Bodacious Boilermakers

Ocho Reales Pilsner - Siete Leguas Tequila & Amaro Di Angostura

The classic Boilermaker beer-and-shot combo never really goes out of style. While it was once relegated to dive bars using cheap whiskey and beer, the craft cocktail era has inspired many bartenders to get more creative with Boilermakers and incorporate higher-end spirits and craft brews. Here are just a few recent examples of Boilermakers offerings from across the U.S.

Boilermakers are a specialty at Nickel City, a neighborhood bar in Austin, TX. Nickel City offered a Negroni Week Boilermaker this past June: Montucky Cold Snack (an American pale lager by Melanie Brewing Co. in La Crosse, WI) and a mini Negroni.

By The Pound, a deli with a speakeasy in Seattle, has a menu of boilermakers ranging in price from $10 to $16. Combinations include the Johnny Utah (Stiegl grapefruit radler and St. George citrus vodka); Dem Apples (Seattle semi-sweet or dry cider and Woodinville rye); and Felix the Housecat (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Montelobos mezcal).


Sundry and Vice in Cincinnati offers the BRO.T.R—an upscale Boilermaker with a Rhinegeist Truth (a local American IPA-style beer) and a shot of the cocktail bar’s draft Old Fashioned cocktail.

Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout + Loft & Bear Vodka
Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout and Loft & Bear vodka at Baldoria in Los Angeles.

At Mi Corazon in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake district, bar director Raul Pool pairs Mexican beers to pair with mezcal and tequila. The Mexican Boilermakers include the Mexicano Italiano (Ocho Reales pilsner and Siete Leguas tequila and Amaro Di Angostura) and El Chingón (Villager IPA and Los Javis joven mezcal), as well as Whiskey And A Beer (Ocho Reales red ale and Elijah Craig whiskey).


Baldoria, another Los Angeles eatery, offers a large selection of paired shots and beers using top-shelf products on both ends. These include Peanut Butter Milk Stout from Belching Beaver Brewery in Vista, CA, and Loft & Bear vodka; Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider (Portland, OR) and Diplomatic 4yr añejo rum; and Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale (Grand Rapids, MI) and Cynar 70 bittersweet liqueur.