Black & Tan Variations

Black & Tan Variations

A “Black and Tan” is a blended, or layered, beer made from two a pale ale and a dark stout or porter.  The original and classic black and tan is poured with Bass (pale ale) and Guinness (stout) on top, but Harp (lager) is sometimes substituted for the pale ale and called a “half and half.”  The drink originated in Britain and developed a following across the pond in the United States with several different variations.

How It Works

Stouts and porters in general have a lower density than ales and lagers, so they are able to “float” on top and form a sweet-looking layer.  After the first half of the glass if filled with a pale ale, the stout is gently poured on top over the underside of a spoon to break up the stream and prevent the stout from penetrating deep into the glass.  A helpful method is to create a somewhat thicker head than usual with the first beer because the foam will act as a barrier when layering the second beer over it.

Black & Tan Variations

There are an endless amount of black and tan variations because people love blending and layering different types of beers.  The constant is usually always Guinness on top but the bottom beer can be almost anything.  Here’s a list of several different black and tan variations and styles that have been named:

Back in Black: Guinness over Sid Richardson College lager.  The name is a reference to the AC/DC song of the same name.

Belgian Brunette a.k.a. Black Lady, Black on Blonde, Dirty Blonde: Guinness over Stella Artois.  Black on Blonde or Dirty Blonde may also refer to Guinness over any type of blonde ale.

Black 8-Ball a.k.a. Black 8: Guinness over Olde English 800 malt liquor.

Black and Black: Guinness over Guinness Extra Stout.

Black and Blood: Guinness over Ribena Blaccurant.

Black and Blue: Guinness over Blue Moon Belgian White, or Guinness and blueberry ale, Guinness and Pabst Blue Ribbon, Guinness and Labatt Blue. Typically, this refers to any variation of stout coupled with blueberry-flavored ales or brands with the name “Blue” in them.

Black and Bock a.k.a. Irishman in Texas: Guinness over Shiner Bock.

Black and Brown a.k.a. Black Castle: Guinness over Newcastle Brown Ale.

Black and Cherry a.k.a. Chocolate-Covered Cherry: Guinness over Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.

Black and Gold: Guinness over Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold.  Black and Gold may also refer to Guinness over hard cider.

Black and Orange: Guinness over any pumpkin ale.

Black and Red a.k.a. Jamaican Black and Tan: Guinness over Red Stripe.

Black and Sam a.k.a. Patriot Pint, Boston Half and Half: Guinness over Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Black and Tan: Guinness over Bass Ale (the original and classic).

Black and Trash a.k.a. Irish-American: Guinness over Budweiser, Miller, or Coors.

Black and White: Guinness over Lost Coast Great White.

Black Apple a.k.a. Black and Gold, Stout Woody: Guinness over hard cider (usually Woodchuck Hard Cider or Westons Cider).

Black Barrel: Guinness over Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

Black Bastard a.k.a. Arrogant Black: Guinness over Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Black Christmas a.k.a. Kwanzaa: Guinness over Samuel Adams Winter Ale or over any type of Christmas ale.

Black Czech: Guinness over Pilsner Urquell.

Black Daddy: Guinness over Natty Daddy.

Black Dead Guy: Guinness overRogue Dead Guy Ale.

Black Eye: Guinness over Black Eye Ale.

Black Girl: Guinness over St. Pauli Girl.

Blackhead: Guinness over Moosehead Lager.

Black Hearted Lady: Guinness over Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

Black Hoe: Guinness over Hoegaarden.

Black Honey: Guinness over Honey Brown Lager.

Black Honky a.k.a. Irish Goose: Guinness over Goose Island Honker’s Ale.

Black Light: Guinness over any type of light beer.

Black Magic: Guinness over Magic Hat #9.

Black Negra a.k.a. Blaxican: Guinness over Negra Modelo.

Black Rock: Guinness over Rolling Rock.

Black Sap: Guinness over Sapporo.

Black Satin: Guinness over Guinness Black Lager.

Black Scotch Ale: Guinness over Sam Adam’s Scotch Ale

Black Shiner: Guinness over Shiner Lager.

Blacksmith a.k.a. Pint of Special: Guinness over Smithwick’s Irish Ale.

Black Summer: Guinness over Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Black Torpedo: Guinness over Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra Pale Ale.

Black Tire a.k.a. Fat and Black: Guinness over New Belgium Fat Tire

Black Velvet: Guinness over any type of champagne or sparkling wine.

Chicago Black & Tan: Guinness over Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale.

D4 Special: Guinness over Heineken.

Dark and Steamy: Guinness over Anchor Steam Beer.

Dark Shark: Guinness over Dogfish Head.

Dirty Busch: Guinness over Busch Light.

Eclipse a.k.a. Belgian Waffle, Black Moon, Black and Blue, Dark Side of the Moon: Guinness over Blue Moon Belgian White.

Flying Guinness: Guinness over Red Bull.

Garnet and Black: Guinness over Killian’s Irish Red.

Guinness Shandy: Guinness over any kind of lemonade.

Guinn-ling a.k.a. Pennsylvania Tan, a.k.a. Philadelphia Black and Tan: Guinness over Yuengling.

Half and Half: Guinness over Harp Lager.

Irish Anarchist: Guinness over any type of red ale.  The name is a reference to the anarchist-syndicalist flag, which is black and red.

Irish Canadian: Guinness over Molson Canadian or Labatt Blue.

October Night a.k.a. October Tan: Guinness over Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Old Dirty Englishman a.k.a. Tetness Shot: Guinness over Tetley’s

Outback Black: Guinness over Fosters.

Pabst Smear a.k.a. Black and Blue: Guinness over Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Black and Blue may also refer to any beer brand with “blue” in the name.

Raging Inferno: Guinness over Firehouse American Pale Ale

Red Velvet: Guinness over Raspberry Cider Jack.

Snoop Dogg: Guinness over St. Ides malt liquor.

Vermont Tan: Guinness over Long Trail Pale Ale.

And many more mixtures are created any time some indecisive bastard doesn’t know what to order at the pub.  Try some of these popular blends and then make your own variety of the black and tan.  If it doesn’t taste right, just chug the pint and try again.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Will Gooding
Will Gooding
5 months ago

How about a “Black Top”: Guinness draught over Shock Top Belgian white witbier? Any takers?

Douglas MacKenzie
Douglas MacKenzie
1 year ago

Drafty Dog: Guiness draught over powder hound ale, tried it recently. Black otter- Guinness over Otter Water, also works

Dan Baranowski
Dan Baranowski
1 year ago

Black and Beige: Guinness over Widmer (or any Hefeweizen) Hefeweizen. My favorite

Kevin Kadamus
Kevin Kadamus
4 years ago

Another name for the Dark Shark is the Black Dog. Made with the 90 minute Dogfish Head! Awesome!

6 years ago

MY friends and I always called the black and orange the “Cincinatti Bangel”