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Day Six: Beer Me!

Posted on Friday, Apr. 24, 2015


I’m a firm believer in moderation, but I’m also the kind of person who likes bacon on my mac n cheese, and lobster, and truffles and…well, you get the picture. An ice cold beer on a sweltering day, feet kicked up on your patio furniture, well that is just a picture of bliss. Now replace that beer with a perfectly balanced beer cocktail? Well you might as well be shaving fresh truffles in my glass. I know there are skeptics out there when it comes to beer cocktails. “Why ruin a perfectly good thing?” they say. Well, where would the world be if the inventor of the Cronut had let a croissant just be a croissant? The world would be sad. Skinnier, perhaps, but so sad. And just to clarify, when I say beer cocktails I don’t mean the kind where you drop a shot of booze in a glass of beer and take it to the face. There’s a time and place for such things and it usually involves the shade of green, over amplified indoor voices, and inappropriate amounts of affection for strangers.

The amazing thing about beer cocktails is that there is such a plethora of flavor profiles to choose from. There as many different types of beer out there as there are selfies on the internet. When you’re creating beer cocktails, try not to overthink it, and start with the basics. The Shandy is the perfect starting point for beer cocktail newbies. Traditionally a Shandy is a beer with lemonade, or a carbonated lemon lime soda. Our version of a Shandy on the Metropole brunch menu, the Garage Shandy, is lager mixed with our housemade ginger beer. Order a Two Car Garage and we’ll add a shot of bourbon. What can I say, we really like to lean into our after-brunch nap. Shandies are a great way to lighten up darker spirits like bourbon and rye and instantly transform them from heavy winter sippers to light bodied summer refreshments. It’s like the cocktail equivalent to a spray tan. Another one of my favorite no prep beer cocktails is Steigel Grapefruit Radler, a refreshing low proof beer mixed with gin. This is really one of those cocktails you could build an afternoon around.

For today’s cocktail I’ve created a pineapple, juniper and rosemary syrup that is a dynamic addition to beer. The syrup has just the right amount of sweetness with a nice earthiness from the herbs and spice to anchor it. And just because it makes the cocktail so damn delicious we’ve also added rye to the party. This is a great base recipe to really venture out into this new world of beer cocktails. If the addition of booze makes you leery of cutting your party too short, not to worry – it’s still just as tasty with just beer. But I’m all in favor for adding the rye; I say a little decadence is worth it, especially if it’s in moderation.


3 cups pineapple juice
1 tbsp. juniper berries
4 sprigs of rosemary
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Peel of two limes

Add all ingredients to medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring up to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer syrup for 20 minutes. Remove sauce pan from heat and allow to cool. Once mixture has cooled, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and stow in an air tight container in your fridge.

GLASSWARE: Collins glass
GARNISH: Rosemary sprig
1 oz rye
1 oz pineapple syrup
4 oz beer

Shake rye and pineapple syrup and strain into glass. Add beer, and then add ice. You can make this by the pitcher by whisking together the rye and pineapple syrup with one scoop of crushed ice then adding the beer, then more ice.


Add the pineapple syrup to non-alcoholic ginger beer for a soda that mimics the spice and lightness of the cocktail. This syrup is also delightful on vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet. And if you should want to add the sorbet and syrup in a blender with some rum well I say bravo to you, BRAVO!


You can add whatever beer you prefer in this cocktail, as every palate is different, and I really aimed to create a cocktail that would work with any beer style.. For me personally I really love the balance of this cocktail with a nice hoppy IPA, like Rhinegeist Truth. If you want something milder and with some delightful citrus notes, add my go to summer beer, a wheat IPA like Blank Slate’s Lesser Path. On a side note, do support your local beers because really it’s the right AND delicious thing to do!

I’m excited to see all the beer cocktails spring up (puns are fun!), as the temperatures warm! I for one will be enjoying lots I mean lots of beer cocktails, and will then just skip the mac and cheese because that’s how I moderate!

Cheers, and here’s to a little decadence,
Your neighborhood bartender,

Catherine Manabat