You are on page 1of 4

46 THE NAT!DNAL CUL!NAPY PEV!

EW JANUAPY 2013
beertail
S
AT THE BAR beertails
Craft beer adds flavor, complexity and
effervescence to cocktails.
BY KATHRYN KJARSGAARD
the mixology and craft cocktail craze continues to
evolve, beer cocktailsalso know as beertailshave emerged
as one of the latest drinks trends.
According to Chicago mixologist Adam Seger, a leader of
the beertails movement, the emergence of beer cocktails is the
result of the perfect storm of an unprecedented availability of
world-class beers and fne mixology. 'A whole new world oI
taste, complexity and texture abounds in beertails, Seger says.
Whats really magical about these drinks is that beer is
actually the most chemically complex alcohol, more so than either
wine or any spirit. So, you get a favor characteristic that you
wouldnt get from adding a champagne, soda or ginger beer on
top. When you pull that [beer] into a cocktail, not only are you
bringing that complexity, but you also are bringing texture from
the incredible effervescence in the head on a beer that you cant
get from any other sparkling ingredient in a cocktail.
However, while beer cocktails are making their way onto the
bar scene, they have not yet earned widespread acceptance, says
Steve McDonagh, co-owner with Dan Smith of Hearty restaurant
and The Hearty Boys Caterers in Chicago. People are not really on
board with beer cocktails yet. I have to explain them to guests,
but thats part of whats so exciting about being in the beverage
industry right now. I love giving people new experiences and
opening their minds and palates to new things.
McDonagh adds that now is a good time to be working
behind a bar. Theres great freedom of experimentation. Weve
gone back to a time when a cocktail is no longer about the
alcohol kick. A vodka cranberry is just spiked cranberry juice,
because vodka is tasteless. Now we can play with things with
darker favors, like beer and the eIIervescence oI a beer.
as
Anthony Norkus, craft and specialty import brand manager
with Chicago-based distributor Louis Glunz Beer, agrees that
theres an increasing acceptance of cocktail experimentation.
There are no rules anymore. You can experiment, go crazy, go
wild. Something may come together and be the best thing ever,
or vice versa. Mixologists today will add anything to a drink.
Beer geeks are even open to changing things up now and trying
beer cocktails. It used to be even the bourbon guys wanted bourbon
to stand on its own and not be mixed, but now they are also open
to new drinks. The gloves are off.
the classics
McDonagh says the Michelada Cubana is a popular beer
cocktail at Hearty, and is also featured in The New Old Bar:
Classic Cocktails and Salty Snacks from The Hearty Boys (Agate
Midway, 2012), co-authored by McDonagh and Smith. The
Michelada is a Mexican drink, and it has been around for a long
time, McDonagh says. I really like it as a brunch cocktail. I
dont like heavy alcohol at lunch, and champagne makes me
sleepy. So, my take on the drink is it is fresh and juicy with a
touch of spice. Weve been serving it here for years.
He says most Micheladas are made with tomato juice, like
a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka, and they also
have a lot of lime juice. Tomato and beer is not my favorite
combination, so I prefer my version with lots of citrus. Our
Michelada is actually a Cuban version and was inspired by a
recipe from the grandfather of one of our waiters.
Adam Seger crafted The Birds and the Brewswhich includes Hum botanical spirit,
rooibos tea and Saison Dupont beerfor Farmhouse Chicago, a Midwestern craft tavern.
P
H
O
T
O

C
R
E
D
I
T

F
a
r
m
h
o
u
s
e
ACFCHEFS.ORG 47
48 THE NAT!DNAL CUL!NAPY PEV!EW JANUAPY 2013
The drink includes 2 ounces each fresh lime, lemon and
orange juice, along with muddled jalapeo and spicy Tajin, a
Mexican seasoning. Muddle together, strain into a spice-rimmed
beer glass and pour 8 ounces Bohemia, a Mexican beer, on top.
I love the combination of orange juice and jalapeo, and its
unusual, says McDonagh. It makes it a light and refreshing
drink, but it still has bubbles from the beer.
Another classic cocktail being injected with beer is the
Bloody Mary, and Potters Lounge in Chicagos Palmer House
Hilton serves several versions. Patrick Coyne, beverage manager,
says the hotel was experimenting with its Bloody Mary and
wanted to add something to counteract the acid from the tomato
juice, so the staff tried Guinness and bitters.
The Guinness gives the drink a smoother taste, Coyne
says. Guinness is so thick and has that creamy texture, which
is why it works so well with the acid of the tomato juicea light
beer would not work. Its a popular drink, and we go through
gallons of our Bloody Mary mix. On a good Saturday or Sunday,
well make 200 of them.
Potters Bloody Mary combines tomato juice, celery salt,
pepper, Tabasco sauce, vodka, Guinness, bitters, Worcestershire
sauce and a little horseradish sauce. It is poured into a hurricane-
style glass rimmed with celery salt and garnished with celery,
pepper jack cheese, olives, lemon and lime slices, and a strip of
bacon. We just use an ounce or an ounce and a half of Guinness,
as you dont want it to overpower the drink, plus, it would darken
it too much, says Coyne.
There is also a Bacon Bloody Mary, which includes a shot
of Guinness with vodka that has been infused with bacon. Its
basically the same recipe as our standard Bloody Mary, except
it`s not spiced up as much so you get more oI the bacon favor,
Coyne says. We leave the horseradish out and use less salt. We
want people to taste the bacon, which is salty already.
breaking new ground
The Apple-Sauce is a creative new beer cocktail at Central
Bistro and Bar in Denver. The drink is a play on a fall weather
apple cocktail, says general manager Seth Murty. Its a delicious
cocktail, and something totally original that we came up with.
The drink, which was created by Murty and head bartender
Kevin Galaba, includes sliced green apples, housemade green
AT THE BAR beertails
Mixologist Adam Seger, wine
writer Doug Frost and Francesco
Lafranconi, mixology/spirits
educator with Miami-based
Southern Wine & Spirits,
developed the beertails purity
law, a guideline to creating
cocktails with beer that debuted
at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail
in New Orleans. Seger says the
beertails purity law is a set of
rules created to save a curious
consumer, adventurous cocktailian
or experimental mixologist from
rendering a perfectly good beer or
cocktail undrinkable.
Some of the rules are:
Bud a beerLa n a pnL gass
filled halfway with ice to keep the
drink cold and give it a nice head
when floating the beer on top.
Use eLher hop-forward or bLLer-
forward beers and flavors in a
beertail, not both.
Use cauLon when shakng Lhe
beer while preparing a beertail.
Try a ager n pace of cub soda
to add sweetness, weight and
texture to a drink.
Use an egg-whLe-based-drnk
recipe to create a beertail with a
thick, foamy head.
SLarL wLh a baanced cassc
cocktail and put a little spin on it
with a beer that complements it or
contrasts with it.
BeerLas creaLed by FrosL,
Lafranconi and Seger include:
The Birds and the Brews
Combine and chill Hum botanical
spirit, lime juice, honey syrup
and Rare Tea Cellars gingerbread
dreams rooibos tea. Strain into
pint glass half full of ice, top with
chilled Saison Dupont beer and
garnish with basil.
Rub and Rye
\gorousy shake LogeLher BueL
rye whiskey, lemon juice, maple
syrup and an egg white. Strain
into pint glass half full of ice and
rimmed with mesquite salt. Top with
Brassere Dubusson Peche Me and
fnsh wLh fve drops BB0 bLLers.
THE BEERTAILS PURITY LAW
Above: Adam Segers Mezcal and Mayhem, which features Del Maguey Chichicapa
Mezcal, campari and mayhaw syrup, is topped with Vicaris Tripel-Geuze or other
Belgian tripel-style beer. Opposite, left: Apple-Sauce at Central Bistro and Bar is
nished with Uinta Monkshine Belgian-Style Blonde Ale.
P
H
O
T
O

