Beer Meets Booze: Beer-tails

Article by Jason Rogers

Recently a lot of us have enjoyed the “opportunity” to work from home, which at times is a real blessing. But work is still work and after a long day at the office or in your dining room chair you need something to help you relax. Most times you go to the fridge and grab yourself a cold beer, sit on the couch and sink into the cushion. Its a common go to for most of us but lately I’m finding it hard to just drink beer. Being at home all the time I crave some variety but also I’m exhausted after work. I’m not always in the mood to whip up a martini or margarita to fight drink boredom. So how do I liven up my beer without breaking a sweat, it’s simple really. Introducing Beer-tails, that’s cocktails made with beer. It seems foreign and possibly like it wouldn’t work but not only do they taste great, they can be easy.

The combo is easy, so is the technique if you want to keep it simple. Beer, booze and added flavors, that’s all you need to get your at home happy hour started. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a couple recipes to make life even easier after that painful online class, but feel free to experiment with your favorite beers. I’ll break it down by common beer types.

Pilsner/Light Beer

This is your basic beer, maybe Tsing Tao or Bud Light if you have it. These beers don’t impart tons of flavor but are refreshing. They are great vehicles for flavorful Liquor and juices. They pair well with citrus and anything sweet like fruit liqueurs.


3 parts light beer
1 part citrus juice (orange, grapefruit, passion fruit)
Optional: 1 part peach schnapps or Vodka

Add ice to a large glass and pour the juice first (always juice first with fizzy drinks). Then top with beer and enjoy. (Told you it was simple)

Wheat Beer/Witbier/Hefeweizen

The beers are usually from Germany or Belgium and are one of my favorites. They have more wheat than malt found in other beers and have a zesty and spiced flavor profile. Aside from enjoying these straight, they work well with citrus and rums. Expect this to be a very flavorful drink.

Hefe-lump Punch
4 parts Wheat Beer
2 parts Spiced/Dark Rum
1 part Triple Sec
1 part Pineapple Juice

In a small container, pour the rum, triple sec and pineapple juice and shake with ice. Pour into a large glass and top with your wheat beer of choice. (If you don’t have a bottle or jar to use a shaker, you can make this drink in the glass with ice and stir before adding the beer.)


Lagers are hearty and full bodied but still not a very heavy beer. They take well to darker spirits, whiskys especially. Remember if you add a stronger alcohol you may need to add a little sweet to balance everything out.

Jacky Boy
3 parts Lager
1 part Jack Daniels Whiskey
Splash of lemon juice
Optional: Sugar or simple syrup to taste

In a larger glass, add ice, lemon and Jack. Top with lager and stir with a long spoon and enjoy.


A hoppy beer with a bitter after taste. Its a slightly acquired flavor but it can work really well with a lot of different things. Berries, citrus, stone fruit, IPA’s are versitaile and often come in flavored styles like grapefruit or mango. This is one for the experimenter.

Brass Tax
3 parts IPA
2 parts Amaretto
1 part Bourbon (Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam)

Another easy builder, simply add ice to a glass, add the bourbon and amaretto. Top with your IPA and enjoy.


A dark and heavy beer with notes of coffee and chocolate. It is suited for more dessert style drink and can handle any dark liquor even cognac. Think Kahlua but with less sweetness. Pair it with chocolate liqueurs, berries and baking spices.

Chocolate Berry Beer
3 parts Stout or Chocolate Stout
1 part Raspberry or Cherry liqueur
1 part Chocolate liqueur
Optional: Shot of your dark liqueur of choice
1 part Bourbon (Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam)

Just pour all the ingredient over ice and drink.

Beer doesn’t have to be boring, cocktails don’t have to be complicated. There can be an easy middle ground that’s achievable even after a 12 hour work day. So the next time you crack open that can of beer don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something special.

Jason Rogers is a mixologist extraordinaire living in Xi’an.