When you think of a cocktail, beer might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Beer cocktails are a great way to harmonize the flavor of your favorite beers with a twist. Similar to wine, beer makes for a great base. Its distinct hoppy flavor and carbonation pair well with a variety of both sweet and savory drinks people love.
The Growing Popularity of Beer Cocktails
Beer cocktails might be a new concept for some, but they’ve actually been around for centuries. Cocktails, at their core, can be simplified into the act of adding something to alcohol, either to mask its’ flavor or enhance it. Especially in the historical context of beer cocktails, the process of beer-making wasn’t as great as it is now. Beer was often not refreshing and downright gross so things like muddled fruit, poppy seeds, and herbs were added to make it more palatable.
Within the past few years, beer cocktails have become more popular for their low alcohol content, similar to hard seltzers. The appeal of a beer cocktail could be attributed to its refreshing flavor and the fact that many beer cocktails on the market come in a can. Regardless, beer cocktails can be a great addition to your menu and appeal to a wide audience. If done right, you could even end up convincing a beer lover to try something new!
Are Beer Cocktails Really Worth It?
Cost is an important consideration for any successful business, especially when trying something new. The best part of a beer cocktail is you likely already have everything you need to make some. Beer cocktails can be profitable and cost-effective even if they’re not a big hit because you already have beer and cocktail ingredients.
Beer cocktails are especially great for bars that have a lot of younger customers. Younger generations tend to be less interested in getting drunk, so drinks with unique flavors become more appealing. Worst case scenario, your beer cocktails don’t do well and you take them off the menu with a minor financial hit instead of wasting money on specialty drinks. You can simply re-incorporate your stock instead of having to get rid of it.
Beer Cocktail Recipes Worth Adding to Your Menu
You can do beer cocktails in a variety of ways and you’ll likely recognize a couple of the cocktails we’re going to list. These are some popular cocktails and even some alternatives to using beer, but as always, it’s good to have a few unique ideas of your own. Cocktails in general can be fairly customizable and coming up with something that helps you stand out is always a good business strategy.
Plain Beer Cocktails
- Michelada or Chelada. You’ve likely seen or heard of both of these drinks before and it might surprise you to see them on this list. A Chelada is technically a cocktail, just a beer with some lime rimmed with salt or Tajin. This is a classic and refreshing way to enjoy a Mexican beer. The salt and lime combination paired with a crisp, hoppy beer is the perfect summer combination after a hot day. Michelada is similar to a Chelada, except a Michelada has spices, peppers, and even clamato juice added for a little more of a savory spicy experience. Michelada is commonly rimmed with Tajin as well, adding to the salty-savory-spicy drink. Both drinks are a classic to include on your beer cocktail menu and are sure to be a hit.
- Use beer with your margarita. Citrus lends itself well to the flavor of most beers, making a beer margarita a good choice to put on your menu. While it’s typical to find beer margaritas with tequila still included, this drink is great on it’s own with just beer, agave, lime, and ice. If you want to make things more interesting, add a few slices of jalapeno for an extra kick.
- Shandy variations. A classic shandy is the perfect hydrating low-alcohol drink with just two simple ingredients: ginger ale and beer. This drink has been around for a long time and this is what it’s like in its purest form, but it’s common to see a shandy made with Sprite and other sodas as well. The shandy is the perfect customizable drink as you can experiment with different types of soda, different syrups and fruit, and you can even try adding bitters to them.
Beer Cocktails With Extra Booze
- Paloma with beer. A Paloma is great on its own, but adding beer adds extra complexity to the drink. You don’t need to do much aside from what you’d do to make a classic Paloma. Instead of using grapefruit flavored soda, try using grapefruit juice in its place and add beer. Rim with salt and you have yourself yet another refreshing cocktail with a little extra booze. Palomas with beer taste even better when you use grapefruit beer as well.
- Aperol spritz with beer. Aperol’s distinct herbaceous, sweet orange, and rhubarb flavor added to beer and lemon make for an excellent drink. This beer cocktail is a little on the classier side due to its taste, but still gives you a full beer to drink. The Aperol adds just a touch of an extra buzz, but not too much. This is a great addition if you serve heavy foods as well, as it’s incredibly refreshing.
- Substitute beer for champagne in your cocktails! Experimentation is important to come up with the perfect menu items. If you want to try a different flavor profile but keep the bubbles, try adding champagne instead! Champagne goes well in a margarita, a Paloma, and many of the drinks we mentioned. You can even offer some drinks to be served with the customer’s choice of champagne or beer.
How Provi Can Help!
Provi helps you keep track of your inventory and order new stock all in the same place. You can use inventory information to calculate your pour cost for your new beer cocktails, see how much you’re selling, and order more as needed. You can complete your first order in as little as five minutes! If you’re interested in seeing how Provi can help make managing your bar or restaurant easier, sign up for a free account today.