C
R
E
D
I
T
S

A
b
o
v
e
,

F
a
r
m
h
o
u
s
e
;

O
p
p
o
s
i
t
e
,

l
e
f
t

t
o

r
i
g
h
t
:

C
e
n
t
r
a
l

B
i
s
t
r
o

a
n
d

B
a
r
,

S
t
e
v
e

M
c
D
o
n
a
g
h
ACFCHEFS.ORG 49
KATHRYN KJARSGAARD IS A FREELANCE FOOD WRITER BASED IN FOREST PARK, ILL.
apple syrup, a dash of lemon juice and Calvados apple brandy. It
is fnished with Uinta Monkshine Belgian-Style Blonde Ale and
garnished with green apple slices.
The organic blonde ale has some sour notes to it, which
lends itself to playing with the apple, Murty says. Its a balanced
drink, not sweet or sour. It has some bright acidity through the
apples and apple simple syrup, but the syrup has sugar to balance
it all out. The beer adds the complexity of carbonation and a
slight amount of mild hoppiness. But the blonde ale has some
sour notes, so it plays nicely with the apples.
He says he has seen the trend in beer cocktails gain some
traction over the last year. One of our tricks is to roll the whole
cocktail into another glass, then back into the serving glass. You
have to do this gently, because oI the carbonation. But the frst
few sips still taste primarily like the beer.
Murty currently is experimenting with a new beer cocktail,
a wintertime drink. We are playing with a coffee liquor from
Denver-based Leopold Bros. and a brew from Abita Brewing in
New Orleans called Turbodog, which is a dark brown ale with
sweet caramely notes.
Norkus with Louis Glunz Beer works with restaurants and
bars that are looking for new and different ingredients for
cocktails. He either passes along drink recipes from breweries
or helps bars develop original recipes. We come in with a beer
and show them how it adds effervescence to a cocktail, he says.
YIELD: 1 COCKTAIL
1 t. finely chopped jalapeo
1 t. fresh lime juice
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. fresh orange juice
0od 0erveza (Bohema or oLher arger-
flavored beer)
Tajin Mexican seasoning
Lemon wedge
Method: Muddle jalapeo, lime juice,
lemon juice and orange juice in bottom
of cockLa shaker. SLran nLo Psner
glass rimmed with Tajin (or salt). Add
3-4 ice cubes; top with beer. Serve
garnished with lemon wedge.
MICHELADA CUBANA
Hearty \\ Chicago
Pale ales and IPAs are more bitter and counteract the sweet,
syrupy ingredients in many cocktails. The carbonation and
bitterness of a pale ale will balance it out.
Longman & Eagle, Chicago, a client of Norkus, serves Le
Coq Rouge, a beer cocktail made with Kasteel Rouge, a beer
from Van Honsebrouck brewery in Ingelmunster, Belgium. The
cocktail also includes Fighting Cock bourbon, amaretto, Demerara
sugar, chocolate bitters and fresh lemon. The beer is a Belgian
brown ale that is blended with a cherry liquor at the brewery,
Norkus says. This drink has almond, cherry, lemon and chocolate
favors. It`s a great aIter-dinner drink.
Two other Chicago venues featuring beertails are SmallBar,
which serves a Beergarita featuring Monks Caf Flemish Sour
Ale (Van Steenberge brewery, Ertvelde, Belgium), tequila and
lime juice; and The Bad Apple, whose beer cocktail list includes
Midwestern Snakebite60% Great Lakes Dortmunder, a German-
style lager produced in Cleveland, blended with 40% Crispin cider,
made in Minneapolis.