Black and Tans, (also known as a Half and Halfs) are an easy and tasty beer "cocktail".
Plus as an Instructables fan, you can optionally enjoy making your own custom Black and Tan Spoon to stock your bar and amaze your friends!
There are only two ingredients to a Black and Tan and the ingredients give this drink it's name. The "black" part is a stout beer (usually Guinness) and the "tan" part is an ale or lager (usually Bass Pale Ale or Harp lager), but in this case I used a local brew Summit Extra Pale Ale. Legend has it that the term Black and Tan resulted from a nickname, "the Black and Tans" for a British police force who fought the Irish Republican Army in the 20s. (So it might be best to use the name Half and Half if you are ordering this drink in Ireland)
Guinness Stout is the best for this project and actually the can works the best because Guinness is canned with a gadget that holds a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. You'll have a noticeably better stout head when poured from such a can. (Or even better, bring a keg of Guinness to the party!!)
Variations: a friend reminded me of two variations: She prefers the Black and Blue (Guinness and Blue Moon) or a Poor Man's (Guinness and a dry, hard cider)
Large tablespoon - You can buy custom Black and Tan spoons on the Guinness website, ebay or amazon. You can use a stock spoon, or you can fashion your own as I did. A spoon with a bend to it makes it easier to get just the right pour.
Pliers and or Vise grips - I found vise grips much easier for this project than just plain pliers. I suppose a hammer and vise could help too, but I did not need em.
Beer Glass - yeah well it doesn't make much sense to pour a Half and Half in a Red Solo Cup.
Shaping The Spoon - you should probably visit the Goodwill store for a couple of spoons rather than get in trouble for tweaking the good silverware (I got about 8 packaged together for $2 at my local 2nd hand store)...(or this can also be done with an un-bent spoon).
When you shape of the spoon, your goal is to have the bend in the spoon at a spot such that the tip of the spoon is touching the other side of the glass. Just clamp the vise grips on the spoon and you should be able to bend the spoon easily with your hands. you may want to put a cloth on the vise grip teeth to avoid marring the spoon (unfortunately I didn't think of this tip in time)
The Pour -
Our goal here is to avoid mixing the two beers completely, we want to end up with the lighter ale on the bottom and the darker stout beer on the top (Of course if you mess up and the beers get all mixed together, no worries, it still tastes great :-) )
Tan - Just pour the lighter Ale first, about 3/4 up the glass. It's fine to have somewhat of a head on this portion of the pour as it even helps with the separation
Black - Insert the spoon so it rests against the glass and sits just above the Ale. Slowly...very slowly drizzle the stout across the spoon back so it stays on top of the tan portion of our drink. We found that if we poured the stout too quickly there was not a very clear definition between the Black and Tan portions. A thick head is appreciated on this drink.
Enjoy! Here's a video of my first student with her first try at making a Black and Tan. (A little messy, but the results were good!)
Thanks for checking out this Instructable and good luck on all your projects!