Black & Tan Drink for When You Can't Decide Between Two Beers

This simple half and half recipe has interesting layers and lots of beer flavor. It's perfect for when you can't decide what type of beer you want.

Updated January 31, 2024
Black and tan drink

Sometimes we want more than one type of beer at a time. That's why we love the black and tan — an equal parts drink with two different types of beer in the same glass. So whether you order it at the bar or make it at home, it's a delicious way to get two beers in one. 

How to Make a Black and Tan

It doesn't get much easier than a black and tan — well, except for maybe drinking beer straight from the can or bottle. 


  • 6 ounces pale ale
  • 6 ounces stout


  1. In a pint glass, add pale ale.
  2. Slowly pour the stout down the back of a bar spoon to create a second layer.

Variations of the Black and Tan

As with any drink, there are multiple recipes when making a black and tan.

  • Guinness is the preferred stout in the black and tan, but choose your favorite.
  • Many flavorful stouts on the market, such as cherry, chocolate, and coffee, will make your black and tan stand out.
  • You don't need to use a pale ale. A lager is also an excellent option. And if you want something totally different, opt for a traditional IPA.
  • Swap a porter in for the stout.

Related: Porter vs Stout: Distinct & Subtle Differences


The black and tan is one of a few drinks with no garnish. The layers of the beers are garnish enough, but if you want to add one, you can do so. A lemon wheel or slice is a suitable garnish. You can add a sprinkle of grated nutmeg, cinnamon, or even finely chopped bits of chocolate for something a bit sweeter.

Need to Know

The black and tan traces its roots back to England in the 1600s when it was common to mix different types of beer together. If you order this in Ireland, it's called a half and half. 

Toasting to a Black and Tan

Don't overlook beers when you're in the mood for a drink, especially the black and tan. The combination of a dry and toasty stout with a lighter pale ale is the perfect solution for when you can't decide between beers. Now that's a winning compromise.

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Black & Tan Drink for When You Can't Decide Between Two Beers