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With St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, beer sales will be ramping up in a big way. More guests than ever are clamoring for the new and novel, so there’s an amazing opportunity to elevate beer to the level of craft cocktail creation. And by bringing premium spirits into the mix, you’ll be elevating your profits, too.

Bulleit Boilermaker

While there will always be love for traditional Shandies and Boilermakers, mixologists are rethinking this category and coming up with some sensational options to surprise and delight their customers. Some are even approaching beer with the same level of creativity typically reserved for the spirits side of the menu.

To take advantage of this trend, start by offering some of the more recognizable combinations and then supplement your menu with some noteworthy new drink combinations. Mix them up and test them out with your waitstaff to see which recipes rise to the top. Here are some of our favorites.


The St. Patrick’s Day season is a time when both beer and whiskey are in high demand and unsurprisingly, the call for the Boilermaker also increases. This may account for the fact that many people assume it to be an Irish drink (made exclusively with Irish whiskey). But the truth is, the Boilermaker owes its origins to British blue-collar workers of the 1800’s. According to legend, they would head to the pub after a long shift working on steam locomotives (boilers) to reward themselves with a combination of beer and whiskey.

What began as a shot of whiskey followed by a pint of beer evolved into the all-in-one libation we know as the Boilermaker. In some traditions, the shot glass of whiskey is dropped into draught beer and consumed in one long draw. This has evolved into a variety of Boilermaker Cocktails that combine the two for one sippable and satisfying drink.

With a bold history and heritage, Guinness is the place to begin your Boilermaker Cocktail adventure. By using Bulleit Bourbon instead of Irish Whiskey, you can create an Irish-American option your customers will adore. Offer the following combinations as a shot with a pint or as a Boilermaker Cocktail.

If you’d like to offer guests inspiration from north of the border, try these Crown Royal Canadian Whisky options:


Take Guinness beyond the basic Boilermaker with palate-pleasing drinks that play up its deep, complex character. Unlike lighter beer that gets overwhelmed by strong flavor notes, Guinness Stout holds its own and then some in the delicious drinks below.


While stout-style beer makes for great Boilermakers, lighter ales like Smithwick’s provide a great base for St. Patrick’s Day beer cocktails. Offering Red Ale, Pale Ale and Atlantic Blonde Ale, all Smithwick’s varieties are crisp and refreshing and play well with spirits. Delight your customers with the tasty options below.


St. Patrick’s Day kicks off one of the most important seasons of the year for both the beer category and on-premise events. By capitalizing on the Beer Cocktail trend, you can upsell your guests to a higher price point while quenching their thirst for innovation and flavor. Don’t forget to promote your offerings prominently on table cards and drink menus and use your social media channels to optimize awareness and call!