The boilermaker and shandy are beer and liquor standards, and variations can be found at many New Orleans venues, including Oxalis, which offers a boilermaker menu, and Urban South Brewery's tasting room, which makes a shandy with lemonade and the brewery's Charming Wit beer.
At the recent Tales of the Cocktail festival, seminars and tasting room presentations showed there are many ways to mix beer in drinks.
Casa Noble Tequila Company partnered with Grupo Modelo to demonstrate three very different beer cocktails. The Shape Shifter, created by Jeff Bell from New York City's Please Don't Tell, combines savory and tropical elements for a light, refreshing take on a michelada. It combines beer, tequila, cilantro, hot sauce, lime and pineapple juices, Worcestershire sauce and a harissa-based spice mix.
Casa Noble's brand ambassador Philip Khanderhish created an elegant take on the paloma called the Special Noble Pal. John Lermayer from Miami's Sweet Liberty bar created a classic beer flip called Black Balboa, made with Negra Modelo and Casa Noble Anejo tequila.
Portland, Oregon craft beer enthusiast and mixologist Jacob Grier was joined on a panel by San Diego cocktail master Christian Siglin and Lynnette Marrero, who has a beverage consulting company called DrinksAt6. The panel discussed using beer as a main ingredient in low-alcohol drinks such as sangria and juleps, as well as using it to complement spirits, as in a beer flip made with stout and rum, whiskey or tequila. Beer also can be made into syrups and foams used in cocktail combinations in unexpected ways.