Barrel Proof in New Orleans specializes in that most elemental of barroom pleasures—the beer and shot combo, aka the boilermaker.
Bar manager Liam Deegan says the pairings at his Big Easy establishment--which stocks 279 different kinds of whiskey--are "set up based on theme, flavors, ingredients, place of origin or other interesting connections."
"Shots may not be for everyone," Deegan adds, "but we can all agree that the idea of raising a glass removes the stuffiness that a lot of people are put off by in high-end cocktail bars and brings back what establishments like Barrel Proof are all about--fun. It's about tearing down the divide between guest and bartender."
Hey, we'll drink to that. Here, Deegan lists his eight favorite beer and shot combos:
1. Rolling Rock Draft and a Shot of Old Grand Dad Bonded
Barrel Proof's house special is $5 every day."It's inexpensive, classic and everyone can appreciate quality bourbon and a low-priced beer," Deegan says.
2. Miller High Life and a shot of Mellow Corn Whiskey
This All-American combo works because "both have substantial amounts of corn and are classics with cult followings."
3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter Terrapin Liquid Bliss and a shot of Salmiakki Dala
For those (probably stoned) drinkers who want a complex boilermaker redolent of peanut butter, chocolate and salted licorice. "The porter is rich and sweet," says Deegan, "while the Salmiakki has a salty bitterness that cuts right through it."
4. Guillou Painteraud VSOP Cognac and a shot of Kulmacher EKU pilsner.
"These two products happen to be favorites of one of my favorite bartenders in New Orleans and I wanted to pay homage to him."
5. Hitachino White Ale and a shot of Hakushu 12 Year Whiskey
"These Japanese delights highlight their regions of origin, as well as their affinity for each other," Deegan says."Both are light and crisp yet have harmonizing flavors between the smoke of the whiskey and the bright, citrus beer.
6. Tecate and a shot of Green Chartreuse
Deegan calls this Barrel Proof's "shift drink" set up. "Chartreuse is wonderful and popular among service industry folks," he says." This is the perfect pairing in the heat of summer."
7. Stiegl Radler and a shot of 86 and Co Cabeza Tequila
The pairing isn't "groundbreaking," but it's too tasty to not get people to try, "It's a broken down Paloma, but we like to call it a Party Soda," Deegan says.
8. Gnarly Barley Korova Milk Porter and a shot of Balcones Brimstone
"Brimstone tastes like a strip of bacon that camped out next to a bonfire," Deegan says. This combined with the sweet, chocolatey-ness of the porter makes for a delicious pairing.