Vancouver bars serving up beer cocktails

You’ve heard of curing your hangover with a lager with tomato juice (does this really work?) and a cold bottle has always been a great chaser for that whisky shot. But bartenders are amping up the mixes and using beer, liquor and classic cocktail add-ins to original and tasty effect. Here are some worth trying.

Bitter Tasting Room Ltd

16 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G6

With a craft beer focus, as well as a well-rounded and interesting list of bottles, you can bet that the Bitter Tasting Room is experimenting with beer cocktails. On their list, the very popular summertime favourite, the Radler Breeze. Highlighting East Van Vodka, the refreshing drink is topped off with Aperol, lemon and cranberry juice and the hit beer of summer 2014, Steigl’s grapefruit radler. They also mix up a mean Shandy as well as another pilsner/vodka treat spiked with cassis, lime and orange.

Rogue Kitchen & Wet Bar

601 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G1

Another beer-forward bar with an excellent and ever-rotating list of delicious brews, Rogue presents three cocktails for any palate: sweet, spicy, tart. The first is their play on a bellini: apricot ale topped with the classic girly slush of frozen bellini. There’s the Michelada, a Mexican afternoon (or morning) staple of pilsner spiked with chili and clamato. And finally, the intriguing High Tea with gin, Fat Tug IPA, earl grey and grapefruit juice. Quaff this last one with a perfect mix of pretension and brashness.

Portland Craft

3835 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P1

Owned and operated by a Langley boy with the deepest admiration and respect for our southern sister city, this Main Street restaurant is an ode to all things (though mostly beer) Portland. But when it came to his beer cocktails, it was local all the way. Aside from the classic Boilermaker, using Main Street Pilsner with a shot of Jameson’s, they’ve added the Drafted Americano to their cocktail list — a serious concoction of, again, that neighbourhood pilsner, Italian vermouth and Campari over ice.

The New Oxford

1141 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P6

Trevor Kallis, bar and beverage director of the Donnelly Group, is a big fan of the beer cocktail, and many of the restaurant mogul’s 18 bars feature the beverage in some formulation. At the tavern at Yaletown’s The New Oxford, it’s the straightforwardly named A Beer and a Smoke. Using Jaral de berrio mezcal for its toasty, woodsy flavour, the drink is topped with Steamwhistle Pilsner, lime juice, celery bitters and hot sauce. Too smoky? Try their Anchor Steam and bourbon boilermaker instead.

Craft Beer Market

85 1st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0C4

The guys behind this craft beer mecca at Olympic Village are keeping it pure with their beer “cocktails” containing just beer. Called beer blends, they’ve mixed and matched two complimentary hoppy brews for classics like the Black & Tan, Guinness layered with Village House Ale, as well as more original recipes like the Great Ape, Pyramid Apricot Ale topped with Storm Brewing’s rich and chocolaty Black Plague Stout. There are six in total, each making for the best of both worlds.

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