Making Cocktails… with Beer!

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By Hassett Gravois

Las Vegas, NV on August 23, 2012. © RD/ Kabik/ Retna Digital ***HOUSE COVERAGE***

Pouring beer at Culinary Dropout (Photo: Erik Kabik)

Beer cocktails seem to be the newest fad and why not? There are so many different kinds of beers!There are more than 400 types but most fall into two categories: ales and lagers. The difference is the way the yeast reacts. When it ferments at higher temperatures and stays at the surface, ale is produced. When yeast ferments at lower temperatures and doesn’t float to the surface, it creates lager. The beer is ready after a few weeks of fermenting and usually placed inside a keg, bottle or can.

But let’s rewind the process a little bit…

Malted barley is mixed with hot water and makes mash, an oatmeal-like substance that creates wort, which is a sugary liquid that is drained out.

After that come the hops, the female flowers of a vine called Humulus lupulus – and a member of the marijuana family. (And no, you cannot smoke hops.) They are boiled and combined with the wort to add bitterness, flavor and aroma.

Yeast is then mixed in with the hopped wort and left to ferment. The yeast converts the sugar into ethanol (the alcohol part) and Carbon dioxide (or CO2, the bubbly part).

At this point is where the beer becomes an ale or a lager based on temperature and the reaction of the yeast. Beer is often further subcategorised by mouthfeel, alcohol content, aroma and flavor.

Joseph James

Ice cold beer? I don’t think so.

Drinking beer when it’s ice cold may be popular but sacrifices quality since key aromatic components cannot disperse at certain temperatures.

The Brewers Association does not recommend any beer to be served at temperatures under 40°F but most standard draft systems are designed to operate at 38°F.

Pilsners, wheat beers, blonde ales, and other light beers are recommended to be served between 40° and 45°F. Darker beers like ambers and imperial stouts should be between 50°and 55°F. Double IPAs (India Pale Ales) and British bitters are at their best, a little warmer at around 55°F.

This is why the British have a “bad” reputation for drinking warm beer.

Sin City Brewing Company

Serving up something good at the Sin City Brewing Co.

They’re just proper beer drinkers!

Is beer good for you?

Moderate beer consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease by 31%. Alcohol in general can raise high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).

Drinking moderate amounts of beer may also help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Drinking moderately may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, which is one of the biggest complications that can arise from for those who already have diabetes.

Adults over 65 who drank moderately showed a lower risk for dementia compared to adults who drank too much or didn’t drink at all. People who drink in moderation also tend to report fewer illnesses overall.

Drinking beer moderately also helps reconstruct bone mass in men and young women.

This is not professional medical advice and you should always consult your physician with any general questions about your health. Please note that excessive consumption of beer can result in negative health effects.

Bier Garten_The Stardust w beer

Back to School

Zythology is the study of beer and the role certain ingredients play in the brewing process.

In the 19th century, nursing mothers in Munich, Germany would drink up to 7 pints of beer a day under the belief it offered health benefits in breastfeeding their children.

During the middle ages, beer was a very important part of the European diet. It was believed to provide energy and nutrients needed to survive. Even the children drank it!

The oldest written recipe discovered by humans is for beer. It was written on a stone tablet more than 5,000 years ago. In 4,000 BC, beer advertisements were created on clay tablets embellished with a large breasted woman holding up two goblets with the caption “Drink Ebla Beer – The beer with the heart of a lion”.

The ancient Babylonians were so serious about the process that if you brewed a bad batch of beer, your punishment was to be drowned in it.

The first professional beer brewers were women. This was historically considered a very important and noble job for women. In ancient Peru, the breweries were staffed by women who were of noble birth or extremely beautiful.

A “Brewster” is the correct term for a beer brewing woman.

TIP: When you store beer it should be stored upright to minimise oxidation and contamination from the cap.

Here are a few awesome beer cocktails.

Brain Buster

  • 1Pint Beer
  • 1 oz Brandy
  • Float the brandy in a pint of beer.
  • Mexican Beer
  • 12 oz Beer
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Pour half of the beer in a beer mug add the tequila top with the rest of the beer.


Dirty Vegas

  • 1oz Vodka
  • 1oz Wine
  • 1oz Beer
  • Mix and serve in a shot glass.
  • Cream de la Beer
  • 1 can Beer
  • 1 can Cream soda
  • Mix equal parts beer and cream soda into a highball glass.
  • (Make sure the soda is super cold and the beer is at proper temperature)


Black Velvet

  • 5oz Champagne
  • 5oz Stout
  • Pour stout into a champagne flute layer champagne.

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