Beer cocktails are especially refreshing during warm weather months. They boast a lower alcohol content than mixed drinks with hard alcohol, and with so many great summer beers available, creating unique concoctions for the season is a breeze.
If you're not up to the heft and tequila of a margarita tomorrow (viva Cinco de Mayo!), consider the Michelada, which has been gaining some traction as a spicy summer alternative to the Bloody Mary. Order it at a bar or mix one up at home but give blah pre-packaged products like Budweiser Chelada a pass; make it yourself and spice it to taste.
Shandys (which generally consist of half pale ale or lager and half lemonade, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda) are a refreshing low alcohol substitute if you're looking to enjoy the sun without immediate inebriation. Using quality ingredients like homemade lemonade and a pale ale with natural citrus notes can produce amazing results.
Ty Fugimura, owner of The Small Bar in Chicago, believes his bar's unique list of six beer cocktails is a major draw. As the Windy City warms up, Fugimura knows "sidewalk sitters want something a little bit lighter," so Small Bar offers a "Beergarita," a twist on the classic tequila drink. In addition to adding white ale, they top it off with Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale and Lindeman's fruity Framboise. Sounds pretty great to us. Got a beer cocktail recipe up your sleeve? Let us know. We're thirsty.