Beer Review: A beginners guide to mixing beer

Summer is almost over, but it’s still hot enough to make some tasty beer concoctions to beat the heat. It’s simple enough to shop for a good, cold beer,  but why not make your evening a little more interesting?

Not all beers are compatible for mixing, but there are some fun things you can do with IPAs, chocolate stouts and lambics.  Here are some simple ideas for things you can do with beers that you wouldn’t normally think of.


The beer-mosa:

Everyone has heard of the mimosa, which is champagne mixed with orange juice, but have you heard of the beer-mosa?

For this to work, you’ll need a citrusy beer. Although you could probably get away with using a beer that is deliberately citrusy to the point of lacking the taste of beer, like Lemon Shandy Shock Top, you might not get a true feel of the champagne like you’re used to.

If you like a good, brut champagne in your mimosa, brut being more dry than “extra dry,” then you probably don’t want to use Shock Top or Leinenkugel, both fruity, lighter beer than most other brands.

To get the effect of a brut champagne, you’ll want to use an IPA or something hoppy.

Now this recipe was made using Firestone’s Easy Jack, but as that was a seasonal beer, it is won’t be available again until next summer. Some good alternatives are Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed IPA or Knee Deep’s Citra Extra Pale Ale. The Deschutes’ beer is 6.4 percent alcohol by volume, and Knee Deep’s beer is 7 percent ABV.

These beers are going to be hoppier than they are fruity, hops being what give IPAs and pale ales their intentionally-bitter flavor, and probably be about half of the alcohol content of a champagne, so you might need to compensate by having a higher ratio of beer to orange juice.

A safe, and delightful, ratio is 1-to-1. Six ounces of beer to 6 ounces of orange juice, and then add more beer from there to get the taste you want.


The chocolate-covered raspberry:

Framboise, pronounced “fram-bwa,” can be found in the wine, spirits and beer departments, so know what you’re looking for to start with. For this, you want the framboise from the beer department, of course.

Even though it is commonly mispronounced “fram-boys,” framboise is an extremely popular beer. It is in the “lambic” family, with framboise being the French word for raspberry.

A dessert beer, framboise is extremely sweet and tart, to the point that it might be difficult to drink it in any large quantities. One of the more popular brands is Lindemans, which weighs in at a tiny 2.5 percent ABV, but there are a couple other brands to choose from.

Another popular dessert beer can be found in the import section of a beer department. Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout is delicious. You might be thinking that chocolate beer sounds disgusting. You are wrong. It isn’t billed as a dessert beer because it’s terrible, no sir.

At 5 percent ABV, this chocolate stout has more alcohol than a Bud Light or Coors Light, and it is much more rich and flavorful.

Now, it may seem odd to mix two beers together, but when you have some dessert beers, it’s much easier to find a combination that isn’t utterly disgusting.

The framboise is going to be strong, so you probably will want to use more of the chocolate stout. A 1-to-2 ratio or a 2-to-3 ratio in favor of the stout might work best for you. It depends on what you want more of, raspberry or chocolate. So for every ounce of framboise, you’ll want two ounces of chocolate for a 1-to-2 ratio.

You will be pleasantly surprised by how exquisite this combination will be. Impress your friends by whipping out this combination for dessert.


The beer float:

You’ve already been introduced to two dessert beers. Now, how about we make them into an actual dessert?

This one is simple, and you may have even seen these on the menu at Yard House.

The first thing you want to do is fill a large-mouthed glass with vanilla-bean ice cream. Now, here’s the part where you play Sophie’s Choice. What are you in the mood for?

You have two choices here: Lindemans Framboise and Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout. Either work; both are delicious choices for this dessert.

Filling your ice-cream-filled glass with framboise will produce a pink foam in place of the traditional root-beer-float foam, and you’ll have yourself a tasty raspberry float.

If you choose to use the chocolate stout it will look much like a root beer float, but it will taste like chocolate and be amazing.

Yard House uses Young’s Chocolate Stout, but Samuel Smith’s is far superior in terms of flavor.

Either way you decide, you can’t miss. So pour your dessert beer into your ice cream and enjoy an amazing, alcoholic dessert.

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