Mixing any cognac, let alone XO, with beer is a subject that’s bound to bring about some differing opinions.  Those of us who enjoy eaux-de-vie in its pure an unadulterated form will no doubt experience cold shivers just at the thought of it.  But for the ever increasing younger cognac market then cognac beer is just another way of enjoying their favourite drink.

Whatever you think about it, no-one can deny that the range of cognac beers is rising, so they’re obviously popular.  And who, in all honesty, can blame the cognac and beer markets for diversifying in this way?

So, in the interests of understanding everything to do with our love of cognac, let’s take a further look into various cognac beers.

These beers use a selection of different cognacs, or derivatives of cognac such as pineau, and mix them with traditionally brewed beers.  This makes a long, sometimes quite potent beer, that’s designed to be poured into a regular beer glass and drunk like a beer.  However, the cognac gives it that extra little twist of flavour.  Depending on the amount of cognac contained in the beer the taste can range from the merest hint of the drink we know and love, to a caramel and fruity sensation that can only come from cognac.

With cognac beers the two products are generally produced separately, with the cognac aged in barrels and the beer brewed using traditional methods.  They are then mixed before bottling to produce the cognac beer.  And don’t expect them to be cheap!  This ultra-trendy drink can weigh in with a hefty price tag – especially if you buy it over the bar or at a club.

Let’s take a look at some of the different cognac beers that are available to purchase.

XO Beer

A hop and barley malt beer combined with XO cognac.

XO Beer

Originally produced only at 8% ABV, but they’ve now produced a slightly less alcoholic version at 5.5% ABV.

Mikkeller Black (Cognac)

is a beer brewed in Copenhagen that contains a whopping 17.5% ABV.

Mikkeler Black

The beer is aged in traditional cognac barrels for three months and is a sweet, very black drink that looks almost like a stout.

Atlantic au Pineau

This golden ale is brewed in Cognac, with the addition of Pineau des Charentes.

Atlantic Au Pineau Beer

At 5.3% ABV it’s not as strong as some of the others mentioned.

Biere de Re

New this summer is a cognac beer from Arnaud Roy, from Sainte-Marie-de-Ré.  This beer with cognac is 5% ABV and has been an instant hit from the moment it was launched this summer.

Whatever your thoughts on cognac beer it seems that a great many people enjoy them.  So, it won’t be any surprise if we see more being produced over the coming years.

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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