When Mixing Beer is a Good Idea: Six Beer Based Cocktails for the Start of Patio Season

Claude Lefebvre and Nathan Dunsmoor launched Double Trouble Brewing Co. in 2012. They currently offers four brands, including Hops & Robbers, Prison Break, Fire in the Rye, and the seasonal French Press vanilla stout.

Beer’s pretty fine stuff, if you ask us.

It has that great combination of sweet and bitter, a modest amount of alcohol (so you can drink a lot of it), and bubbles, which are never a bad thing.

It’s so simple: Open, pour, enjoy.

Then why mess with the easy pleasure of a tall, cold one by adding other ingredients? Because the results can often be eye-openingly delicious.

Call them beer cocktails, fettlers, or “just something I whipped up” – they’re a great alternative to summer’s more expected concoctions.

With the craft beer boom sweeping across Canada, we’re seeing many strange ingredients being brewed in beer. Fruit, spirits, and wood are all being used in the brewing process to infuse flavour, and it’s this complexity in craft brews that lends them to being a great ingredient in cocktails.

With patio weather right around the corner (see: 1 hour from now), we’ve picked our top six beer cocktails. Hoppy days are here again.

Black Velvet
This classic cocktail doesn’t contain hard liquor but it still feels decadent. Fill a pint glass halfway with champagne and then top it up with a stout, Guinness is the traditional choice.

Pour the stout slowly over the back of a spoon to create a layered effect.
Bubbly Manhattan
– 1oz of IPA
– 2oz good rye whiskey
– ½ oz sweet vermouth
– 1 slice of orange
Measure the rye and vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, adding IPA at the same time. Top with the orange slice.

The Peach Melba
– 6 oz pêche (peach) lambic, such as Lindemans, chilled
– 2 oz framboise (raspberry) lambic, such as Lindemans, chilled
– 1 thin slice lemon

Combine the two beers in a chilled 9-oz. Champagne flute. Gently squeeze the lemon slice over the drink and then add the slice to the drink. Serve.
The G&P
– 1 ½ inch thick slice of peeled cucumber
– 1 tsp granulated sugar
– ½ tsp fresh lime juice
– ½ oz gin
– 2 ½ oz Pilsner
Cut the cucumber slices into thin strips. Muddle the cucumber, sugar, and limejuice at the bottom of an 8oz rocks glass. Add the gin and stir. Half-fill the glass with ice. Gently pour in the pilsner and garnish with a cucumber wheel.  Consider never drinking a regular gin and tonic ever again.
Red Eyed Caesar
– 2oz Clamato juice
– 1 shot vodka
– 14 oz Pale Ale
– Salt to taste
Pour the Clamato juice into a chilled beer mug, fill up with the beer, and then add salt to taste.
– 1 ½ oz Campari
– 6oz Pilsner
– Lemon twist, to garnish

Fill a glass with ice. Add Campari. Slowly pour in the Pilsner. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils and run over the rim of the glass. Drop the lemon twist into the glass and serve. Feel smug about your superior cocktail making skills.

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