San Diego gets crafty with beer cocktails

While beer cocktails are nothing new in the mecca of all things craft, bartenders are constantly shaking up flavor profiles to bring eager patrons fresh palate pleasers.

With summer just around the next rain cloud, San Diegans are thirsting for sunshine and ultra-refreshing cocktails to brighten up their days. While beer cocktails are nothing new in the mecca of all things craft, bartenders are constantly shaking up flavor profiles to bring eager patrons fresh palate pleasers.

From using straight up beer to beer syrups reductions and foams, these concoctions are not just the typical shandies and radlers. Here’s a list of must-try brew-inspired cocktails this season from around San Diego.

Bel Air Spritz, The Pearl Hotel

Recently launched in San Diego, Brooklyn Brewery brings just what SoCal beer drinkers love: A refreshing summer-y cocktail that looks like the very sunrises and sunsets that adorn our cliffs and ocean vistas. A simple blend of the LA-inspired Brooklyn Bel Air Sour (a 5.8% ABV dry-hopped sour ale), Aperol, and a slice of blood orange, this hot weather cocktail keeps the alcohol low for all-day enjoyment. Bonus: Grab some Brooklyn Brewery bottles at the grocery store or local bottle shop to make the mixture at home.

1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma, 619.226.6100,

The Bel Air Spritz cocktail at The Pearl Hotel is made with beer from Brooklyn Brewery.
(Courtesy photo)

Don Papi, The Nolen

Taking beer and cider to new gastronomic levels, this rooftop bar experiments with reductions in its cocktails. The Don Papi is made with aged Dominican rum, cider and stout reductions, orange bitters, and Peychaud’s for a treat perfect for any summer evening.

453 Sixth Ave., downtown, 619.796.6536,

Local Flavor & Hip Hops Diggity, The Lion’s Share

Known for its consistently amazing range of cocktails, this local favorite takes IPA to foamy & syrupy heights. The Local Flavor features San Diego ingredients with Henebry rye whiskey, IPA syrup, R&D Aromatic No. 7 bitters and lemon. The Hip Hops Diggity lightens up bourbon with Aperol, grapefruit, lemon, and IPA foam.

629 Kettner Blvd., downtown, 619.564.6924,

Harmonic Blossom, Kindred

Utilizing a beloved local IPA, this vegan hotspot brings hops to this cocktail. Crafted with Reposado Tequila, jasmine liqueur, hibiscus hop syrup, Burlesque bitters and Societe Pupil IPA, the mix brings the ideal blend of earthiness, sweet and bitter all in one delicious drink.

1503 30th St., South Park, 619.546.9653,

beer cocktail
The Harmonic Blossom cocktail at Kindred uses Societe Pupil IPA.
(Courtesy photo)

Dublin Irish Coffee, Polite Provisions

Things can’t always be light and bright. Go darker for those cool, breezy San Diego evenings and early Sunday brunches with this twist on the classic. Crafted with local coffee, stout, Irish whiskey, demerara and cream, it’s described as follows on the menu: “Caffeine, sugar, and booze. The secret formula behind every savage wit.”

4696 30th St., North Park 619.269.4701,

DIY beer cocktail

Dutch House at The Huntsman Whiskey Bar created a custom recipe just for PACIFIC readers:
‘A Perfect Few’ cocktail
1 oz. Few Bourbon
1 oz. Dooley’s Toffee Liqueur
6 oz. Left Handed Brewing Chocolate Peanut Butter Milk Stout

This is my end of a summer day, chill has just set into the air and all the people I didn’t invite to my BBQ have left, sit back and relax cocktail.

— —Dutch House

The Huntsman Whiskey Bar
5951 Linea Del Cielo, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.756.1131,