Like most of you, I’m not a huge fan of the beer cocktail — mixing beer with anything. I don’t like the notion of a half lager/half hard lemonade concoction, or don’t relish pouring a bottle into a slushy margarita.
I am a little more forgiving, however, when it comes to mixing beer with other beer. Not all beer, just some.
I do like a Crown Float, Guinness and Strongbow, on occasion, for example, or a Black & Tan. And I know Craft Beer Market has a tantalizing list of beer blends as well.
For the most part, I tend to keep mixing to a minimum.
However, I have recently been introduced to a trio of delicious pairings
GOOD: The Hefeberry
Spicy banana and citrus flavours blended with sweet raspberry and pale malt? Sounds refreshing, no?
I’m a fan of the Granville Island Brewing Robson Street Hefeweizen, but a little less familiar with their False Creek Raspberry Ale. The Raspberry Ale on its own is definitely a fruit-forward beer, and would make be quite quaffable on a summer patio. But would it take away from the characteristics of the Bavarian-style Hefeweizen? Surprisingly, no.
Copper in colour, and still cloudy like the Hefe, the blend smells of… The banana in the Hefeweizen.
The taste is of fruit, but more a blend of mellow berry than any of the distinct tastes in the individual beers. But the spiced notes of the Hefeweizen are also present.
And it retains the crisp finish of the wheat beer, with a bit of the berry tang.
BETTER: Innis & Gunned
The notion of mixing beer and whisky together, better known as a Boilermaker, always seemed a bit dodgy to me. I have never been in need of getting drunk so fast I needed to drop a shot glass full of whisky into a half mug of beer and toss it down the hatch.
That said, I love beer. And I love whisky. So how about a good shot of whisky poured into a quality beer aged in a whisky cask? Sounds like a perfect marriage.
While at a pre-St. Patrick’s Day event at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, I had it suggested to me to try the Innis & Gunn Blonde with a touch of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. The beer held up well against the punch of the whiskey. But in keeping with consistency, I thought I try the Blonde with a single malt Scotch. Nothing too heavy, mind you, considering the beer is light as well.
A fitting match for the Blonde is the light and sweet Glenmorangie Original. Both offer up vanilla on the palate, as well as apricot and peach. You may find the alcohol punch a bit much, but trust me. Give it a try
BEST: The Dirty Blonde
This Village Brewery twist on the Black & Tan is worth ordering the next time you’re at a bar pouring this new local favourite. Or just buy a pair of 2-litre growlers from the brewery and share with friends. Or yourself. No one’s judging here.
This is a brilliant combo, and a lot of it is due to the fact that you’re using an India Black Ale instead of a stout.
Not only do you get the great dark chocolate and coffee flavour, but with a great hop finish on the back of your palate, coupled with the crispness from the Blonde coming through midway through your mouth.
Have any other beer blends you’re a fan of? Get in touch, either on here or firstname.lastname@example.org