Best Combinations of Beer and Whiskey
If you’re out at a bar or restaurant and are ready to enjoy a quality drink but can’t decide between a beer or whiskey, why not try both? That’s right, there are plenty of beer and whiskey combinations available for you to drink regularly.
Check out the different combinations we’ve hand-selected for you. Soon enough, one of these may end up being your go-to drink both at home and in the bar.
What is a Boilermaker?
Before we start narrowing down our top beer and whiskey combo suggestions, let’s clear up some popular lingo in the liquor industry. If you’re going to begin trying various beer and whiskey combos, you’ll want to first learn a popular key phrase: boilermaker. A boilermaker is when a beer is combined with a specific shot of whiskey.
If you’ve never had one before, you may be tempted to head into a bar and ask the bartender for a beer and whiskey combination. This can often work fine as a drink order, but you may get some strange looks as it will be very clear to everyone that a rookie is ordering their drink.
Instead, you can look like a pro and order a boilermaker. This will prove to the bartender you know what you’re talking about. When the bartender mixes up your boilermaker, he’ll pour you a shot of whiskey and will combine it with your beer of choice.
Brief History of the Boilermaker
The reason why this drink will help you gain respect with the bartender is due to its history. This drink and its name come from the 1800s. Workers who built steam locomotives would serve a long shift, then head to the local bar at the end of the day. To take the stress off of this long day, they’d order a shot of whiskey and a beer.
As the years rolled on, this became a popular drink order among workers and bartenders. This is why a lot of bartenders will immediately know what you’re talking about when ordering a boilermaker. To help you sound even more like a liquor expert, we’ve highlighted the best beer and whiskey combinations to either order at your next trip to the bar or mix yourself at home.
Red Amber Ale and Irish Whiskey
Irish Whiskey is one of the best types of whiskey to mix with a beer. This is because Irish whiskey contains a malt flavor, which tastes good with a variety of beers. The malted barley from the whiskey will really bring out more of this malt flavor if that’s what you’re searching for with this drink.
If you mix this whiskey with a red amber beer, the malt flavor will be strengthened. The hops and maltiness from the beer will provide the sweet and sometimes sour flavor you may be looking for with a malt combination drink. Both the beer and the whiskey will begin to accent and flow well with each other.
Best whiskeys to use with this combo: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Sexton Irish Whiskey, Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
Best beers to use with this combo: Red and Amber beers
Rye Whiskey and Miller High Life
Rye whiskey has a tradition of being a strong and spicy whiskey. Most rye whiskeys were known as one of the most popular drinks ordered in speakeasies. Rye Whiskey began booming before prohibition and kept up the hype even after prohibition had ended.
Because rye whiskey is so spicy or hot, many bartenders suggest this be paired with lighter beers. You can combine the shot of whiskey straight into the beer, but most will recommend you simply drink these two alongside each other. If your rye whiskey ever becomes too much for you to handle, it can easily be cooled off with this light and refreshing beer.
Best whiskeys to use with this combo: Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Redemption Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
Best beers to use with this combo: Traditional light beers
Irish Whiskey and German Lager
This combination is rather seasonal. If you take a malty Irish whiskey, then pair it with a German lager that contains more of that malty style, then you’ll get a mellow, but delicious pairing. These two will provide a malty and hoppy flavor but the german lager will give it more of a bitter and spicy kick that helps bring the whole selection together.
When you try it with a german lager, you’ll notice more of a drier taste. It’ll also taste a lot of lighter-bodied. If you’re searching for a pairing with less of a bitter taste, you can substitute the german lager for a Czech lager. Either way, your whiskey-beer combination with have a savory taste to it.
Best whiskeys to use with this combo: Jameson 18 Year Irish Whiskey, Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey, Writers’ Tears Irish Whiskey
Best beers to use with this combo: German beers or pilsners
Kentucky Bourbon and American Pilsner
Many classic boilermaker drinkers enjoy this drink because it’s known to be both sweet and bitter all at once. Some people enjoy the sweetness of drinks, but can’t handle it if it’s too sweet. That’s why this can be the perfect drink to help with that. American Pilsner beers have more of that hoppy, IPA style of flavor which can balance out a Kentucky bourbon.
These traditional Kentucky bourbons hold more of a sweeter taste than the average whiskey. Most Kentucky whiskeys will have hints of caramel, toffee or even cinnamon flavors. Any of these combined with the straighter taste of an American Pilsner can give your drink a smooth and well-balanced taste.
Best whiskeys to use with this combo: Cream of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, Pure Kentucky Bourban Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby 145 Bourbon Whiskey
Best beers to use with this combo: American Pilsners or hoppy, IPA beers
Clyde May’s Alabama Style and IPA
This is a very specific pairing but we wouldn’t dare leave it out. If you combine both of these drinks, you’ll get a combination of sweetness, but it won’t be too sweet. This whiskey is very flavorful as it contains a green apple taste.
You’ll want to pair this with an IPA that contains a good hoppy flavor and isn’t too sweet. You can pair it with an IPA that has a little bit of sweetness if the whiskey’s sweetness isn’t already too much for you.
Best whiskey to use with this combo: Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey
Best beers to use with this combo: Bells Hopslam Ale, Noble Ale Works Mosaic Showers
Best Beer and Whiskey Combos
Have fun mixing and matching these different whiskeys and beers. By trying the different pairings listed above, you’ll soon enough find one that is your go-to drink of choice. Order it at the bar or purchase it from us here at Chip’s Liquor to make it your regular relaxing drink at home.