Whether you're enjoying a warm holiday season in SoCal or a cooler one in NorCal, The Bruery has some CA craft beer cocktail recipes for you to enjoy. As a traveling bartender, our friend Brett has made cocktails & beertended in some of our nation's most scenic spots, but CA is the place he calls home. Have a Happy Brue Year wherever you are with these seasonal cocktail recipes.
These two drinks celebrate The Bruery’s seasonal beers and a new season for me as a transplant from Southern California to an area in San Francisco known for its Italian heritage: North Beach, filled with complex ecopoetics and beer cocktails.
The aim here is to combine both The Bruery’s complex flavors that come via aging with those of italian liqueurs, known for their complexity and recipes that are purportedly hundreds of years old.
The result is something enjoyable for any holiday but best sipped on a sunny So Cal holiday afternoon: an area second-to-none for 70º beach days and warm hikes in late December. On such days, cool cocktails sip finer than a warm holiday cider.
Fort Point & Five
With Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings, you’ve predominantly the taste of sweet fruits, allspice and aging from the bourbon barrel complete with a citrus-pineapple reveal & finish. What came to mind to celebrate this dual character of the beer was Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur with hints of vanilla and chocolate, with with a hint of Limoncello. I went with Ventura Limoncello Company’s brand as homage to my home county.
4 oz. The Bruery Bourbon Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings
1 oz Frangelico
1/2 oz. Limoncello
a splash soda water
over ice and stir
The result produces the effects of a chocolate flavor that complements the fruit and spice of the beer and ads slight citrus to the beginning and middle with a fresh twist of lemon peel to work with the existing finish of the beer. Depending on how hot the day, how great the morning surf, how high a noon, and how sweet the flavor your palate desires, utilize soda water appropriately.
The complex fruit, vanilla and sugary presence of Bois is buttressed further by the sweet, almost caramel taste of Amaretto. I added the smallest dash of Angstora Bitters mainly to accent aroma and add depth to the Bois and Amaretto working together.
4 oz The Bruery Bois
1 oz Amaretto
a dash of bitters
stir over ice, old fashioned glass
The result is somewhere between a good holiday fruitcake (the kind you would actually eat) with a hint of Dr. Pepper after-taste. I see this more as a rich, dessert drink to enjoy in the late afternoon or while settling near sunset after a meal and a day of hiking or mountain biking.
This holiday season, ride the waves, hit the trails, and responsibly enjoy some of the most refined in ultra-complex beer cocktails as we toast the California coastline.
Recipes and cocktail photos courtesy Brett Griffith.