped pint glasses
Guinness Floats
These Guinness Floats are ice-cold concoctions featuring your favorite ice cream and stout beer. Topped with chocolate sauce, this boozy version offers a delightful twist on the classic float.
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10
Two glasses with orange slices and a bottle of beer.
Take Two Tapas
Orange Shandy
A mix of Satsuma Orange rum liqueur, orange juice, and Blue Moon will turn you into a beer lover with this Satsuma Orange Shandy is perfect!
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11
A Miller High Life beer bottle with an orange drink inside, garnished with a lemon wedge. Various cocktail-making tools are nearby, including a jigger, bottle cap, and bottle opener.
Spaghett Drink
This beer cocktail involves combining a light beer, like Miller High Life, with Aperol and lemon juice. The result is a refreshing drink with a slightly bitter concoction.
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12
A glass of lemonade next to a can of tup.
Blackberry Babe
Summer Beer Cocktail
Summer Beer is the perfect cocktail for a group. Similar to a shandy, it’s made with with light beer, lemon and lime soda, and vodka.
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13
Spiced Apple Cider Shandy // Feast + West
Apple Shandy
In this straightforward beer cocktail, beer paired with spiced apple cider makes for the perfect autumn beverage, offering a refreshing yet seasonally fitting drink.
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Other beer cocktails

Spaghett: Made with Aperol, lemon juice and Miller High Life, this combo from Baltimore is like an Aperol Spritz with beer.

Half and Half: This cocktail features two beers — usually a light-colored pale ale and a dark beer like a stout — that are layered. The stout floats to the top because of its relative lower density. This drink is also known as a Black & Tan, which is considered to be an offensive term in Ireland.

Snakebite: This cocktail is made by combining equal parts lager and hard cider. A splash of crème de cassis (blackberry liqueur) can be added, renaming the drink a Snakebite and Black.

Irish Slammer: This cocktail is a type of boilermaker, which involves adding a shot of spirits to a beer. The Irish Slammer contains a shot of Irish cream and Irish whiskey, which is then dropped into a glass of Irish stout.

Food pairings for beer

Beer cocktails can go with all kinds of foods! For beer margaritas and micheladas, enjoy them with you favorite Mexican appetizers like guacamole and salsa.

And for summertime barbecues, you have lots of options. Beer cheese dip is a fabulous appetizer to enjoy with German pretzels. Beer boiled brats are another delicious, beer-soaked recipe you can make on the grill.

A breakfast of beer biscuits would also be delicious with a beer mimosa.

decorative icon of a beer stein.

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

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