But in the interest of objective journalism, I set out on a three-day tour of beer cocktails, just to see if I was unjustly writing off the work of a new generation of mixologists.
The kind of people we target with these beer cocktails are those that dont drink a lot of beer, said Randy Newberry, manager at Republic Gastropub. Thats why beer drinkers shouldnt be offended by them, because we are opening it up to people who dont drink beer and getting them interested.
Republic Gastropub, 5830 N.Classen Blvd., has an extensive beer menu, from the standard-bearers of craft and import beer (like Chimay and Anchor), to the obscure and local. Republic is also reformulating its menu to include some cocktails to tempt virgin taste buds and win new converts with offerings such as the German Chocolate, made with Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Frangelico, Malibu coconut rum and Stolichnaya vanilla vodka.
above Ednas Shelly Bergman drops a shot of whiskey into beer to create a boilermaker.
The kind of people we target with these beer cocktails dont drink a lot of beer.
For fans of fruit-flavored libations, Republics cider sangría is made with Wyders pear cider, Cointreau, Disaronno amaretto and Pinot Grigio yes, a cider mixed with wine. The Peachy Keen is made with Lindemans Pecheresse (thatd be peach), orange juice and Absolut Mandrin to mimic the fuzzy navel. Finally, there is a raspberry cooler with Lindemans Framboise (raspberry) and red wine, similar to a wine cooler.
There are beer mixes that have been around forever, like black and tans and Snakebites, Newberry said. Incorporating alcohol and wine is pretty new. You could use pretty much any beer, but for a good cocktail, you want a beer that can stand up and marry well with other flavors. Beers with a pretty distinct flavor work best.
Perhaps the most locally famous beer cocktail is the Lunchbox, proudly served at Ednas Restaurant & Club, 5137 Classen Circle. Located amidst a strip of clubs and bars running from Classen to Western, Ednas has stood out for years as a neighborhood bar that still manages to pull in metro customers.
What keeps people coming back are the Lunchboxes, said bartender Star Whitson. Its our signature drink, and we make it with a mug of Coors Light with a
shot of amaretto inside and a splash of orange juice on top. Its only
$4, so good bang for your buck, and we sell a mad amount of those.
will make even the most pretentious palate receptive to a domestic
beer. Like many beer cocktails, it is easy to drink with relatively low
the at-home bartender, most beer cocktails are pretty simple to make,
like the aforementioned black and tan (equal parts stout and lager) and
the Snakebite (equal parts cider and lager), but only the Snakebites
taste was even close to being as interesting as its component parts.
cider fans, there are other options, like the Broken Leg (cider with a
shot of whiskey) and the Stone Fence (cider with a shot of dark rum).
The Broken Legs whiskey shot gave the cider a nice sharpness, but the
Stone Fence was completely overwhelmed by the dark rum and tasted
Black Velvet, made with a combination of stout and sparkling wine, was
sour and, frankly, a waste of good beer. Sparkling wine with cider, on
the other hand, was an approachable mix of tart and sweet and would be a
good party drink.
Bloody Mary beer (Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix plus lager garnished with
celery and asparagus) was a complete failure, as the lager was almost
nonexistent, making the concoction basically just a glass of V8.
big wins were the classic Boilermaker (lager with a shot of whiskey), a
heavy, potent drink where the flavors of the whiskey and the lager
complement each other nicely, and the Black Diplomat, which paired
blackstrap rum and stout. Both the rum and the stout held up well, with
the caramel notes of the rum complementing the yeastiness of the beer in
a way that called to mind the taste of fresh-baked dark bread.
beer cocktails havent replaced an abbey ale or a smoked porter on my
list of favorites, they are an excellent introduction to beer for the
novice, and can make for an interesting night of experimentation for
even the staunchest beer lover.