What is it?

Using beer as a base to create a cocktail. This can include combining different beer styles, mixing beers with sparkling wines and the classic boilermakers.

What's the story?

Beer has long been combined with other ingredients to create a "new" beverage. Sailors in the 1690s drank a flip that combined beer, rum and sugar. The Black Velvet, a combination of stout and Champagne, made its appearance in 1861 on the occasion of the death of Prince Albert. The 1800s saw the shandygaff combination of ale and ginger beer proliferate.

Who's buying it?

Craft beer drinkers are driving the renaissance in beer cock- tails as the varieties of beer styles lend themselves to unique com- positions. Cicerones or beer sommeliers and bartenders here in Charleston and around the country are seeing the market expand as beer is seen as something more than a solo swig.

Who's selling it?

The Low Down Oven & Bar has created a designated "beer cocktail menu" featuring a Steamroller with Bulleit and St. Germain liqueur; the Cadillac, based on a margarita with Pacifico; and Without A Paddle, using Knob Creek Bourbon, mint simple syrup and Palmetto Lager. The Warehouse, Bay Street Biergarten, Glass Onion, and Stars Restaurant, Rooftop & Grill Room all feature beer cocktails. Any bartender can easily make a Black and Tan, Car Bomb, Raddler, Black Velvet, Boilermaker or Shandy.

Quotable

"Whether you agree or disagree that beer should be used as a cocktail ingredient, I imagine we can all agree that a world in which a reasoned, serious discussion about the consequence of craft beer as a cocktail ingredient only happens in a world in which craft products are more respected, better appreciated and, thereby, better in quality." - H. Laney, Huffington Post.

Who buys them?

"They definitely draw the more adventurous. Somebody looking for something new and then the diehard beer guest." - Danny Porter, Low Down Oven & Bar

How to drink it

Properly chilled and not manhandled to maintain the beer's carbonation