Chill Out This Summer With These Refreshing Beer Cocktails In Houston

There are beers and then there are cocktails—but these are not mutually exclusive. Lighter beers can be a refreshing cocktail ingredient while darker beers, such as stouts, can lend intriguing depth to the flavors. However, there are surprisingly few places in Houston making beer cocktails. For those looking to drink something more interesting than the latest craft IPA release, these bars and restaurants are serving up beer cocktails for mixed drink lovers of all stripes.

Micheladas—like this one from Connie’s Seafood—don’t need to be fancy to be delicious. Photo by Lauren McDowell.

For The Purists: 

For some, there is only one beer cocktail: the venerable michelada. This hot sauce, lime and cerveza concoction is exquisite for sipping alongside a plate of fried seafood or Gulf oysters on the halfshell.

Perhaps that’s the reason Houstonians in the know head to one of three spots for a classic, no-frills michelada: Connie’s Seafood, (2525 Airline Dr, 713-868-2144), Captain Tom’s Seafood & Oyster Bar (10501 FM 1960, 281-890-8334) and Mambo Seafood (multiple locations).

D&T Drive Inn’s shandy is a summer secret weapon. Photo by Lauren McDowell.

For the day drinkers…

There are plenty of beer bars with patios, but only a few that offer interesting takes beyond the tap. There are over 50 beers on offer at D&T Drive Inn (1307 Enid, 713-868-6165), but when the heat wave fully descends, the frozen shandy— beer, bitters and housemade lemonade in slushie form—is the right move.

Those in search of a craft beer cocktail in Montrose should head to Hops Meet Barley (2245 W. Alabama, 832-767-5167). The number of beers available—over 150—can be overwhelming, but a curated list of cocktails using beer as an ingredient will please novices and brew buffs alike. Try the Saison Sunshine, made with Prairie Saison, gin and elderflower and topped off with lemon.

Craft beer bar Hay Merchant (11 Westheimer, (713-528-9805) takes its beverage offerings as seriously as its food, and their spicy beer cocktail, the Gochujang Michelada, is no joke. The hot sauce mix is made with four kinds in addition to Korean fermented chili paste (that’s the gochujang), soy sauce, Worcestershire, fish sauce and spices.

For the cocktail connoisseur…

Wooster’s Garden (3315 Milam, 713-520-0015) understands the allure of the beer cocktail. Here, several tempting options grace the menu. Fizzled Tropics, for example, includes witbier and add a touch of tiki by way of rum, bitters, lemon, lime, pineapple, and orange cream citrate.

Wooster Garden’s Fizzled Tropics mixes tiki with witbier. Photo by Lauren McDowell.

Similarly, Stone’s Throw (1417 Westheimer, 832-659-0265) knows how to put summertime in a drink. Just don’t let the Shandy Dufresne fool you. Most shandies are on the lighter side, but with spiced rum, dry vermouth, creme de cassis, simple syrup, peach bitters and blonde ale included, you’ll want to pace yourself.

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