photograph by iStock/bhofack2

Each April, beer lovers celebrate our state’s more than 250 breweries during North Carolina Beer Month. All those breweries and all their brews make for a seemingly endless list of possibilities to enjoy, but this year, we’re adding even more options by using local beers to make North Carolina-flavored beer cocktails. Trust us: These creative concoctions are worth a shot.

Springtime Shandy

This Southern sister of a classic European refreshment, featuring a lager from our state’s resident lager experts, was made for porch sippin’. Try swapping out lager for a wheat beer or pilsner for a fresh twist.

Yield: 2 cocktails.

1 cup Red Oak Hummin’ Bird Helles Golden Munich Lager
1 cup lemonade
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Mix lager and lemonade in a pitcher. Pour into glasses over ice. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Black ’n’ Brew

Dating back to the mid-19th century, the Black Velvet cocktail — traditionally made using Champagne and Guinness — has noble origins. In our version, layers of local dry sparkling wine and stout hold their own.

Yield: 1 cocktail.

3 ounces chilled The Unknown Brewing Company Venture American Stout
3 ounces chilled Biltmore Estate Brut Sparkling Wine

Fill a champagne flute halfway with sparkling wine. Place an upside-down spoon over the top of the flute and fill the rest of the glass with stout to create a layered effect.

Carolina Chelada

With a little lime and a salted rim, Mexican-style lagers get an extra hit of tanginess in the Chelada. Feeling adventurous? Transform your drink into a traditional Michelada by adding Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tomato juice, and assorted seasonings.

Yield: 2 cocktails.

2 cans Oskar Blues Brewery Beerito Mexican Lager
½ cup lime juice
Lime wedges

Moisten the rims of two pint glasses with the lime wedge, then dip into a bowl of salt and lightly coat rim. Add lime juice and beer to a pitcher; stir well to combine. Pour into prepared glasses over ice. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

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K McKay was the digital content writer at Our State. She is a graduate of Elon University, and was the spring 2017 digital intern at Our State.