'Tis the Season...for Craft Brew Cocktails


The holidays are upon us. Time to showcase your skills in the kitchen. Time to bring joy to others. Time to imbibe.

This fun guide will showcase how to use your favorite craft brews to wow your guests with some seasonal craft brew-inspired cocktails. I encourage you to experiment with local beers and develop your own favorites as you dive into these recipes.

While there is a lot of back-and-forth about whether the development of such cocktails is a cardinal sin in the eyes of a brewer, it’s still fun to mix it up a bit and show folks who are “so NOT into that whole craft beer thing” how versatile these folks’ creations truly are.


Beer Nog aka Stout and Irish Cream Nog

Prep Time: 5 mins

Eggnog originated as ale mixed with custard. In this version we return to the drink's roots with a creamy nitro stout, but also add Irish cream for extra flavor and strength.

Servings: 6-8 small cups

Author: CraftBeering.com


  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup cream

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 12 oz nitro stout

  • 8 oz Irish cream


  1. Whisk the eggs and the milk, cream, sugar.

  2. Stir in the vanilla and nutmeg.

  3. Slowly add the nitro stout and Irish cream and stir very well.

  4. Chill and serve.

  5. (Any leftover quantity can be refrigerated in an air tight container. In case the drink smells strange or looks weird after being refrigerated for a few days, discard it)


Winter Beer Sangria

Prep Time: 5 mins

A spiced winter lager (bock or a spiced winter ale) partners with rye whiskey and an array of citrus fruit and berries, clove and cinnamon for a winter beer sangria you can drink plenty of before you feel the power of the punch.

Servings: 4 cocktails

Author: CraftBeering.com


  • 6 oz rye whiskey

  • 2 12 oz bottles of spiced winter lager/ale

  • 12 oz sparkling water citrus or berry flavored recommended

  • 2 oz orange juice

  • 1 blood orange sliced thin

  • 1 common orange Valencia, Navel, Cara Cara sliced thin

  • 1/2 cup halved red seedless grapes

  • 1/2 cup blackberries

  • 1/2 cup cranberries

  • 4-5 cloves

  • 2 cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish

  • 2 sprigs of rosemary plus more for garnish


  1. Wash and cut (as appropriate) all the fruit and arrange in layers at the bottom of a pitcher.

  2. Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks and rosemary.

  3. Add the rye whiskey and the orange juice and let the fruit soak for a few minutes.

  4. If you are going to serve the winter beer sangria right away prepare glasses with ice cubes and fruit/rosemary garnish, otherwise consider refrigerating it until needed. Optional - prepare extra cinnamon sticks for garnish and to use as straws if desired.

  5. When ready to serve add the sparkling water first and then the beer. When you add the beer pause frequently to let the foam dissipate.

  6. Gently stir everything together and once the fruit settles to the bottom pour into glasses.



Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 cocktail

Author: TheKitchyKitchen.com


  • 2 ounces Rye Whiskey

  • 2-3 dashes Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

  • 1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

  • 1/2 ounce Maraschino Liqueur

  • 1 Grapefruit Peel


  1. In a large glass, combine the rye, bitters, vermouth, and maraschino. 

  2. Add a handful of ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. 

  3. Peel the grapefruit then light it on fire. 

  4. Twist the peel over the drink and pop into the glass.

***NOTE*** Ok, so this one isn’t officially “made with beer,” but it CAN be! Instead of the hopped bitters, you can always swap in a couple ounces of a bitter, high-gravity IPA.

***NOTE 2.0*** We also suggest rounding this baby out with a Bada Bing or Luxardo Cherry! We also suggest the use of Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, and Luxardo Marachino Liqueur.


Stormy IPA Cocktail Recipe

Meet the Stormy IPA Cocktail. Inspired by a classic dark rum cocktail and America's favorite beer style - the India Pale Ale, this craft beer cocktail can also be seen as a fortified version of a shandy.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 cocktails

Author: Craftbeering.com for playdatesparties.com


  • 12 oz ginger beer (very cold)

  • 12 oz IPA (very cold)

  • 3 oz dark rum

  • Juice of half a lime

  • Lime slices for garnish

  • Ice cubes


  1. Set up two high ball glasses and place 3-4 ice cubes in each.

  2. Pour the ginger beer, dividing it equally between the two glasses.

  3. Pour the IPA, dividing it equally between the two glasses.

  4. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice pour 1.5 oz of the rum and half of the lime juice and shake 4-5 times to chill.

  5. Strain/pour over one of the glasses and stir well. Garnish with lime.

  6. Repeat the last step for the second cocktail.


Beermosa with Blood Orange Gose & Raspberry Saison

Prep Time: 5 mins

The Beermosa is the perfect brunch cocktail. Use fruit flavored craft beer to create a decadent version of the classic mimosa.

Servings: 4 cocktails

Author:  craftbeering.com


  • (2) 12 oz fruit flavored craft beers choose a style such as a gose (or another sour, saison, kolsh or wheat beer)

  • fruit pieces or dried flower petals for garnish make into ice cubes, optional

  • orange juice to taste


  1. Start by placing an ice cube (if using) at the bottom of a champagne glass

  2. Add a splash of OJ

  3. Fill with chilled craft beer.

  4. Enjoy!


The following styles are recommended for your craft beermosa:

  • Gose (our fave!)

