Perfect for brunch: Easy, refreshing beer cocktails

Easy refreshing beer cocktails on a tray

You don’t have to remind yourself it’s 5 o’clock somewhere: The red beer, beermosa and radler are perfect beer cocktails for Father’s Day brunches, early game tailgates, and summer day refreshment. None of these beer cocktails require special ingredients or fancy garnishes, so its easy to pack your cooler with everything you need.

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Red Beer  

If you’ve been to a tailgate in the south, you’ve had red beer (also called a red-eye or the considerably less appetizing “bloody beer”): a combination of Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice and beer. It’s easy to make: Start with 3 to 5 oz. of mix in the bottom of a 16 oz. (or bigger) Solo® cup or glass mug, and fill it up with your favorite light beer.

Play around with proportions to make it more savory (add mix) or refreshing (add beer). If you start with tomato juice instead of mix, you’ll definitely want to add some standard Bloody Mary ingredients: salt, Worcestershire Sauce, and maybe your favorite hot sauce.

Just like a Bloody Mary, this beer cocktail is an ideal candidate for a signature drink—try different mixers and garnishes to make it your own.


If you’re more likely to have beer on hand than sparkling wine, the beermosa is a perfect breakfast cocktail. All you need is beer and orange juice. A lager or pilsner is perfect—but if you’re feeling adventurous, try a witbier or even a barleywine. Start with one part OJ to three parts beer (4 oz. juice for a standard 12 oz. bottle or can) and tweak to taste.

Radler or Shandy  

Want to make a cold beer even more refreshing? Try another spin on the fruity-drink-plus-beer combo with a radler or shandy. (You might hear the names used interchangeably.)

For a radler, the sweetness comes from a fizzy, citrus-flavored soda—lemon-lime, grapefruit, whatever you like. Try a half-and-half split with a pilsner, lager, wheat, or light beer. That means one can of each beverage is perfect for two servings. To make a shandy, use lemonade instead of soda.

Some folks throw in some gin, or some ginger ale or ginger beer, for a little extra zing. If you’re someone who wants to minimize calories—or you know you’ve got a long summer day ahead of you, and you want to cut down on the alcohol content—try a light Mexican lager (like Corona® Light) mixed with a diet grapefruit soda (like Fresca®).