12 Beer Cocktails For The Best Of Both Boozy Worlds

Okay, so beer may not be the first cocktail mixer you think of, but people worldwide have been creating beer drinks for a long time. And while you might consume beer just as it is, beer is actually quite versatile. It makes an excellent addition to a broad range of cocktails, and you can mix it with lots of refreshing ingredients. From wine to tequila to fruit juice, beer pairs well with many mixers — it even goes with other kinds of alcohol. 

Sure, if you're a beer lover you know it tastes excellent all by itself — but there are plenty of ways to turn beer into a more elaborate, flavorful drink. Yes, some are more popular than others, but chances are there's one with your name on it! Next time you're feeling adventurous or unsure what you want to drink, try one of the following 12 beer cocktails for the best of both boozy worlds.


A beer margarita, also known as a beergarita or lagerita, puts a unique spin on the classic margarita. Made similarly to the traditional drink, beergaritas also use beer as one of the mixer ingredients. The addition of beer balances out a margarita by making it less sweet and adding a bit of fizz. While not technically a beergarita, many mixologists add a splash of beer to their margaritas, proof that this delicious addition creates a smoother finished product.

To make a beergarita, add 1.5 ounces of tequila and 1 ounce of triple sec or Cointreau to a glass. Then, add ice and enough lime juice to fill the glass halfway. Stir or shake vigorously and then top off your mixture with beer. Next, salt the rim on a separate glass, pour your cocktail inside, and enjoy. For a super-sized beergarita, add enough lime juice to fill the entire glass, turn a bottle of beer upside down, and insert it into the top of the drink. The beer will gradually mix into the cocktail while you drink, providing you with a delicious blend of beer and margarita.

Classically, lager is the beer of choice for this drink because of its smooth tasting notes, but feel free to use IPA or whatever you prefer. You can also skip adding simple syrup or sweet and sour as you would in a traditional margarita unless, of course, you prefer a sweeter drink. The orange liqueur typically contains enough sugar for most people's taste.

Bloody Roman

As you may have guessed by the name, a Bloody Roman is a variation of a Bloody Mary. It pairs all the savory ingredients of a Bloody Mary with the beer of your choosing to create a light beer cocktail packed with complex flavors.

To make this drink, all you really need is a solid bloody mix and beer. However, you can also add vodka for an extra potent kick, a salt or chili rim, and an abundance of garnishes like celery, olives, and pickles. One of the best things about a Bloody Roman is that you can use a wide range of ingredients to enhance the flavor of the tomato juice. From chopped-up capers to fish sauce to shallots, pretty much anything goes. Olives, tomatoes, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lime, and hot sauce also make excellent additions to the mix.

Or, if you want to skip all the extra ingredients, add a shot of tomato juice to a light beer (and viola!) you have a red beer. While not quite as elaborate as a Bloody Roman, it still hits the spot, especially during brunch or if you're trying to pace yourself for a long day of drinking.


The Michelada is a spicy beer cocktail that packs a punch. While it is a classic Mexican beer cocktail, it has gained a lot of traction in American bars and is quickly becoming a standard drink for hot days and brunch.

Making a Michelada at home is super simple. Start by pouring a Mexcian lager like a Dos Equis or Corona into a glass. Then, add fresh lime juice, a splash of Worcestershire, a touch of soy, and a few dashes of hot sauce like Cholula or Tabasco. Slowly mix the ingredients. Next, salt the rim of a second glass, fill it with ice, and slowly pour your concoction in. Chili powder also makes an excellent rim on the glass, but only if you can handle the added heat. Ice is also optional.

Another classic Mexican cocktail, the Chelada, is a more basic version of a Michelada. It has freshly squeezed lime juice and a salted rim. It is also tasty and refreshing but lacks some of the spicy zing found in a Michelada.

Summer Shandy

The Summer Shandy is the ultimate refreshing beer cocktail. The recipe varies somewhat depending on where you are, but the prominent flavor is lemon, making them tart, fizzy, and perfect for a hot day. The original British recipe calls for equal parts beer and soda water with lemon juice. Think of it like a spritzer but with beer instead of wine. In the United States, a Summer Shandy typically contains lemonade instead of soda. Either way, Summer Shandy beer cocktails are easy to make.

