How To Make A Black And Tan Beer From Scratch

When it comes to beer, there are loads of different varieties and makes that you can enjoy.

Whatever your specific taste, whether you like a crisp beer or a dark and roasty one, there will always be something to meet your needs.

On top of that, they come in all different kinds of strengths, meaning that you can get as tipsy (or not tipsy) as you desire.

However, there are some specific combinations of beer that may never have occurred to you – and you’d be missing out.

It may seem an odd idea to mix two types of pre-existing beer, but it is a popular one, which means that it’s probably quite delicious.

One of the most famous beer combinations is that of the “black and tan”. This beer blend not only tastes unique, but also looks utterly unique.

How so? Well, it’s made up of two distinct layers: a top half of dark black ale and a bottom half of pale tan ale.

But how do you make a black and tan beer from scratch?

To put it simply, it’s merely a blend of equal measures of pale ale beer and stout beer (typically Guinness).

However, there’s a lot more to learn than that, because you’ve got to get the measurements exactly precise – otherwise it won’t work. Thankfully, I’ve got all the answers for you below.

In my handy guide, I’m going to tell you exactly how you can make a black and tan beer from scratch, with clear instructions for you to follow.

On top of that, I’m going to explain how it gets its name, as well as why you’ll want to drink one. Read on!

Why Should You Make A Black And Tan Beer From Scratch?

There are plenty of different reasons why you should try making a black and tan beer for yourself from scratch – and the key one is taste!

Pale ale beer is delicious on its own, but so is a nice glass of stout (especially Guinness). How can you decide between both?

Well, with a black and tan beer you don’t have to. With these delicious blend, you get to enjoy the cool flavors of both beers, all in one package.

Another great reason to try this drink out is that it’s easy to make.

As long as you follow my instructions carefully (which I’ll get to in a moment), you should be able to pull this delicious drink off without a hitch.

And what’s more fun than making a drink? You could just go and order one at a bar, but it wouldn’t be as fun – and would surely be more expensive.

When you make it yourself, you get the thrill of mixing it yourself, which adds to the satisfaction you’ll have when you then drink it.

Plus, it’s such a cool and easy trick, you’ll be able to serve it up to friends and impress them.

How To Make A Black And Tan Beer From Scratch

Who Created The Black And Tan Beer?

This fascinating combination of different beers potentially dates back a few hundred years.

Blending beers was actually a tradition in England since the 1700s, with people mixing drinks from as many as five beers!

It was mainly done because it gave brewers extra profit, because they could mix a storing beer that was taxed at a higher rate with a small beer that was taxed at a lower one.

When it comes to the black and tan itself, though, it’s hard to pin down when it was first created as a mixture.

The first recorded usage of the term, when referring to a drink, was from an American magazine in 1881. It’s certainly an old classic!

Interestingly, the term “black and tan” is not used to describe the drink in Ireland.

This is because that term is the name for a specific group of constables who caused violent outbreaks during the Irish War of Independence.

As a result, the black and tan drink is referred to as a “half and half” in Ireland.

How Strong Will A Black And Tan Beer Be?

If you’re worried about alcohol strength from the drink, its alcohol content will be an average of the pale ale and the stout.

How To Make A Black And Tan Beer From Scratch

Now I’m going to explain how you can make a black and tan beer yourself. It takes skill to get exactly the right blend, which is essential to the drink.

Why? Well, one beer will only float on top of the other if it has a lighter density than it.

Not all stouts will have the same density, and neither with all pale ales, so you’ll need to practice getting the right amounts.

You’ll also need to have a spoon to make the black and tan beer. This is because you pour the stout over the back of the spoon, which interrupts the flow of the liquid.

This means that the two liquids keep separated when they collect together in the pint glass, which is what you want: two distinct halves of different beer.

Black And Tan Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of stout beer (we recommend Guinness)
  • 6 ounces of pale ale beer
  • A spoon


Step One

  • First, get a hold of the two ingredients listed above.

Step Two

  • Take the pale ale and fill a pint glass halfway up with it.

Step Three

  • Finally, get the stout beer (ideally Guinness) and float it on top of the pale ale in the glass. You do this by very slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon.

Final Thoughts

A black and tan beer is a delicious blend of pale ale and stout. It takes a little practice to make, but it’ll be worth it when you nail it.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Brewing Books You Should Own‘.

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