Two beers, one cup*

posted on January 7, 2009 in random beer thoughts

After the microbrew golden age in the 90’s, where older, underappreciated styles like the pale ale and IPA were reimagined and revitalized, the 2000’s has seen an emergence of two main trends: bigger beers (like Belgians, imperial stouts and barleywines) and new, experimental beers (like wine barrel-aged beers) - and especially the combination of these trends (like Double IPAs).  So, I couldn’t help but wonder, where does beer go from here?

And with that line, I officially became the Carrie Bradshaw of beer-writing.  Still, it’s an interesting question, and one possibility is the emergence of yet another trend: beer mixing.  I wouldn’t doubt that most beer geeks would shudder at the thought, thinking each beer is best in its pure, unadulterated form.

Is my life hard?  Could I afford Manolos with my salary?  Do beer mixes taste good?

Is my life hard? Could I afford Manolos with my salary? Do beer mixes taste good?

John, my beer mentor hates it when he gets fruit in his beer (maybe that’s just a guy thing).  However, is it such a problem if one beer complements another well?  Perhaps this is the next step for the still-surging beer movement, and one that virtually opens the door to unlimited possibilities.

The most popular form of beer blending, or “coupling” as it may be known, is the Black and Tan.  Wikipedia gives a nice account of the history and controversy for this beverage, as well as an impressive list of variations on the traditional stout/pale ale mix.  Obviously some beer geeks have been all up on Wikipedia and I loves it.  Also, apparently this guy wrote a book (and blog) about beer mixes.

Beer mixes aren’t anything new - Wikipedia dates them back to 1889 (and I trust Wikipedia with my life), and they’ve evolved, but, in my estimate, they haven’t really hit it big.  At my restaurant someone orders a Black in Tan or a Black and Blue (Guinness and Blue Moon), well, and I’m going to go here, once in a blue moon.  I also enjoy pouring and drinking what we call the “Snake Bite” but what Wikipedia refers to as the “Smoothie” - our draft cider (Woodchuck Pear) and Guinness; Wiki cites the Snake Bite as being cider and lager.  Either way, few people outside those that work at our restaurant ever order it.  With the growth of beerati and the upsurge of beergeeks, I sense this will change as people try to get ever more creative with their drink purchase.  I also foresee some backlash if this prediction does come to fruition.  As for me, I’m pretty intrigued by beer blends and look forward to trying more of them - but I still have so many beers to try in their own right that I think the latter mission takes precedence.

2 beers, one cup.

2 beers, one cup.

*I gladly give credit to my brother for the name of this post.  He apparently is twisted enough to come up with it while I am only perverse enough to find it hilarious.  If you have no idea what it refers to, trust me, you are not the type of person that wants to know.

Update: Some stand-out/questionable names from the Wiki Beer Blend list (but who am I to judge, considering this post’s title):

Black Dead Guy: Half Guinness, half Rogue Dead Guy Ale; Black Bastard: Guinness and Arrogant Bastard, and Black Hoe: Guinness and Hoegaarden — Really?  Beer already has enough image problems, does it need to add racist?  I would feel so uncomfortable ordering a “Black Hoe”.

Black on Blonde: >half Guinness and <half Stella, and; Blacks on Blondes: Half Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and half Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde — One Seal and Heidi Klum, please.

The Greatness: Half Guinness, Half Great White (Lost Coast) — just like the name.

Dirty Bush: Half Guinness, half Busch Light — I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would order this drink, ever. Digg Facebook Google reddit StumbleUpon


  1. I had a beer/champagne mix once that was incredible.


    Comment by Aaron — January 7, 2009 @ 10:50 am

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