Shandy cocktails are so popular they also come in a variety of flavors other than lemon — like grapefruit, cranberry, and pineapple. In addition, you can infuse simple syrup with jalapeño, lilac, or ginger to add even more taste and a touch of sweetness. Whichever flavor or flavors you choose, mix them with a light beer like a lager, Kolsch, or wheat beer. The fruitier undertones of a more golden beer tend to complement a shandy best.

Black Velvet

For a fancy, creamy beer cocktail, try a Black Velvet. It is one of the only beer cocktails to mix wine with beer, which may seem odd at first, but it's actually an age-old cocktail enjoyed in London since its inception in 1861. Black Velvet may look refined, primarily if you serve it in a champagne coupe or flute as intended, but it's a simple mix of equal parts champagne and a dark beer like a stout or porter. Of course, you can also use Prosecco or any sparkling wine, for that matter, but the blend of nutty, chocolatey, rich flavor from the stout blends with the bubbles to make an exceptionally smooth, rich beer cocktail.

If you love stouts, the Trojan Horse is another classic British drink commonly ordered at bars. It is similar to the Black Velvet, but it mixes stout with Coke and is better served in a pint glass. The cola gives the drink a unique flavor and adds a bit of caffeine, making it a happy hour favorite.

Watermelon Beer

Watermelon beer is an uncomplicated yet upgraded variation of a shandy, so it's ideal for summer days and cooling off on a hot day. It is also a fantastic way to use leftover watermelon before it goes bad. There are two main ways to make Watermelon beer, but once you're acquainted with the basic taste, feel free to get creative.

The easiest way to make this drink is with equal parts watermelon juice and wheat beer. However, fresh watermelon is recommended. You'll just have to blend it up or muddle it before mixing. Fresh melon can also be frozen, which will help keep your cocktails colder, longer. Once 2/3 beer and 1/3 watermelon are combined, add a dash of simple syrup and a squeeze of lemon. Then finish up by gently mixing and garnishing with another lemon or sprig of mint. Vanilla simple syrup also works well here, particularly if the watermelon you are using is not very sweet.

Ginger Spritz

A Ginger Spritz is in the same family as black velvet but much more delicate and fizzier, thanks to the use of a lighter beer and an additional carbonated component. It also has a brighter, more citrusy taste that people have come to love.

To make a Ginger Spritz, combine one part ginger beer with two parts sparkling wine and four parts golden ale. Then, squeeze in a slice of lemon or lime and add a tiny splash of simple syrup. Mix the ingredients and make sure to stir slowly to prevent overflowing and also prevent losing too many bubbles in the process. Unlike a Black Velvet, the Ginger Spritz is poured over ice, leading to better texture and a colder beverage overall. If golden ale isn't really your thing, try using a wheat beer, lager, or Kolsch in its place to get similarly refreshing results. If you want to cut back on sugar, you can also skip the simple syrup. Most ginger beers have enough sugar that you won't even notice.

Beer Sangria

One of the reasons bars love to make and serve sangria is that you can put virtually anything in it. While sangria often tastes better after steeping for several days, which can be inconvenient in a bar, it allows them to use up the remnants of other lesser-used bottles of wine and alcohol to create something unique. With this in mind, beer also makes a fantastic addition to both red and white sangria.

Just like a traditional sangria, Beer Sangria calls for wine, fruit, and some kind of alcohol. You can use vodka, rum, triple sec, or a combination of the three. As far as the fruit, use any fruit you like or need to clean out of your fridge — from strawberries to cranberries to apple or peach slices, anything goes. After mixing the above ingredients, you can let them steep for a few hours up to a couple of days, or you can add beer and enjoy it straight away. When it is left to sit, the flavors tend to blend together more consistently, but it is unnecessary, especially if you want to taste it immediately. Just remember not to add the beer until you are ready to enjoy it, or it will go flat.

