Ten Great Beer Cocktails to Fire Up Your Cookouts

Ten Great Beer Cocktails to Fire Up Your Cookouts


Cold beer is the gold standard thirst quencher at a cookout. But since nothing says, “Let’s get this party started!” like a cocktail, beer cocktails are appearing more frequently as the opening act for summer meals. So popular in fact, that brewers are beginning to package Shandies and Michelada.

But there’s no reason you can’t make your own. If your idea of a DIY beer cocktail is a Boilermaker, some top local mixologists have a few suggestions for you.

Presidio Social Club Grog
Scott Brody from the Presidio Social Club

1 oz dark rum
1/2 oz triple sec
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Salt the rim of an 8 oz glass and fill with ice. Add the rum, triple sec, lime and bitters and top off with the beer.

Shandy Maker
Richard Woodruff from Chambers Eat + Drink

½ oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 oz homemade sweet-n-sour (juice from half a lemon and half a lime and a simple syrup)
1/2 oz Sprite

Add the Jameson and the sweet and sour to ½ scoop of ice in a pilsner glass. Add the Sprite and top off with the lager. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Gina Butler from The Blackbird Bar

3 oz Michelada Mix*
3 oz North Coast Brewery Scrimshaw Pilsner

Shake the mix with ice, strain all ingredients into salted rim glass and top with beer.

* Michelada Mix recipe:

3 oz tomato juice
3 dashes Tapatio Hot Sauce
1/4 oz agave syrup
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1/2 lime
½ tbsp cilantro
¼ tsp freshly grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste


Fish & Chips
Aaron “ACE” Chon from LarkCreekSteak

1-1/2 oz Chopin Potato Vodka
1-1/2 oz Peppered Meyer Lemon Shrub*
Dogfish Head Midas Touch

Combine the potato vodka and shrub syrup and slowly pour beer down the side of the glass. Some beer foam is ideal. If there's too much, spoon out some and add more beer. If all ingredients are frosty cold, it minimizes the reaction. Stir gently and garnish with a Meyer lemon wheel.

*Peppered Meyer Lemon Shrub recipe:

Makes 5 to 6 drinks

2 oz malt vinegar
2 oz fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
3 oz organic honey
1 oz distilled water
1 tbsp fresh peppercorns

In a preheated 300° oven, roast peppercorns. Meanwhile, on the stovetop, in a pan on low heat, dissolve water and honey to make a basic syrup, then combine lemon juice and malt vinegar. As soon as it comes to a low simmer, add hot peppercorns to mixture, stir and remove from heat. Once cooled to room temp, strain and set aside. Keeps in fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer till needed.

Morgan Schick from Jupiter Olympus (Oakland)

1 oz Hirsch Small Batch Reserve
1/4 oz Mint Syrup*
1 dash Angostura Orange
Anchor Brewing’s California Lager

Build in pilsner glass and top with the lager. Garnish with mint leaf.

* Mint Syrup recipe

In a sauce pan combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water and 1 bunch mint leaves. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out mint.

Lava Lamp
Danny Louie for The Alembic

1 1/2 oz Lillet Rose
1/2 oz Nocino walnut liqueur
1/2 oz L'Original Combier (triple sec)
Anchor Porter

Vigorously shake the Lillet and liqueurs with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Top with porter foam.

San Fran Shandy
Russell Davis, Bar/Spirits/Mixology Consultant, Nightclub & Bar's 2012 Bartender of the Year

2 oz Hophead Vodka
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz ginger liqueur
1/2 oz honey syrup
1/2 oz egg white
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
3 oz Brown Ale

Combine vodka, lemon juice, ginger liqueur, honey syrup, egg white and bitters in a shaker and dry shake to emulsify egg whites. Add ice and shake vigorously until proper dilution. Strain into a chilled fizz glass. Empty ice out of shakers and add the ale to create a froth. Pour this froth over the drink and garnish with half an orange wheel.


The Shah's Shandy
Reza Esmaili from Ananas Consulting

1 oz ginger liqueur
½ oz No. 3 gin
¾ oz Meyer lemon juice (fresh squeezed and strained for pulp)
¼ oz rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
3 oz Anchor Liberty Ale
Zest with Meyer lemon twist

Shake all non-carbonated ingredients into a chilled pilsner glass. Carefully pour Liberty Ale into the glass. Use express lemon zest for aromatics and to calm foam.

The Bullhead
Bryan Ranere at Laszlo

1 oz tomato juice
1 oz cold beef consommé
1 oz jalapeno-infused vodka
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
Juice from ½ lemon

Coat the rim of a pint glass with a coarse salt and pepper. Combine the juices, consommé, and vodka. Add several dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco and top with lager.

Jersey Cocktail
Brian Means from Fifth Floor

Pear cider
1 oz Applejack
1/2 oz simple syrup

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add in syrup and applejack and top with pear cider.

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