Beer cocktails: Get creative for St. Patrick’s Day

Top o’ the month to ya! With St.Patrick’s Day known for celebrating all things Irish and boozy, why not start making some of your own traditions by making beer cocktails? Before you shudder at the thought, beer serves as a fabulous alternative to most mixed drinks. Get ready to be astounded and spirited away with these tricks for delicious drafts that deliver.

Time to get creative and crafty

When commencing your adventures into the world of beer cocktails, be sure to brush up on your understanding of all the craft beer styles. For a great guide, explore the types of craft beer available. Once you are familiar with Amber Ales, Belgian Ales, India Pale Ales, American Pale Ales, and Pilsners, you can start matching these beers to your tastes and mix away to your heart’s content.

Let these ideas brew

While there is an art to craft beer, there is also a trick to mixology with beers. Think you have what it takes to give your St. Patrick’s Day a pinch and pour of luck? Try your hand at these mixes and you may discover you have a newfound talent!

General rules of beer cocktails

When you are matching beers with complementary flavours, look to pair the strongest characteristic or flavours present. You will want to make your drink mostly beer-based, with other mixes or juices thrown in. Beer also serves well as a replacement for most cocktail ingredients, just be sure to match the palates accordingly.


When you are creating your cocktails, mix or shake all the base spirits and juices together first, then add your beer of choice. You don’t want to make the mistake of shaking a carbonated drink with beer!  


If you are thinking of prepping your drinks cabinet for the long-run, consider making syrup. A syrup is a great way to add flavour to any cocktail by preserving taste in concentrated form. Typically, they get made by dissolving sweet substances like sugar or honey — and now you can with beer! Some great examples to use include fruity ales, tarter tones and flavourful stouts.


beer cocktails

Beer cocktails and the best pairing ideas


These beers are quite neutral in flavour compared to other beers, deemed a safer option for those experimenting for the first time. They add just enough of a tingle and taste to enhance any cocktail.


A shandy is a blended drink, with an equal parts ratio. Just mix equal measures of any citrus juice, soda, cloudy lemonade, or orange-based drink, perfect for a bit of summer zest in every sip.


If you have an IPA which is quite hoppy, look for the hints of citrus, herbal, floral or bitterness. A citrusy IPA sips nicely with a lemon or an orange-tinged spirit, whereas a herbal beer blooms on your palate with a botanical gin.

Hazy wheat beers

These beers range in aromatic palates. Think traces of bitter, herbs, lemon and even smoky sensations. Lager based cocktails would mix the same as IPA, so think of adding dashes of summery tangs.

Dark stouts

These tall, dark and handsome types love to mingle with suggestions of roasted and touches of toasted flavours. Pair with deep coffee or chocolate liqueurs or syrups.


Last but not least, for those wanting the unexpected with their creative crafty cocktails — try a beer float. Scoop some vanilla ice cream into a glass and pour a chocolate stout over to make an adult boozy float. You can even use a straw to enjoy this drink, one savoured sip at a time.

Make magic with the 1000 Hills Brewery brew crew

  • The Cheerleader – This Amber Ale has a malty constituency and toffee taste, made with Amarillo Gold and Willamette. Try mixing in with pineapple and yellow chartreuse. 
    • Gridiron Punch: Mix 2 ¼ cups of pineapple juice, with ¾ cup of yellow chartreuse and pour in 6 bottles of the Cheerleader. You’ll be a huge fan of this crowd-pleaser, punching your pom-poms high and proud!


  • The Quarterback – this fresh American Pale Ale is a clear and crisp beer with fruity tones, made with Cascade hops. Usually a competitive character, this beer pairs well with an opposing flavour.
    • Black and Tan: Pour one bottle of The Quarterback into a beer glass and then take a spoon, and slowly pour a bottle of porter or stout evenly over the American Pale Ale. The result? A touchdown of two worthy opponents turned team players.


  • The Graduate – An India Pale Ale with a fruity palate, it melds flavours of passion fruit, litchi, grapefruit, a hint of spice and local whole flower Southern Passion hops. This clever cold one makes for a perfect stormy shandy. 
    • Stormy IPA: Take two tall glasses, put in 3 – 4 ice cubes in each and then evenly divide a 12 oz. bottle of ginger beer between the two glasses. Then, halve a bottle of The Graduate between the two glasses. In a separate container, pour in 3 oz. of dark rum and the juice of half a lime and shake to chill the contents (4-5 times should be enough). Pour into the two glasses and stir, adding a slice or wedge of lime on the glass. A refreshing drink so clever, you’ll want to throw your cap in jubilation.


  • The Dean – A reigning Gold Star Pilsner with aromatic hops like Perle, Cascade and Goldings. To give this head honcho the mix it deserves, it needs a worthy citrusy top note./
    • Radler: Mix a bottle of The Dean with 6 oz. of lemon soda. The perfect pairing of high expectations and easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy? We think so too.


  • The FES (Foreign Exchange Student) – This Belgian Ale is a strong dark blended brew of toffee and caramel, featuring Perle and Fuggs hops is sure to whisk your senses away on a whirlwind taste adventure. The sweet tones serve as a dessert beer and pairs with a sweet soirée of ingredients.
    • Belgian 75: For this masterful mix, you are taking a classic French 75 which would usually have champagne and mix in a Belgian Ale like The FES instead. Take a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, an ounce of gin, ½ an ounce of fresh lemon juice, an ½ ounce of simple syrup and shake. Then, strain into a stemmed beer glass, topping off with The FES and garnish with a lemon twist. And voila! A divine drink, if we do say so ourselves.


  • The Rebel – This flavour of the month is here to throw you a surprise. Whether this free spirit is feeling a pale ale, amber ale, blonde ale or a bit of Belgian, you will need to take a sip and see for yourself what this wildcard will dance best with.

Have a swig for an Irish jig

May your St. Patrick’s Day have all the luck creating and sharing your craft beer cocktails with your loved ones. For information on where you can find our locally crafted beer, explore our local stockists.