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Blind Donkey
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanBlind Donkey

6 bars to kick back with a boilermaker—aka, a beer and a shot

By Erin Kuschner

They're in dive bars, cocktail bars and whiskey bars. They come in handy when you need to cry into your drink and when you want to celebrate, when you're splurging on a good whiskey or saving on a cheap beer. We're talking about boilermakers, a beautiful marriage between a beer and a shot—and we're of the persuasion that there's never a bad time for one. Here are six bars that are serving some pretty great pairings. 

E.R.B. (Arts District): There's a lot to love about Everson Royce Bar: the phenomenal cocktails, the happy hour burger special, the dreamy patio. Add to that a list of inventive boilermakers 10+ deep, and we could stay here all day. The pairings cover the gamut: ginger cider and chilled vodka, lager and tequila, milk stout and Irish whiskey. Prices range from $8 to $15—one of the more expensive pairings includes a Kasteel Chocolate Quadruple joined by a shot of Fernet-Branca.

Bigfoot West (Palms): Step into the rustic Bigfoot West and it almost feels like you have to down a beer and a shot. Beers range from Schlitz to Scrimshaw to Guinness, while shots either stay classic (hello, Highland Park 12 yr) or get a little crazy (Fireball. Yikes.). For some easy sipping, try the Light & Tang ($11), a shot of Mandarine Napoleon and a Stiegl Radler.

Gold Room (Echo Park): As one of Echo Park's most notorious dives, people come to Gold Room for the one boilermaker deal that matters: a beer and a shot for $5. You're not getting anything fancy, just a shot of well tequila and, more often than not, a PBR (though Firestone Walker's 805 has been known to make an appearance). Drink it fast (hell, at this price you can drink two) and snag a seat before the place starts to fill up.

The Stocking Frame (Downtown): Tell your bartender at Stocking Frame that you want a Hey Man and they'll know exactly what you mean: a beer and a shot for a mere $9. You can mix and match your beverages of choice, with beers that include Bud Light, Olympia, Modelo Especial and High Life, and shots of Jack Daniels, Mescal Joyas, El Jimador Tequila and Kentucky Gent Bourbon. 

Blind Donkey (Pasadena & Long Beach): Both locations of this whiskey mecca offer three excellent boilermakers. Choose from Rye-PA (Old Overholt Rye and an IPA, $13), Brown Bush (Bushmills and a brown ale, $14) and Fire in the Hole (Fireball and Pilsner, $11).

Wolf & Crane (Little Tokyo): There's only one boilermaker on this bar's menu, but it's a good one: a shot of Japanese whiskey and a can of Sapporo for $10. If you want to class it up a little, swap out the Sapporo with a Coedo Black Lager for $2 extra. 

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