The Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has partnered up with bartenders across the UK to create a series of videos to highlight an oft overlooked use of beer – as a cocktail base. Each Budvar ‘Hoptails’ video features a different bartender and a different cocktail recipe featuring Budvar as the star ingredient. The first instalment featured a concoction named ‘The Czech Punch’ created by the owner of a bar in Leeds. ‘The Czech Punch’ involves a mix of rum, apricot jam, and of course, Budvar.

Beer cocktails are nothing new, as the Hoptails website reminds us,  giving a brief history of mixing beer with other ingredients that apparently stretches back a couple of thousand years.  Even if the concept of beer in a cocktail sounds alien to you, there are a few classics that might be familiar. Black Velvet for example, a mix of stout and champagne, is a staple on the menu of high end seafood restaurants as it is considered the perfect accompaniment to oysters. However it looks as though beer cocktails are expanding from occasion specific drinks such as Black Velvet to the innovative menus of Britain’s coolest bars.

This emerging trend brings together the seemingly disparate worlds of beer drinkers and cocktail culture. In actuality there are quite a few similarities between the discerning beer drinker and those that would rather order a Perfect Manhattan than a pint of lager. With the meteoric expansion of the craft and independent beer industry in recent years there is a stunning array of flavours to be found in the beer aisle of your local supermarket, let alone in a devoted  bar. Dedicated beer drinkers have a sophisticated palate at their disposal and are open to trying new and unusual flavours in the latest craft offerings.  Beer cocktails take this a step further, opening the door to a whole new world of opportunities for brewers and the beer drinking community.

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