Old Fashioned Amber

Chances are you never even considered mixing beer with bourbon, but this drink breaks tradition and brings you something unlike any of the other beer cocktails on our list. This one is for you if you like whiskey, bourbon, or amber ales.

An Old Fashioned Amber is made the same way as a classic old fashioned but topped with ale at the end. To start, muddle a lemon twist, a dash of bitters, and a sugar cube in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add bourbon and stir. When thoroughly mixed, pour it over ice and top it with a splash of amber ale. You can also make an Old Fashioned Amber using the more modern old fashioned recipe, with a muddled cherry and orange slice instead of a lemon twist. Either way, the robust flavors of bourbon, bitters, and amber ale come together to form a complex yet perfectly complemented cocktail. Beware: This drink is pretty strong, so make sure to sip and enjoy slowly.

Orange Bee Sting

With sweet notes of honey and citrus, the Orange Bee Sting has lots of mouth-watering flavors you're sure to love. While not common in bars and restaurants, this zesty cocktail is easy to make at home and can be made in large batches — perfect for gatherings and parties.

Like many beer cocktails, the Orange Bee Sting starts with a light beer. Wheat beers, specifically unfiltered wheat beers, are typically the best option because they often contain hints of citrus, which blend well with the other ingredients. To make an Orange Bee Sting, mix 2 teaspoons of honey with 1 tablespoon of warm water in a pint glass until fully dissolved. Then, add a couple dashes of bitters and 1.5 ounces of an orange liquor like Gran Marnier, triple sec, or Cointreau. Top with a wheat beer, allowing a thin layer of foam (also called head) to form. Garnish with a lemon slice, and it's all set.

Beer Mojito

Everyone loves a classic mojito, but adding beer to the mix takes it to the next level. Beer also cuts down on some of the sweetness traditionally found in mojitos, making it more pleasing and palatable for people who don't like extra sweet drinks.

To transform a mojito into a Beer Mojito, all you have to do is swap out the soda water for a light beer. Of course, there are a few steps required before you get to that point. To begin, muddle a couple of slices of lime with a sugar cube and several mint leaves. Instead of a sugar cube, you can also substitute simple syrup. In fact, it may make muddling easier thanks to the addition of a small amount of liquid. Next, add 1.5 ounces of white or dark rum, fill with ice, and shake. To finish, top with a golden ale or lager, stir until well mixed, and enjoy.


The Snakebite is another classic beer cocktail that can be ordered in almost any bar. All that is needed is lager and hard cider, preferably on draft, but bottles and cans work, too. The resulting drink is pleasing to almost any preference, and its apple-forward taste goes down ultra smooth. While this crisp concoction is perfect for any occasion or season, it is often enjoyed in the summer or fall.

Making a Snakebite is so simple it almost feels like cheating as far as assembling cocktails is concerned. All you have to do is fill a pint glass with equal parts lager and hard cider, and you're done. The apple flavors from the cider offset the malty grain elements of the beer to make a smooth, no-frills cocktail. Many ciders are also sweet, which tones down the bitterness of beer, making the Snakebite a perfect introductory option for new beer drinkers. If you don't like sweet drinks, you can always opt for a dry cider.

Black and Tan

Like the Snakebite, a Black and Tan is another beer cocktail that combines two kinds of beer. Traditionally, a Black and Tan features a light-colored ale like Boddingtons on the bottom, and a layer of dark stout (such as Guinness) on top.

To make a Black and Tan, fill a pint glass 2/3 of the way with Boddingtons or another pale ale. Then, hold the head of a small spoon over the opening of the glass — flip the spoon so that the rounded portion creates a dome. Slowly pour Guinness over the spoon until the glass is full. When done correctly, the Guinness will create a distinct top layer, providing you with an eye-catching beer cocktail. Layering the two with a spoon — like a bartender will do — can take some practice and is easier done with draft beer. However, it all gets mixed up when you start drinking anyway, so don't worry if the beers blend in the glass when making one at home.