You know them, you love them, you’ve probably ordered them dozens of times at dives and cocktail bars alike… the boilermaker is everyone’s drink. This classic combo of a shot and a beer has been beloved for generations and is seen as a universal ritual to indicate (and celebrate) the end of the workday. While there’s much debate about how to drink them, there is no wrong way to enjoy a boilermaker: Shoot the shot and linger over the beer, sip back and forth between the two to let the flavors mingle, or drop the shot straight into the beer and down them together (watch your teeth!). The boilermaker is versatile, casual, and it’s impossible to mess up.
Bartenders and spirit nerds have taken liberties with the traditional components and experimented with agave spirits, amari, and even sherry instead of the classic shot of whiskey. Sour beers, bitter IPAs, and ciders have been swapped in for the traditional cheap lager. Inspired by this creativity, we spent an evening pouring boilermakers with New Deal spirits and beers available in the Bottle Shop, and we were surprised with our findings. The combos below were two of our favorites.
Sour, fruity, and wheaty. The beer brings out the rose aromatics in the Old Tom Gin and heightens its citrusy flavors. Sip them side by side to let the flavors play and mingle. This is a refreshingly delicate and delicious combo.
Bitter cacao, nutty, rich. To our surprise, this pairing leaned bitter and vegetal (in a good way) and reminded us of the flavors of amaro. These pair almost too well together, so go ahead and drop your shot right into your glass of stout for the ultimate boilermaker experience. And, if we haven’t convinced you of the merits of a shot and a beer, try these two ingredients in our Bittersweet Symphony. It combines Mud Puddle Vodka with a syrup made from the Ferment Imperial Stout.
We encourage you to try your hand at boilermaker pairings using New Deal spirits. Mix and match, and let us know if you find any winners. Whatever combo you choose (and however you choose to drink it), we can all agree that the boilermaker is the perfect way to cap off a long day. Cheers to that!