There are few alcoholic pairings more iconic than a cold beer and a shot. While commonly called a boilermaker, that term technically refers to the process of dropping a shot into a beer and then quickly consuming it. No matter what you call the duo — a shot with a beer back, a two-step, a side-by-side or a boilermaker — it’s an archetypal American “cocktail.”
In Dallas, you can order a beer and a shot pretty much anywhere they serve alcohol. What really makes the combination special are the establishments that take the time and care to put their own twist on the classic drink, whether it’s on or off the menu. The following is by no means a definitive list of all the places you can order boilermakers in the city. Rather, it’s a showcase of a few diverse Dallas bars — including some of the best — that are worth seeking out to get your fix.
Single Wide2110 Greenville Ave. (Lowest Greenville)
In Texas, there are few beers more iconic than Lone Star, and that’s what you’ll find at Single Wide on Lowest Greenville. Here, in a bar known for its laid-back vibe, you’ll find the Grandpa’s Glory. It’s a 12-ounce can of Lone Star and a shot of Royale Club whiskey. The duo will set you back $6 during happy hour, which runs until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those in the know can order it with a special treat on the side. The Glory is also available at Double Wide, Single Wide’s sister bar, in Deep Ellum.
City Tavern1514 Elm St. (Downtown Dallas)
For at least a decade, Downtown Dallas has felt like it’s on the cusp of transforming from a destination to a place. Helping establish that sense of place for nearly 20 years is City Tavern. Now on Elm Street — it moved from its Main Street location in 2018 — the bar continues to serve up its classic beer and shot combination, the Dirty Dusty. The Dusty consists of an ice-cold 12-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Order one, or two, and you’ll understand why it’s the go-to for regulars and office workers alike. Dusties pair especially well with half-price burgers for lunch on Fridays.
Cock & Bull Neighborhood Pub6330 Gaston Ave. (Lakewood)
Forgo the bar at the Lakewood Whole Foods and head straight to the Cock & Bull a few blocks away for a no-frills drink special in a dark dive. Seven dollars is all you’ll need to order The Redneck, one of the best boilermaker deals in town. This combo comes with a massive 24-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Royale Club blended whiskey. Not in the mood for PBR? Have the BLT instead — a Bud Light longneck and a shot of Tuaca brandy liqueur. Sip on either as you wait for your cheese plate and mussels to arrive.
Ruins2653 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum)
Boasting perhaps the largest and most unique selection of boilermakers in the city is Ruins, the restaurant and club in Deep Ellum. Here, you’ll find a variety of combinations from Central and South America to sate your desire for beer and spirits. Feeling like something from Argentina? Have a Quilmes beer with a side of Fernet-Branca. Is Peru more your flavor? Have a Cusqueña and a shot of Pisco brandy. Yes, there’s even a pairing from the USA — a Miller High Life 8-ounce pony bottle and a shot of Old Grand-Dad bourbon. Ruins carries eight combinations in total at different price points.
Alamo Club1919 Greenville Ave. (Lowest Greenville)
For most joints in Dallas, one two-step is all they offer — if they offer one at all. That isn’t the case at Alamo Club on Greenville Avenue. Here, you’ll find two on the menu for the sorrowful among us, and $12 will get you either one. The Lonesome Cowgirl comes with any flavor White Claw, everyone’s favorite hard seltzer, and a shot of Patrón Silver. The Woeful Cowboy comes with a choice of Coors Original, Lone Star, Miller Lite or Pabst Blue Ribbon — all 16-ounce tallboys — and a shot of Evan Williams bourbon. Don’t let the gendered names fool you: You can drink either one regardless of your pronouns.
Strangeways2429 N Fitzhugh Ave. (Old East Dallas)
There’s a little something for everyone at Strangeways, the East Dallas bar named after The Smiths’ fourth and final studio album, Strangeways, Here We Come. While it’s known for its selection of hard-to-find draft beers, it also has a rotating selection of canned and bottled brews. Don’t let the intimidating lineup scare you. They have a simple beer and a shot combo as well. Order the “Strangeways Special” for $5 and you’ll be rewarded with a domestic can — a 12-ounce Coors Original at the moment — and a shot of T.W. Samuels blended whiskey.
Three Links2704 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
Ordering a “Dew and a Brew,” as it’s colloquially known, isn’t something unfamiliar to patrons of Irish pubs. Ordering one in a quintessential Deep Ellum rock venue, on the other hand, is something completely different. That’s what you’ll find at Three Links. Whether you’re at HQ for a show or simply happy hour, you’ll have a choice of beers to pair with a shot of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Take your pick from cheap domestic cans, craft cans and a selection of draft beers. Depending on what you choose, it’ll set you back anywhere from $7 to $9.
Twilite Lounge2640 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
When you walk into this Deep Ellum watering hole, there’s a better than zero chance that the jukebox is playing Fela Kuti. Sidle up to the bar and ask for a “Gran Torino.” For the low cost of $6, you’ll receive a 16-ounce tallboy can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Kentucky Deluxe blended whiskey. You may remember your old friend KD from the time you spent dancing the night away at the old Beauty Bar on Henderson. It hasn’t changed, but maybe you have. Feed some money into the jukebox, relax and enjoy the photographs of famous and infamous Dallas characters that dot the walls.
Vetted Well1005 S Lamar St. (The Cedars); 6770 Abrams Rd. (Lake Highlands)
When Alamo Drafthouse closed the doors of its two Dallas locations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, its adjacent bar, Vetted Well, shuttered as well. On August 13, both will reopen in the Cedars and in Lake Highlands. When they do, you’ll be able to enjoy eight different boilermakers either before or after a movie, each with a Dallas-themed name. Order a Grassy Knoll and you’ll get an 8-ounce Miller High Life pony and a Mellow Corn whiskey. The Green Building gets you a Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison and a shot of Suerte Tequila Blanco. Grab The Red Pegasus and knock back a Lakewood Temptress Stout and a Redbreast 12-year-old whiskey. Prices vary.