Remember the mantra:
"Liquor before beer, in the clear; beer before liquor, never sicker."
Keep that order in mind as we dig into a scotch and beer pairing.
Whiskey and beer pairings have risen in popularity in the booze industry, especially since some bartenders' preferred shift drink is a beer and a shot. The ambassador for Highland Park, Steph Ridgway, told me inspiration for this unlikely duo came from her travels in Scotland where she noticed that men in pubs bought a half a pint and a shot of whiskey and would sip on both while they played cards or read the newspaper.
I was skeptical of the marriage at first, but after trying it I must admit a blended scotch like Highland Park Distillery's, which is slightly smoky and sweet, is the ideal nuanced spirit to pair with all different types of beer.
There's no specific occasion to have a beer and a shot, so why not beer and a dram of scotch for any occasion as well?
Highland Park 12 with Peticolas Sit Down or I'll Sit You Down imperial IPA
With the guidance of the Highland Park distillery (which is in Scotland and not Dallas, for the record), I paired the Highland Park 12 with Peticolas Brewing Co.'s imperial IPA. The slight smokiness of the whiskey partners well with the hoppy character of an IPA. If you can't get your hands on some Peticolas, a Belgian pale ale could work since it has similar hop character along with a touch of sweetness.
Highland Park Dark Origins & Live Oak Hefeweizen
A preferred beer pairing for Highland Park Dark Origins is a saison. Saisons impart an earthy spice that beautifully enhances the cherry and berry notes in the whiskey. An alternate beer pairing is a hefeweizen; the banana and clove notes in a traditional hefeweizen also accentuate the stone fruit and chocolate flavors of Dark Origins.
Enjoy your beer and a shot responsibly and let me know which one you think was the best.
Booze News Insider Josh Hart is an amateur reviewer, but a professional drinker. He has been sipping and learning about whiskeys for a more than a decade and hopes to help you sift through the basics, to find the best bottles for you.