The Boilermaker Cocktail

a shot glass with 1 ounce of whiskey and a glass of beer on background

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While the Boilermaker Cocktail may seem like a very basic and easy to put together drink, the name of it makes you think of something a bit more complex. In reality, however, a Boilermaker is essentially just beer with whiskey. Read on to find out how the two go together and why.

A shot glass of whiskey submerged in a glass of beer for a Boilermaker - spillage everywhere
Dropping a whiskey shot into a beer glass for a Boilermaker.

What is a Boilermaker?

A boilermaker is literally one of the easiest cocktails (if you can call it that) to make. It literally consists of a shot of whiskey and a glass of beer combined. Before I get started explaining how to make this, there’s one thing you’ll want to be careful about; how you combine the two.

a shot glass with 1 ounce of whiskey and a glass of beer on background

Do not just drop the shot glass into your beer!

As you may notice from the first picture in this post, just dropping the shot glass into the beer can end up spilling both all over the place so it’s always recommended that you only fill your glass of beer halfway before doing so.

I wanted to share that picture as quite a few recipes I’ve seen out there for the Boilermaker recommend this method but unless you ensure you have quite a bit of space in your glass to allow for displacement, you are going to have yourself a nice mess to clean up (and you’ll have wasted alcohol).

The picture you see below is the BEFORE picture. As you can see, there’s too much beer in the glass which is why it ended up spilling everywhere. You’ll want to make sure you fill your glass about 1/2 way in order to prevent spillage once you drop in your shot glass.

Carefully dropping a shot glass with whiskey into glass of beer 3/4 filled
Be sure to only fill your glass halfway with beer, not 3/4 of the way like you see in this picture.

How to Make a Boilermaker

To make this cocktail, fill your glass halfway with your beer of choice. In a shot glass, measure out 1 ounce of your favorite whiskey. Carefully drop your shot glass into your beer glass allowing the whiskey and the beer to combine.

Things to do

Do ensure you have a large enough glass to allow for a decent amount of beer and a shot of whiskey.

Do make sure the shot glass you are using is clean as you will be dropping it into your beer.

Do keep some paper towels nearby just in case it spills a bit when you drop the shot glass in.

Things not to do

Do not drop the shot glass into the beer from a great height. Drop it in gently from close to the top of the beer to prevent splashing and spilling your beer everywhere.

Do not stir this drink or you will end up doing one of the following:

  1. Stirring can cause the beer to foam up, making it less desirable to drink.
  2. Stirring can also cause the beer to flatten, making it less desirable to drink. Any drink that contains carbonation (such as club soda) should not be stirred.

Do not add ice to this drink as you will cause the beer to foam up and will water it down. Ice should never be added to beer.

Once you’ve combined the two, drink and enjoy!

The shot glass of whiskey submerged in a glass of beer - this is how the Boilermaker should look when complete.
A shot glass of whiskey submerged in a glass of beer – this is how the Boilermaker should look when complete.

The Boilermaker is a great drink to make when you have people over and the combination of beer and whiskey, believe it or not, is very good. It’s also fun and easy to make so it’s a great party drink.

Other delicious party drinks to try

If you like this drink, be sure to try my Pineapple Prosecco Party Punch (say that five times fast) or my Red Wine Sangria, both of which are excellent cocktails that are easy to make when you have people over.

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Boilermaker

How to make a Boilermaker cocktail.

5 from 1 vote
a shot glass with 1 ounce of whiskey and a glass of beer on background
Prep Time
2 minutes
Total Time
2 minutes
Course
Cocktail
Cuisine
Cocktail
Servings
1
Calories
144
Equipment
Array
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce whiskey your brand of choice
  • 1/2 glass beer your brand of choice

Instructions

  1. Fill a beer stein or glass halfway with beer.

  2. Fill a shot glass with one ounce of whiskey.

  3. Drop the shot glass into the whiskey.

Recipe Notes

Things to do

Do ensure you have a large enough glass to allow for a decent amount of beer and a shot of whiskey.

Do make sure the shot glass you are using is clean as you will be dropping it into your beer.

Do keep some paper towels nearby just in case it spills a bit when you drop the shot glass in.

Things not to do

Do not drop the shot glass into the beer from a great height. Drop it in gently from close to the top of the beer to prevent splashing and spilling your beer everywhere.

Do not stir this drink or you will end up doing one of the following:

  1. Stirring can cause the beer to foam up, making it less desirable to drink.
  2. Stirring can also cause the beer to flatten, making it less desirable to drink. Any drink that contains carbonation (such as club soda) should not be stirred.

Do not add ice to this drink as you will cause the beer to foam up and will water it down. Ice should never be added to beer.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 46mg, Sugar: 1g

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Mr. Kitchen Magpie

Hey everyone! I'm Mike (Mr. Kitchen Magpie). When I'm not sharing cocktail recipes here and on my Instagram (@mrkitchenmagpie), I'm enjoying a nice bottle of scotch in a vintage glass from my barware collection.

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  1. mel says

    its been far too long since i’ve had a boilermaker!! i am almost inspired to find a glass big enough!!

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