Mike Brown tends bar at Jackalope Lounge. Photo: Katarina Duerr

Mike Brown: Beer Cocktails!

Beer & Spirits

A bottle of Corona sits neck down in a glass on a bar. Photo: Katerina Duerr
“Bartending is pretty much just putting garbage in a glass.” –Mike Brown. Photo: Katerina Duerr

One thing I’ve learned while writing for SLUG is this stupid thing called punctuation. I was thinking about it the other day when I was bartending at The Jackalope Lounge, where I work at on the weekends damaging peoples livers at an alarming rate in the name of taking money to feed my cat, Princes Ramona. But we have a sign that says, “Beer and a shot! $5.” Really, it should say, “Beer, and a shot! $5!” Notice the comma after “Beer.” That’s punctuation. [Editor’s note: We know this isn’t really correct, but it’s the thought that counts.] Because ‘Beer and a shot’ would be beer and liquor together, and that would mean that beer and liquor had sex and their baby is a beer cocktail, which is what this article is about. Unlike babies, they are actually quite delicious.

Anyway, I’ve written for every single Beer issue that SLUG has produced. I’m running out of ideas. The last time I wrote about cocktails for the mag … well, it didn’t go so smoothly. Regardless, I’m excited to share some drink recipes with you guys that I think we all will enjoy.   

The BeerGarita!

To start, we’ll get into a classic, The BeerGarita, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The BeerGarita is probably the most well-known beer cocktail, but I rarely see them around town. Honestly, it’s quite simple: a margarita with beer in it, preferably a Mexican beer. Stop by the Jackalope and I’ll make you one. 

The Wisconsin Lunchbox!

Mike brown shows off a Wisconsin Lunchbox. Photo: Katarina Duerr
The Wisconsin Lunchbox works like a shooter—an Irish Car Bomb to be specific—but it’s a lot less violent than the IRA. Photo: Katarina Duerr

Despite the fact that most bartenders think they know everything, we actually don’t. Some less than others—much, much less. I had never heard of a Wisconsin Lunchbox until a kindly Midwestern gentlemen from the drunkest state in the Union came into the Jack and ordered one from me.

It might not actually be considered a beer cocktail, but it’s got beer and liquor, so I’ll allow it. The drink works like a shooter—an Irish Car Bomb, to be specific—but it’s a lot less violent than the IRA. Basically, you fill a pint glass up about 1/4 of the way with a shitty draft beer, preferably PBR or something else from Milwaukee. Then, you dump some orange juice on that shit, pour a shot of Amaretto, drop the shot in the pint glass and pound it like it’s prom night.

The White Trashcan!

This one I made up. Like most drinks I’ve made up, it doesn’t taste very good, but neither do Boilermakers. It will do the same thing though—get the job done.

Grab a stein and fill it up half way with ice. Then, pour in a shot of your bar’s cheapest, terrible vodka (granted, most vodka is terrible). Then, add Watermelon or Grape Puckers. Now, you add Budweiser, filling the stein 3/4 full, because that’s my favorite beer. Then you garnish this beauty with a can of Red Bull.

You can do numerous variations of this drink, and honestly, bartending is pretty much just putting garbage in a glass, no matter where you work at or what kind of drinks you make, so feel free to fuck this one up.  Every drink serves a purpose, and The White Trashcan is a great drink to order for that friend you’re mad at or if someone loses a bet in the bar.

Read more boozy features from Mike Brown:
Mike Brown: Beer is Here to Save the Day
Mike Brown: Absinthe-Minded