Trendspotting: Beer Cocktails

August 19 2011, 11:30 AM

Back in June, I dined at Topolobampo, Rick Bayless' highly acclaimed Chicago restaurant. I ordered one of the chef's tasting menus, a spectacular roundup of regional Mexican dishes. But, aside from the legendary mole negro, what I remember most is a beer cocktail called the sparkling passion. This intoxicating mix of Marisol beer, passion fruit purée, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and hibiscus tea was a revelation.

Over the years, I've enjoyed the occasional red beer, shandy, or michelada, but the sparkling passion (cheesy name and all) has become somewhat of a personal obsession. Now when I dine out, I scour the menus for beer cocktails. Lucky for me, these summer refreshers have become somewhat trendy.

My favorites around town include:

El Diablo's chelada (light beer poured over ice, fresh lime juice in a glass with a salted rim)

Star Bar's Mole Yeti (Dagave Silver, Leopold Bros Three Pins, chipotle powder, and Great Divide's Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti)

Street Kitchen Asian Bistro's Star Beer (star anise, honey, and fresh pears shaken with sambuca, Great Divide's Samurai, and ginger)

Ghost Plate & Tap's Skip and Go Naked (Breckenridge Brewery's Agave Wheat, agave nectar, and limeade)