Beer cocktails are a growing trend in the Los Angeles cocktail scene, with Library Bar bartender Matthew Biancaniello's Hopping in the Rye being one of the first to start things off. Now you can take your pick of either traditional Micheladas, beer cocktails with a kick of hard liquor or beer ingredient in the place of an actual spirit at many L.A. bars.
Why beer? “Adding beer to a cocktail lends a savory note, makes the drink celebratory and fun. It's either a poor man's champagne cocktail or the thinking man's shot and a beer,” said Aidan Demarest of The Spare Room in Hollywood. Turn the page for 8 places to find a beer cocktail near you.
8. Spare Room in Hollywood: According to Demarest, the Evelyn Waugh's Noonday Reviver — a Plymouth Gin, Guinness, ginger beer cocktail that has been on the menu since the Spare Room's opening in January — is sure to cure all the woes of the world.
7. Big Bar in Los Feliz: Gin & Chronic is made with hops-infused Plymouth gin, tonic, lime juice and soda water. The “cannabis-type” cocktail is an ode to L.A.'s own Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg. “It doesn't taste like weed but it does sort of have that Pilsner taste that everybody's familiar with,” said bartender Dan Long.
6. Harvard & Stone in East Hollywood: Bartender Mia Sarazen wanted to create a Michelada that incorporated corn whiskey. “Both are old school, and I thought why not marry two delicious favorites?” The cocktail is made with Hudson corn whiskey, lime juice and a Clamato blend (Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper/salt, soy sauce, hot peppers) garnished with chipotle/applewood salt and topped with Corona.
5. Hemingway's Lounge in Hollywood: Bartender Alex Straus makes his own cocktail version of a chocolate stout with Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Chivas 18, mole bitters and Angostura bitters.
4. Hostaria del Piccolo in Santa Monica: The upcoming spring cocktail menu will have the Italian Iced Tea made with Perroni beer, Aperol, Averna and orange peel comes across as a hoppy beer with a boozy kick. The Summer Revival, a Shandy-inspired cocktail, is deceptively light considering it features a lot of alcohol like Hoegaarden, Ketel One vodka, maraschino liqueur, Cointreau.
3. Rosa Mexicano in Downtown LA: Alex Day and David Kaplan of Proprietors LLC (Death & Co., Bar + Kitchen) revamped the cocktail menu by not only adding classic-inspired stirred and shaken cocktails with a Mexican twist, but by presenting a selection of Micheladas like the spicy El Betabel with Pacifico, beet juice, lime and Cholula to La Sangrita with Negro Modelo, house sangrita served over ice with a salted rim.
2. Steingarten LA in West LA: The new spring menu features a Stag Hag cocktail, which is basically a tequila Manhattan where a cherry beer reduction takes the place of Sweet Vermouth. The new Bavarian Marian is a light Bloody Mary-esque drink with vodka, cherry tomatoes, lemon and Smoked Marzen Lager.
1. The Tripel in Playa Del Rey: This new gastropub not only carries a selection of draught and bottled beer that any beer enthusiast would love, but also has new versions of classic beer cocktails, such as a fancified Black Velvet of porter, cava and cassis, as well as the Tripel Shandy with Pilsner, ginger beer and lemon. Owner Brooke Williamson decided to create a beer cocktail menu because “we wanted to give the cocktail drinker an option even without the ability to serve hard alcohol, and there are so many fun ways to drink beer… why not expand on that?”