Beer cocktails don’t get nearly as much love as they should, though their range definitely expands past shandies and boilermakers, and they’ve been around for quite some time.
“When I first heard about them years ago, it was because people didn’t have access to a full bar, didn’t have access to liquor licenses, so they were trying to make a low-ABV cocktail out of the ingredients they had,” Michael Huffman, a general manager at Seven Stills, tells SF Weekly.
Seven Stills, a SF-based brewery and distillery, designed a beer cocktail that shows off their Five Pounds Beer (their signature hazy IPA, which is, in their words, “juicy, citrusy, and crushable.”) The Hazy McLaren combines the fizzy, floral beer with their California Courage vodka, lemon juice, and Cappelletti into a refreshing summer cocktail inspired by a traditional Aperol Spritz.
“We kind of had this idea — what if you replaced the sparkling wine with IPA? How would those bitter, fruity, tropical, aromatic notes pair with this Italian liquor?” Huffman says. “And it turned out amazing.”
A pinch of sea salt helps bring balance to the bittersweet flavors of lemon and Cappelletti, and may entice imbibers to return for a second round.
To hear more about the Hazy McLaren and get caught up on how Seven Stills has been weathering the pandemic, tune into the latest episode of the SF Weekly Podcast.
- 0.75 oz. lemon juice
- 0.25 oz simple syrup
- 1.5 oz Cappelletti
- 0.25 oz California Courage vodka
- A pinch of salt
- Five Pounds Beer
- Orange slices (for garnish)
- Combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, Cappelletti, vodka, and salt in a tall Collins glass.
- Fill the glass to the brim with ice.
- Pour Five Pounds Beer to the top.
- Garnish with orange slices.
Seven Stills, 100 Hooper St STE 4, sevenstillsofsf.com
Nick Veronin contributed to the reporting of this article.
Grace Z. Li covers arts, culture and food for SF Weekly. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @gracezhali.