They say “Beer after whiskey is risk,” so better drink them together, right? But that’s not what birthed the Boilermaker, a cocktail which is hardly even a cocktail!

The term ‘boilermaker’ was first used to refer to workers who built and maintained locomotives during the mid-19th century. A popular belief holds that after a hard day’s labour, these workers would visit their nearest pub and chased down a shot of whiskey with a pint of ale for a quick, almost analgesic high. There’s another anecdote which possibly delineates the origins of the Boilermaker. The story involves one Richard Trevithick, a Cornish blacksmith who was experimented with steam-propelled vehicles. In 1801, Trevithick decided to put his the latest invention – a steam-propelled road vehicle – to trial on Christmas night. The location was Cornwall village of Cambourne.

The vehicle successfully climbed a hill in the village, carrying Trevithick and a few of his friends. They stopped in front of a bar, and stepped in to celebrate, leaving the vehicle in a shed. Amidst all the merriment and drunken revelry, they forgot about the fire burning in the vehicle boiler. When Trevithick and his friends got done, they arrived at the shed to find a molten mass of tousled scrap.

Well, keeping that story in mind as a cautionary tale for the unwarranted, reserve the Boilermaker for a celebration, or the end of a really taxing shift.

A shot of an aged smoky, sweet bourbon whiskey, or rye whiskey works well for this concoction. A good idea is to use pale for this mega shot, which will ensure that your palate and food pipe are not under siege.


  • Bourbon or Rye Whiskey – 30ml
  • Beer – 1 pint

The Process

Pour your choice of whiskey into a shot glass.

Fill up a beer mug with the beer.

Drop your shot glass into the mug and bottoms up!