Rob McFerren: Craft beer cocktails

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A trend that has taken off in the last few years, especially in the warmer weather, is the abundance of beer cocktails that are popping up at bars and restaurants. With so many different styles of beer available for every taste and occasion, I keep thinking why would anyone want to mess with a good thing? But people are creative and the possibilities blending cocktails and craft beer are endless.

One of the more popular beer cocktails is the Michelada, which has been around here in the United States and in Mexico for quite some time and is now turning up at many bars and restaurants here in California. 

Many craft brewery tasting rooms are also making the Michelada available to their guests and producing their own secret recipe for the tomato-based mix. It’s now being made with better ingredients and of course craft beer. The Michelada is basically a bloody mary made with a beer such as blonde ale, pilsner or lager, and each bar, restaurant, or tasting room has their own unique spin on it.

Another beer cocktail that’s been around for some time and one that some breweries are packaging in bottles or cans is called the “shandy.” Most shandys are a lighter beer mixed with lemonade or some type of soft drink. These are mainly a “big beer” product, although some bars and restaurants put their own handcrafted twist on the shandy by using fresh fruit juices.

Today, many bars and restaurants are creating and serving craft beer cocktails that utilize fresh ingredients and craft beer combined with high-end bourbons, rums, gins and many other varieties of liquor. The great thing is they’re using many different styles and flavor profiles of craft beer to make these craft cocktails and new versions are popping up all the time! 

Inventive and creative is what craft cocktails are all about! Life’s short, drink craft! Cheers!

Rob McFerren is the owner of Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co.

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