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Celebrate the Summer with Beer Cocktails

Pushing the boundaries of beer

The Open Gate Brewery is the home of brewing experimentation and innovation at St. James’s Gate, where our team of Guinness brewers are given free rein to experiment and push the boundaries of beer. In the last two years, we’ve delivered over 50 new beers covering a wide range of flavors, from fruity IPAs to sweet stouts, which really come alive in cocktails.

Beer cocktails are a great way to introduce guests to different beer styles and showcase how versatile beer can be as an ingredient. We have a lot of fun creating new cocktails whenever a new beer goes on tap, and our colleagues in the spirits team are always on hand with their expertise to help develop new serves.

Beer cocktails through the years

Contrary to popular belief, beer cocktails aren’t a new invention. In fact, Guinness has been used as a cocktail ingredient for over 150 years! When Prince Albert passed away in 1861, the steward at Brooks Club in London ordered that even the champagne should be in mourning, dressed all in black, and so Guinness Extra Stout was added and the Black Velvet was born—or so the story goes! Guinness were at the forefront of beer cocktails in the early days of advertising, with a Black Satin (Guinness and tonic water) recommended as a refreshing drink on sunny days. In the 1950s, Guinness introduced a bottle label in the US that actually touted its merits as a mixer!

Some beers act as a great base, others provide a dash of flavor. A few widely available beer styles to consider are:

LAGER – The world’s most popular beer, lagers tend to be crisp, clean and effervescent with very low levels of bitterness. Lagers are great for cocktails where you want the other flavors to come to the forefront.

IPA – Depending on the hops used in the IPA (India Pale Ale), you can get bitter notes, hints of grapefruit, citrus, pine, resign and much more! An IPA will add some bitterness and tropical fruit flavors to your mix.

STOUT – Dark fruit, roast, chocolate, caramel, coffee—so many great flavors can be found in stouts that can add complexity and color to a cocktail.

Of course, that’s just tip of the iceberg and there are many more beer styles you can choose from – the best part is experimenting with the countless flavors available! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Black Velvet


Pour GUINNESS Stout into a champagne flute

Top with chilled champagne

Stir gently

Hop House Bellini


Add peach puree and SMIRNOFF Vodka to a champagne glass

Gently top with Hop House 13 and serve

Open Gate Posada

  • 1.0 oz. DON JULIO Blanco Tequila
  • .25 oz. lime juice
  • Open Gate Brewery Citra IPA (or any citrusy IPA) to top up
  • Pinch of salt


    Rim a highball glass by dipping glass in fresh lime juice and salt

    Add Tequila, lime juice, pinch of salt and top with Open Gate Brewery Citra IPA

    (*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)