Boilermaker Pairings - The Best Combinations of Whiskey and Beer

By Timo Torner / Last updated on September 12, 2023

The Boilermaker - a combination of whiskey and beer - is one of the easiest drinks to make. In fact, you don't have to serve both side by side in separate glasses. - The trick is to know which pairings work.
Best Boilermaker pairings

The Boilermaker, a combination of whiskey & beer, has recently made its way into craft cocktail bars. Even if your favorite watering hole does not have a boilermaker on the menu, your bartender can certainly recommend something special. Or you order one of the recommendations from our favorite Boilermaker Pairings.

List of Best Boilermakers

Boilermaker pairing - Lagavulin 16 & Feral smoked porter

1. Lagavulin 16 & Feral Smoked Porter

Smoke meets smoke. If you're a fan of peated Scotch, this combination could be the perfect choice for you.

Peated Islay Whisky has this typical dry, smoky flavor combined with iodine. Mixed with a well-crafted Porter beer, that makes for a great Boilermaker Pairing. Both elements complement each other beautifully, creating a fantastic drinking experience.

Bulleit Bourbon & Augustiner Hell

2. Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey & Augustiner Hell

Served separately and sipped alternately, this combination is an absolute winner. Augustiner Hell alone is an excellent beer, and in combination with a shot of bourbon, it becomes a superbly complex serving.

The beer is light and with almost no aftertaste. It cuts beautifully through the rich and sweet bourbon whiskey.

Boilermaker with Teeling small batch and Cooper pale ale

3. Teeling small-batch Whiskey & Coopers Pale Ale

Pairing up a quality Irish Whiskey with a Pale Ale is a delightful thing. The delicate notes of malt, brown sugar, and toffee in Teeling's small-batch whiskey with the more yeast-forward and "bready" beer are an exceptional boilermaker pairing.

Boilermaker pairing - Glendronach 12 Gaffer Kölsch

4. Glendronach 12 & Gaffel Kölsch

Malty beer meets sherried whiskey! This Boilermaker with Gaffel Kölsch & Glendronach 12 is a prime example of two components complementing each other.

The malt-forward beer enhances the malt notes in Glendronach 12, creating a sweet and malty combination. The fruity notes of the whiskey bring complexity and make this an excellent Boilermaker pairing.

Eagle Rare Bourbon & Guinness Boilermaker

5. Eagle Rare 10 & Guinness

The sweet and bold taste of Eagle Rare carries notes of toffee, corn, and caramel, which complements the richness of Guinness beautifully. The stout beer has strong coffee and chocolate notes and a super velvety texture.

Two contrasting elements that, put together, create a great Boilermaker. As a substitute for the Eagle Rare 10, you can use Woodford's Reserve Double Oak Bourbon. This combination is almost as good as the other combo.

Jameson & Berliner Kindl weisse raspberry

6. Jameson & Berliner Kindl Weisse Raspberry

Be warned! This pair is polarizing: traditional Irish whiskey with a modern and sour raspberry beer made in Germany.

The smooth and buttery taste and texture of Irish whiskey are in strong contrast to the sour and fruity notes of the Berliner Weisse Raspberry.

It is not for everyone, and lovers of traditional beers might argue that Weisse Raspberry is not an actual beer. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing take on a Boilermaker.

Wild Turkey 101 & Blue Moon Belgian White boilermaker

7. Wild Turkey 101 & Blue Moon Belgian White

Bourbon and wheat beer is such a great combination. There are countless examples that work tremendously well together. One of my favorites is matching Wild Turkey 101 with a Blue Moon Belgian White.

The light and bright flavors of the wheat beer cut wonderfully through the rich sweetness of a good Bourbon. In this case, the relatively high proof of the Bourbon part adds some extra complexity and aroma to the pairing.

Jameson & Guinness Boilermaker

8. Jameson & Guinness Stout

Last but not least, a true Irish medley. Jameson and a pint of Guinness is a favorite Boilermaker of many. You cannot go wrong with this classic pair.
Jameson has a nice bite to it, and the creaminess of the Guinness stout cuts through it beautifully.

While most pairings on this list should be sipped turn by turn, this one is also great for drinking the whiskey in one shot and then chasing it with the Guinness.

Story of the Boilermaker

The concept of the Boilermaker is approximately 200 years old. - The rustic combination of whiskey and beer dates back to the 1800s.

Back then, drinking this combo wasn't celebrated like it is today. It was -even more than now - a way to relieve the stress after a long day's work.

The men would dunk a shot glass filled with whiskey into their beer and drink all in one go. This traditional style of pairing has survived to this day. Until recently, the whiskey shot usually was sunk into the beer glass. -A sure way for a substantial headache the next day.

The modern and more refined interpretations have little in common with this. Today's Boilermakers are hand-picked with care, harmonious, and consequently also pricey.

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