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Shot and Beer - Change off or Stay the Course

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Duplicate thread on the Spirits board, but considering the topic, I think it makes sense for a double posting....

I honestly looked around and couldn't find a similar thread, so started new one. I know if a fellow CH-er knows of a similar one, they'll point me in the right direction.
When I get take-out from a restaurant, I don't call ahead to make it a faster trip. I enjoy sitting at the bar and enjoying a drink while perusing the menu, then ordering, and waiting for my order. I usually order a shot and a beer. I'm not a big drinker, so it's sort of my only guilty pleasure these days. What occurred to me is that I don't have a favorite combination. The guy behind the bar remembered what I asked for last time, and when I ordered something completely different, he seemed taken aback. That said...here's the core of this thread...when you order a shot and a beer, is it the same combination all the time or do you like a little variety? If you DO like variety, do you find that some whiskeys (to use a term) go better with some beers? What combinations, in your opinion, go best? Curious minds want to know! And curious palates want to try them.

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  1. Most craft beer bars I've been to don't serve hard alcohol, so this combination is often an impossibility.

    Even if they do have alcohol, I don't get the appeal of this. I always assumed it was because people would drink the shot in one swallow, and then have a beer on hand to mask the finish.

    I'd say just order a quality craft beer. And then maybe later order a quality bourbon or scotch that you can sip on and enjoy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      I dunno, Josh - it seems like some entities are getting into the shot of bourbon with craft beer sort of thing - sort of stepping it up from the bourbon aged barrel concept. But, I think those are "sipping shots" and not the "throw it down" shots.

      With that said, I'd love to see somebody duplicate the old Dr. Pepper shot with a decent rum. Maybe Ballast Point could pull it off with Three Sheets and Sculpin?

      1. re: RB Hound

        Yeah, I guess I had forgotten about that thing Best Damn Beer Shop did with that. Seems odd to me, though. The two flavors are so dissimilar.

      2. re: Josh

        Understood. I'm not talking about college-days down the shot then gulp the beer. More of a sip and sip, appreciate the qualities kind of moment. Personally, I'm not that much of a beer drinker to consider craft vs. off the shelf (is that the proper alternative?), so looking for a general public sort of response. But your point is well taken.

        1. re: njmarshall55

          Well you might want to dive into the craft beer world, then. There is a lot of great stuff out there to enjoy.

          1. re: njmarshall55

            I've been to a place that used to pair belgium style beers, which sometimes have a banana aroma, with a rum or lighter bourbon or something sweet. Personally, I could see having a porter or oatmeal stout with something with vanilla or espresso flavor.

        2. A lot of brewers are aging their beers in barrels these days, including bourbon, scotch and brandy barrels, and also wine barrels. The beers they tend to use are generally pretty strong beers like old ales and imperial stouts. Anniversary beers like barrel aged Old Rasputin, Abyss and Firestone Walker 14 are good examples. I would suggest that say a bourbon barrel aged stout or old ale would be fantastic with a good, aged bourbon. The challenge, as some have mentioned, might be to find great whiskey and great beer in the same place, which is not always the case

          6 Replies
          1. re: chuckl

            For me, this is a situation where it would be OK to have a nice bourbon/whisk(e)y and a working class beer or vice versa. If I was going to do this, I wouldn't want to go both barrels! To answer the OP: The last time I did it, I enjoyed a shot of George Dickel No. 12 with an ice cold bottle of Grain Belt Nordeast.

            1. re: hawkeyeui93

              Long ago, when I used to do this kind of thing, I would chase Wild Turkey Rye 101 with Carlsberg Elephant. That was before craft beer could be found (for the most part) on the east coast.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                I think that the ideal mix might be one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer. At least George Thorogood told me that.

                1. re: RB Hound

                  I like George's other thought: When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself.

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    And George heard it from John Lee Hooker.

                    I don't think either of them were drinking Highland Park alongside Traquair House Ale, though, but man that is a match made in heaven. Actually, that sort of combination could even be altered to suit one's mood/preference: any single malt with any suitably rich malty beer, even a doppelbock. I'm not too big on bourbon, so I'll just have two whiskys instead.

                    1. re: TongoRad

                      > "And George heard it from John Lee Hooker."

                      Did John Lee play George his copy of Amos Milburn's '45 rpm version or was it from a vinyl compilation?

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEpzqL...

                      I imagine Amos was drinking Acme or Lucky in LA, Pearl, Mitchell's or Southern Select in Texas.

                      John Lee - Goebel or Pfeiffer's Famous in Dee-troit. (They just seem bluer than Stroh's).

            2. Venezuelan rum with a good hefeweizen hits the spot for me.

              Edit: Wow, feel like I've been hiding in the closet until now on this one.

              1. Great responses. I'll have to Google some of the names in the posts. Me? I'm a mix it up, not the same thing twice guy. Guess I haven't found my 'can't pass up' combination. A shot of VO and a Sam Adams (forget which one was on tap)...Jameson's and a Bass Ale (before it went downhill). Nothing exotic...believe me, if you knew me, you wouldn't think exotic.

                3 Replies
                1. re: njmarshall55

                  Is that the 90's Inbev downhill, or the 10's AB-Inbev brewed in NY downhill? ;-)

                  1. re: LStaff

                    (Then-) Interbrew didn't acquire Bass Brewers PLC until 2000 http://www.ab-inbev.com/go/media/glob... but I agree Bass Ale (at least the export version, bottled and kegged, we got in the US) in the '90's was already a sad shadow of it's former self.

                    I remember having a draft of it at the time in one of those situations where it was the best of the poor choices available, and thinking - "Did someone put some brown food coloring in a Budweiser keg and hook it up to the Bass tap?"

                    Bass Brewers proved they were able to dumb down their greatest brand without any help of the Belgians, Brazilians or whatever Americans who are left at AB-InBev.

                    1. re: LStaff

                      Bass started going downhill before 1980.