Beer and Loathing, a beer cocktail from the book.
Beer and Loathing, a beer cocktail from the book.

It's been almost three years since Metrovino bartender Jacob Grier, beer blogger Ezra Johnson-Greenough, and Hop & Vine owner Yetta Verobik hosted their first "Brewing Up Cocktails" event, and have since spread the gospel of their favorite historic and newfangled recipes for beer-based drinks across the country.

"At the time," says Grier, "not many people were using beer as an ingredient, though of course the practice goes back centuries. Now I'm seeing beer cocktails show up on menus all over the place when I travel."

Grier is now aiming to craft the definitive beer cocktail bar guide and recipe book, Cocktails on Tapfeaturing over fifty recipes old and new for the discerning booze blenders in your life. Featured recipes are slated to include: 

  • Wassail, the festive, warming mixture of ale, wine, spirits, sugar, and spices.
  • Mai Ta-IPA and Hopped Up Nui Nui, cocktails that put hoppy twists on a classic tiki drinks with the addition of India Pale Ale.
  • Canadian beer writer Stephen Beaumont's The Green Devil, which boosts the powerful Belgian beer Duvel with juniper-forward London Dry gin and a rinse of aromatic absinthe. 

"One of the things I'm most looking forward to," shares Grier, "is exploring old, forgotten recipes. There's a book from the 1800s called Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, for example, that's full of 'cups' made with ale, spirits, and spices, sometimes served hot. Recreating drinks from that era and discovering which ones work and which ones get poured down the drain is a lot of fun."

The book's creative team—including Grier, local photographer David Lanthan ReamerOur Portland Story designer Melissa Delzio, and publisher Ellee Thalheimer—has turned to Kickstarter to fund the project, offering perks to backers including signed copies of the book, illustrated volumes of Scout Books' "The Cocktail Hour" pocket recipe guides, and personalized beer cocktails parties shaken by Grier himself.

"The vibrancy of the food and drink scene in Portland is what attracted me from the East Coast back in 2008," explains Grier. "And projects like this are exactly why I'm glad to be here. There's an incredible density of people making great beer, spirits, wine, coffee, chocolate, and so much else. The recipes in the book can be made anywhere, but I can't think of a better place to write it."

To support the Cocktails on Tap project, head to the book's Kickstarter page