Beer & Wine Beer

11 Beer Cocktails to Try Right Now

What makes a beer even better? Mixing it into a delicious cocktail.

Boiler Room cocktail
Boiler Room Image: / Tim Nusog

Beer doesn’t have to be a solo act. Instead, think of what else you might do with that crisp, tasty ale or lager. Beer adds body, bubbles and a frothy kick to cocktails. From drinks where beer is the star of the show to others where it accents mezcal or Aperol, beer is primed to amp up the refreshment of your next cocktail. These are 11 to try.

1. Lagerita

Lagerita / Tim Nusog

What's even more refreshing than a Margarita? One that's topped with a Mexican lager, making for the ultimate drink mashup. Just take the typical mix of tequila, Cointreau and lime juice, shake it all up and then top it with Modelo Especial. It's a drink you'll be craving all summer long.

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2. Rye House Spring Beer Cocktail

Rye House Spring Beer Cocktail / Tim Nusog

From the cocktail masterminds Jim Kearns and Lynnette Marrero comes this seasonal drink that calls for topping genever, applejack, loganberry liqueur, lime juice and ginger syrup with lager beer. It might be an unusual combination, but it's one perfectly suited for ringing in the arrival of warmer weather.

Get the recipe.

3. Radler Paloma

Radler Paloma / Tim Nusog

The alfresco rooftop at 8UP Drinkery & Kitchen in Louisville, Kentucky, may be an ideal location to sip this grapefruit cooler, but it tastes equally good mixed at home. This take on the Mexican classic makes a match of tequila and Stiegl radler, which is then rounded out by fresh grapefruit and lime juices. The finished product is tall, cool, refreshing and just a hair boozier than your typical Paloma.

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4. Michelada

Michelada / Tim Nusog 

The Michelada may just beat the Bloody Mary as the best savory brunchtime drink, taking a Mexican lager and adding lime juice, Tabasco and worcestershire sauces and an array of spices. You can choose your favorite beer as the starting point, but you can’t go wrong with a Mexican lager like Tecate or Modelo Especial.

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5. Bodega Dog

Bodega Dog cocktail / Tim Nusog

Gin and grapefruit make a classic combination. Add gin to grapefruit juice and you get the classic Greyhound. Add a salt rim and you'll have a Salty Dog. Replace the grapefruit juice with the grapefruit-flavored wheat beer from Schöfferhofer, and you get this tasty and refreshing drink.

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6. El Chapo

El Chapo cocktail / Tim Nusog

This drink takes the gin-and-grapefruit-beer combo from above a step further, adding strawberry-infused Aperol for a sweet, fruity and very slightly bitter touch. You'll likely have some of that fruity Aperol left over, so go ahead and use it in a Spritz for a two-in-one summer-drink ingredient.

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7. Mayan Michelada

Mayan Michelada / Tim Nusog

Now that you’ve perfected the original Michelada, you’re ready to crank out batches of this updated version at your next brunch. Beer is usually the sole source of alcohol in a Michelada, but New York City’s Tijuana Picnic gives its Mayan Michelada an extra jolt with a small pour of joven mezcal, which adds subtle smoke and agave notes to the drink.

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8. Ruby Hearts

Ruby Hearts cocktail / Tim Nusog

This drink proves that bitter is indeed better, employing both IPA and bitter liqueur Campari alongside mezcal, lime juice and a cinnamon-demerara syrup. Rather than overwhelming the drink, the bitter flavors accent the grassy smokiness of the mezcal and the richness of the syrup, producing an unexpectedly balanced concoction.

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9. Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun cocktail
Travis Mitchell

Washington, D.C., restaurant and bar Roofers Union gets high marks for its beer program, so it’s little surprise that suds have bled into the cocktail list. In this drink, rye whiskey lends a spice and depth that play well with the ginger and lemon, while a splash of wheat beer ties the citrus and spice elements together, giving the whole shebang a refreshing fizz.

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10. Bloody Roman

Bloody Roman / Tim Nusog

If you're looking for a new beer-based brunch drink and the Micheladas above aren't savory or complex enough for you, give this drink a try. It combines olives, tomatoes, capers, chiles, shallots and fish sauce with, yes, beer, topping each glass with a couple of freshly shucked oysters. Who needs a breakfast burrito when you can have this meal in a glass?

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11. Boiler Room

Boiler Room cocktail / Tim Nusog

This summery cocktail, a mix of bourbon, ginger liqueur, marigold tea, lemon juice and honey syrup, all topped with wheat beer, is a combination of familiar flavors in an unexpected mix. It's sure to become your new go-to comfort cocktail.

Get the recipe.