12 Beer-Based Cocktails to Celebrate the End of Summer and Beyond

What could be better than beer, you ask? Oh, maybe just a little something called beer plus champagne, or beer plus sparkling lemonade, or beer plus another kind of beer. You heard me! Beer lovers and cocktail connoisseurs' worlds collide with these beer-based concoctions, perfect for celebrating the changing of seasons. Ready to get a little creative with your booze, cheers to the end of summer, and toast to the start of fall? Oh yeah. Let’s make this happen.

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Michelada

The only thing more glorious than a Mexican restaurant that serves Micheladas is a Mexican restaurant that serves Micheladas and makes their chips by deep-frying handmade tortillas. Until you find that magical place, use this recipe from Food52 to make Micheladas at home. You’ll need soy sauce, Worcestershire (skip it if there’s veg-types about), hot sauce, Maggi (if you can find it), tomato juice, and beer (I recommend Sol). And freshly-fried chips, of course.

Image: Michelada by The Flying Foodie/Food52

Chavela

When I order a Michelada — and you’d better believe I order one every chance I get — about half the time what I’m served is actually a Chavela. According to Saveur, Chavelas are made of beer, tomato juice, hot sauce, lemon, and salt, and according to me, they’re fantastic. Beware, however! Sometimes Chavelas are beer and Clamato, something you might forget to clarify after downing the shot of tequila traditionally served on the side… 


Shandy

I was tragically shandy-oblivious until I came across this simple yet perfect recipe from A Cozy Kitchen. Now it’s nonstop shandies ‘round here. 

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Chelada

Keep things light and simple and clam-free with Muy Bueno’s recipe for a Chelada: just add together ice, lime juice, and beer. 


Campari Shandy

Molly Wizenberg of Orangette and Essex fame shakes up the traditional spritz in this shandy recipe for Food52. Simply combine a light beer and Campari, garnish with a lime slice, and voila. The best part is that Wizenberg recommends using affordable beers such as PBR or Corona — very helpful after splashing out on a bottle of Campari!


Black Velvet

Class up the joint by ordering a Black Velvet — an intriguing combination of champagne and Guinness Stout. Black Velvet


Bul

I suppose you could call this beer and ginger beer cocktail “the Shandy of Cuba”, but it’s a Bul, dammit, and I need one right now.


Radler

If you can’t score a can of Stiegl Radler, don’t sweat — it’s almost as easy to make your own. Just combine equal parts lager and grapefruit soda, and leave everyone wondering how you stay so unimpeachably fresh on sweltering late summer days. Fun fact: Radler, which is German for “cyclist”, was created as the thirst-quenching and low-alcohol ideal beer for bicycling.


Peach Lambic Float

This recipe from A Cozy Kitchen requires a bit of planning and effort, but it will be totally worth it once you’re devouring a Peach Lambic Ice Cream Float. And the next day at work when you’re telling everyone about your Peach Lambic Ice Cream Float. And mid-February when the only thing getting you through the winter is the memory of that Peach Lambic Ice Cream Float. A little work now, glory forever.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen


Beer Berry Bramble

It’s your last chance to enjoy summer’s seasonal flavors, and there’s no more delicious way of doing that than with this beer berry bramble. Dreamt up by The Crepes of Wrath, this cocktail combines berry-flavored wheat beer with a splash of dry gin and plenty of fresh fruit. So. Good.

Image: The Crepes of Wrath

Snakebite

Oooh, cocktail controversy! Some say a proper Snakebite is layered hard cider and stout, others insist it’s lager and cider. I don’t care — I just want my drinks layered and my beer stripey.


Diesel

Here’s one everyone can agree on… well, except for what to call it. A Diesel — lager, cider, and black currant liqueur — is commonly known as a Snakebite & Black, for obvious reasons, but I prefer a bit more mystery in my cocktail nomenclature.