You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

You don’t need a holiday to enjoy a boilermaker


The Irish have been sipping a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer side by side for generations — an age-old tradition they call a pint and a drop and we call boilermakers. And you don’t need the excuse of St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy the combination.

The pairing is obvious because Irish whiskey is a distilled version of beer sans hops, giving the two boozy beverages similar characteristics that make them acutely complementary. And although some American drinkers have come to think of this duo as a quick way of getting snockered, the boilermaker is finding its way onto the menus of cocktail bars, returning to the way it was meant to be enjoyed all along.

Bartenders are largely to thank for that — because we, their customers, want to drink what they’re having. These have long been their after-shift drink: a quick, strong draw that takes the edge off after a long night of making cocktails. Sometimes, boilermakers are meant to be a beer and whiskey sipped separately, other times as a shot dropped into the pint glass. Increasingly, they come as a beer served with some type of other spirit or liqueur.

“It might stretch the textbook definition of what a boilermaker is, but I consider it to be a spirit and a beer, not just whiskey and beer,” Jason Stevens, beverage director at La Corsha Hospitality and its restaurants, including Boiler Nine Bar & Grill, said.

Boiler Nine and its accompanying bars each have boilermakers on the menu. At Boiler Nine, it’s a beguiling mixture called the Divine Hammer: a half-ounce of chilled green chartruese dropped into 10 ounces of Lone Pint’s Yellow Rose IPA.

One Irish whiskey maker wants to reinvigorate the more traditional pairing. With the Dew and a Brew tour, brand ambassador Jane Maher of Tullamore Dew has been traveling across the country to various breweries — in Austin, she visited the now-open Friends & Allies Brewing — pairing their beers with her whiskey. Her message is clear: “We never shoot our whiskey in Ireland, never,” she said.

She said that shooting a triple-distilled Irish whiskey like Tullamore would take away from its full flavor. Each expression is “a well balanced whiskey that hits all areas of the palate, and there’s sweetness in the front, maltiness in the middle and a light spiciness at the back. That just gives rise to very interesting beer and whiskey pairings.”

According to Tullamore, the boilermaker (also called “a ball of malt and a pint of plain”) spread from Ireland in the 1800s, and not through the thoroughly American drink of Irish Car Bombs that we often have on St. Patrick’s Day.

“The practice became known as a boilermaker in the United States, where it was enjoyed by the working man after a hard day’s labor,” according to Tullamore Dew. “The name was coined by watching what the Irishmen who worked on the railroads were ordering: ‘I’ll have the same as the boilermaker and his mate.’ Over time, the practice gradually changed to mixing the whiskey and beer together in a single glass or drinking the whiskey as a single shot, with the beer as a chaser.”

Bartenders are now a huge influence on the boilermaker as they are often drinking wild variations on them.

Boiler Nine’s Divine Hammer is so named because it’s a subtle wallop of a drink that recognizes how well IPAs with Mosaic or Citra hops, full of tropical fruit and citrus notes, pair with the fresh herbal flavor of green chartreuse.

“It’s astonishing because you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins,” Stevens said. “You think you’re just drinking an IPA at first, but then the chartreuse notes come out, and then you’re just tasting each element back and forth. They have to be combined just right for it to work.”

He also loves sipping a sour brew, like Independence Brewing’s RedBud Berliner Weisse, with raspberry drinks like Clear Creek Raspberry Brandy or St. George Raspberry Liqueur, two other complementary flavors. This fruity combination was served frozen at Boiler Nine’s Deck Nine Observatory Bar last summer, but he couldn’t quite get it to catch on with customers.

Flavors friendly to each other aren’t the only ones that work with boilermakers.

“Lone Star and Fernet, on the other hand, are a strong contrast of flavors,” he said. “That’s a classic one with boilermakers. People also like Tecate and tequila, which is popular with my group of friends. My thing for awhile was a pony of Miller High Life with Amaro Meletti. At the end of a shift, at most of our industry bars around town, bartenders will have an inexpensive beer and some form of amaro.”

For his part, Justin Lavenue, the co-owner of the Roosevelt Room downtown, is “a huge fan of having a copita of mezcal with Modelo,” he said. “I go a little more Mexican with my boilermakers. Typically you’ve got mezcal that is a little higher proof, so you need something, I’ve found, that is a little sweeter.”

But on March 17, the cocktail bar that emphasizes the classics will pay tribute to Irish tradition by offering a pour of Jameson Caskmates paired with a rich stout. That’s a particularly apt pairing: The Irish whiskey is finished in former stout barrels, which “imparts amazing chocolate and coffee notes,” Lavenue said.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Roosevelt Room starts at 5 p.m. Or, if you’d prefer to party at home, have Friends & Allies Noisy Cricket Session IPA with Tullamore Dew’s 15 Year Old Trilogy and notice how the citrus flavors in both come to life in a new way.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360

This week’s music picks: Tull tales with Ian, Allstars with Dickinsons and more

[youtube=] Wednesday: Jethro Tull at ACL Live. Technically these shows are billed as “Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson,” an odd specification given that Jethro Tull, by any other name than Ian Anderson, would most assuredly not be Jethro Tull. Technically, the band called it quits five years ago, and longtime members Martin Barre and Doane Perry...
Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere
Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere

Two are more wonderful than one. Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter met, embraced and posed for photographs at Thursday’s premiere of “Wonder Woman” in Hollywood, ETOnline reported. >> Read more trending news Carter, 65, made the Wonder Woman character famous during its television series run from 1975 to 1979. Gadot is starring...
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.

It's easy to wax poetic about doughnuts. Whether they're light as air and melt in your mouth or caky and sugarcoated, ready to dunk, who can pass up a fresh one? The best are made by hand with wholesome ingredients. Even the ones that start with a mix - and those include your Krispy Kremes and Dunkin' Donuts - still taste pretty good, to be honest...
Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction
Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction

A red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar private jet once owned by Elvis Presley sold for $430,000 at a California auction featuring celebrity memorabilia on Saturday. >> Read more trending news The plane had been sitting on a New Mexico tarmac for 35 years before it was consigned for sale, GWS Auctions said. It was owned by Presley and his father, Vernon...
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay

Welcome to another season of the beautiful disaster known as the “Bachelor” franchise. This “Bachelorette” season’s star, Dallas native and University of Texas graduate Rachel Lindsay, met her 31 suitors last week in an episode that was filled with — you guessed it — drama. Let me just start by saying that...
More Stories