15 Surprising Cocktails That Start with Beer

Beer cocktails, or "beertails," can be riffs on classic cocktails or brand-new creations. With over a hundred different styles of beer, the options are endless!

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Michelada

Like your drinks with a south-of-the-border vibe? Try this kicked-up beer cocktail that’s a zesty mix of Mexican lager, lime juice and hot sauce. Many variations exist, but this easy recipe is perfect for rookie mixologists. —Ian Cliffe, Milwaukee, WI

Find the best craft beer from your state.

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Sour Cherry Shandy

A shandy is beer mixed with a nonalcoholic drink like fruit juice or lemonade. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Blackberry Beer Cocktail

This refreshing hard lemonade has a mild alcohol flavor; the beer adds just enough fizz to dance on your tongue as you sip. Sorry, adults only! —Ginger Sullivan, Cutler Bay, Florida
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Guinness Float

That very first sip of a Guinness is what inspired this quick and easy dessert. The rich, creamy foam that gathers on the top of a freshly poured draft made me think of vanilla ice cream. At that point, I knew I had to combine the two in a Guinness float. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Sweet Tea Boysenberry Shandy

I love an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day. I also love sweet tea, so one day I got the great idea to mix the two. Wow! It was absolutely delish. I experimented with different flavorings, and this combination was my favorite. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Hop, Skip and Go

Here's a different drink for a beer-drinking crowd. It gets a touch of sweetness from lemonade. Make it in a blender for a frothy, fun look or mix in a pitcher for less foam.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Refreshing Beer Margaritas

I'm always surprised when people say they didn't know this drink existed. It's a really refreshing cocktail, and it's easy to double or triple the recipe. —Arianne Barnett, Kansas City, Missouri
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Pumpkin beer cocktail
Floating Kitchen

Pumpkin Beertail with Tequila and Spiced Rum

Autumn is here. Look for crunchy leaves, hayrides and…pumpkin beer. Lots of folks don’t love these festive ales, but there are people who don’t like kittens either, so let’s not worry about them. This awesome spiced Pumpkin Beertail from the Floating Kitchen blog is the perfect way to celebrate a beautiful time of year.

Here are the best pumpkin beers to sip in fall.

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Watermelon cocktail
April Golightly

Fizzy Watermelon Cocktail

This Fizzy Watermelon Cocktail from April Golightly combines one of my favorite summer fruits—watermelon—with one of my favorite things period—beer. I think the slightly tart and salty flavors of a German Gose would complement this drink perfectly.

Get more refreshing watermelon recipes here.

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Beach beer cocktail
Elle Talk

Life’s a Peach

Michelada meets Bellini in Life’s a Peach, a hybrid beer cocktail from blogger Elle Talk. Bright citrus and stone fruit flavors get spiced up with hot sauce and chili salt in this bright beertail, which is perfect for brunch. A lot of beers might work for to accent these flavors, and Elle lists Kolsch and IPA as options.

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Passport to paradise
Alison Deyette

Passport to Paradise

Alison Deyette teamed up with Mexican beer brand Corona Light to create Passport to Paradise. This south of the border refresher is super simple to make and combines bright, juicy orange flavors with the crisp refreshment of a light Mexican lager. Next, try these recipes for cooking with beer.

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Black velvet
Two Hoppy Blondes

Black Velvet

The ladies of Two Hoppy Blondes suggest several tempting beer cocktails. But the simplicity of their Black Velvet beertail, with only two ingredients, is particularly intriguing, as is the rare use of a dark style like Porter in a drink like this. Try it once, and you might have a new drink for toasting on New Year’s Eve.

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Espresso beer martini
Beautiful Booze

Espresso Beer Martini

On the subject of using dark beers in cocktails, Beautiful Booze offers this Espresso Beer Martini made with Stout. The roasty flavors of the Stout will dance perfectly with the coffee liqueur, and this could make a great drink for either brunch or a late night pick-me-up.

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Raspberry wit
Steele House Kitchen

Raspberry Witbier Cocktail

Witbier is one of the most versatile food pairing beers, so it makes sense that it would be a versatile mixing beer as well. In this sunny Raspberry Witbier Cocktail from Steele House Kitchen, witbier lends its subtle yeast character, spice and fluffy texture to a late summer refresher.

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Gose margarita
Craft Beering

Gose Margarita

Gose is a German wheat ale that uses a partial sour fermentation to create tart flavors that are complemented by a careful addition of salt. It’s practically a cocktail by itself, but added to margarita fixings in this Gose Margarita from Craft Beering, it becomes something really special.

David Nilsen
David Nilsen is a professional beer writer and educator and book critic. He is a Certified Cicerone, and a National Book Critics Circle member. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter and a very irritable cat.