  • Saison (especially if fruit fermented like the raspberry one they used in this recipe)

  • Belgian Witbier

  • Belgian Trippel

  • Belgian Golden Strong Ale

  • Weissbier/Hefeweizen

  • Berliner Weisse

  • White IPA

  • Hazy IPAs (NEIPA)

Mulled Ale with Spices and Brandy

Prep Time: 2 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 7 mins

Mulled ale fortified with brandy is a potent winter warmer bursting with flavor. Very easy to make!

Servings: 2 cocktails

Author: CraftBeering.com


  • (2) 12 oz Christmas ale you will use only one 12 oz bottle and a half

  • 2½ tbsp dark brown sugar use more if you want ale to taste really sweet

  • 4-6 cloves to taste

  • 2 star anise

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 6 pieces orange peel thin top layer of skin only, without the bitter white layer

  • 3 oz brandy substitute with Cognac if you feel like splurging


  1. In a saucepan or small pot mix the ale (one and a half bottles, 18 oz total) with the brown sugar and nutmeg, immerse the cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and orange peel.

  2. Bring to gentle simmer (do not allow to boil), stir for sugar to dissolve and let simmer for 2-3 min to become well infused with the spices.

  3. Remove from heat and add the brandy.

  4. Serve in mugs with an orange slice and enjoy responsibly.


Smoky Michelada Beer Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 cocktails

Author: Aida Mollenkamp, Salt & Wind

You know the Michelada - a classic Mexican beer cocktail -- has hit mainstream when it's being bottled and sold in mobile trucks. No matter how popular it gets though, I can't imagine ever buying it premade because making it your own means you can customize it to your liking. For me? I like it spicy and smoky like this. 


  • salt for rimming glasses

  • ground chipotle chili powder for rimming glasses

  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (plus more for rimming glasses)

  • ice

  • 1/4 cup chilled tomato juice

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 12 ounces amber Mexican beer such as Negra Modelo or similar (ok, so not a “craft beer”, but here we invite you to get creative with your local brews!)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Chipotle hot sauce (such as Chipotle Tabasco sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce

  • Dash low-sodium soy sauce 


  1. Mix together salt and chili powder in a wide, shallow dish to cover the bottom.

  2. Dip the rims of two rocks glasses in the honey then dip in the salt mixture to coat.

  3. Fill the glasses with ice and set aside.

  4. Combine the tomato juice, lime juice, beer, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and soy sauce in a pitcher and mix to combine.

  5. Taste and add more hot sauce or sweetener as desired.

  6. Pour into the prepared glasses and serve.

  7. Enjoy


Cooking with Beer: Beer Cheese Skillet Potatoes

The industry is booming; every week you hear about a new collab between a chef and a brewery - and if you don’t…you may be living in a not-really-awesome place.

When I first started working in the craft beer industry about ten years ago, I quickly became fascinated with the myriad of amazing ways that brews made their way into food as an ingredient. I like to think of beer cheese as the “gateway” recipe for those digging in and cooking with beer for the first time.

With the holidays upon us, and folks searching Pinterest and Google tirelessly for the coolest and easiest side dish to bring to their Thanksgiving potluck or Friendsgiving celebration, I wanted to share a fave recipe of ours, compliments of The Beeroness (if you don’t know about this majestic human, you’d better hop over to her page and check her out pronto - you’re missin’ out).

So, unleash your inner beer nerd/Bobby Flay and impress the heck outta’ folks this season with one of the best damn sides we’ve made in a hot minute.

We recommend using local brews - it really makes sharing your dish with those folks ya’ love the most that much more enjoyable, and it definitely makes for good conversation!

Note: Try not to drool on your keyboard.

Cred: The Beeroness/Jackie Dodd


  • 2/3 cup beer (IPA, hoppy pale ale, or black IPA)

  • 2 cups (6 wt oz) shredded sharp cheddar, plus ¼ cup divided

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbs cornstarch

  • 2 tbs butter

  • 1.5 lbs russet potatoes, sliced

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. In a food processor add the beer, 2 cups cheese, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cornstarch. Process until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the potato slices and cook until browned. Spread the potatoes out until fairly evenly distributed around the pan.

  4. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes and allow to simmer for ten minutes.

  5. Add the remaining 1.4 cup cheese and panko bread crumbs to the top. Transfer to the oven and allow to cook until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Imbibe: Fredericksburg Rescheduled Due to Inclement Weather

Hey Imbibers!

This week we have been tracking the weather very closely to ensure a great festival experience for all. Unfortunately, the forecast has projected otherwise and looks to be getting somewhat gnarly. We have made the decision to push the event to next Spring. We will hold Imbibe: Fredericksburg on April 6th, 2019.

All previously issued tickets will be honored, and full refunds will be provide immediately to ticketholders that can’t make the new April date. Should you wish to be refunded for your purchase, please email hello@imbibeva.com or message us through our CONTACT form by October 27, 2018, and we will get you taken care of immediately. If you purchased at a discount ticket location in the area, you may either keep your tickets and use for the new date, or return for a refund at the point of sale.

We hope you understand and that you will be able to join us in the Spring. We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be joined by the same bands, venue, breweries, and vendors, and hope that y’all will join us!

We’d like to thank you for your support. This was a tough decision, and we couldn’t have made the reschedule possible without the flexibility of our bands, breweries, venue, and event partners.