Bartenders Are Rethinking the Classic Boilermaker

Six fantastic drinks elevate the beer cocktail.

Bartender’s Breakfast, $12
Tosca Cafe, San Francisco
The beer is a Californian take on a farmhouse-style ale, using barley, rye, and Sonoran wheat. Its floral aromatics play well with the vegetal notes of Singani, an unaged Bolivian grape brandy.

Illustrator: Brandon Celi

Dickelback, $14
The Tippler, New York
Start with the smoky whiskey. Then take a bite of the spicy and gamey jerky. The pilsner smooths everything out. Or as beverage director Alan Denninberg puts it: “The umami of the jerky bridges the gap between the whiskey’s heat and the beer’s comforting softness.”


Illustrator: Brandon Celi

Darkhorse, $9
Barrel Proof, New Orleans
A shot of savory-sweet Scandinavian salted-licorice liqueur is coupled with a peanut-butter-chocolate porter. The combo “reminds me of potato chips and chocolate,” says managing partner Liam Deegan.

Illustrator: Brandon Celi

Uncle Hoke, $10
Bit House Saloon, Portland, Ore.
Named after a favorite bar patron, this pairing is meant to be sipped. The bourbon-barrel-aged cider adds effervescence to the zesty, spiced-orange digestif.

Illustrator: Brandon Celi

Colorado Combo Meal, $14
Four Seasons, Vail, Colo.
This après-ski boilermaker matches a crisp, clean, German-style lager (sold only in Colorado) with a locally produced single malt that has nut, oak, and honey notes. The malted barley in both beverages makes them complementary, says Steven Teaver, director of beverage.

Illustrator: Brandon Celi

Metro Boilermaker, $8
Metropolis, New York
This is intense: First, bourbon is cold smoked with apple and cherry wood. Then it’s served with trailing bits of vapor, adding a layer of complexity to the sweet spirit. A refreshing Sorachi Ace cuts through the deep, dark flavors, says beverage director Richard Breitkreutz.

Illustrator: Brandon Celi
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