In an effort to save you from the embarrassment of showing up to the boss' annual Bastille Day cookout toting a sixer of Red Dog, we asked six of the Hub's top beer aficionados to share a couple of their favorite Summer suds. Here are their 10 must-drink warm weather brews for your imbibing pleasure.
Jeff Wharton, Co-Founder of Drink Craft Beer
Sixpoint Apollo Hefeweizen (Kristalweizen, 5.2% ABV)
Jeff says, "Banana and clove permeate the smell of this one, a spot-on take on a Bavarian hefeweizen. It's dry and refreshing with just a hint of tartness; perfect for Summer! But, to be honest, we also love the 16oz can and 5% ABV. This is a beer you're going to want at any cookout this season. It's got amazing flavor, is super refreshing while hanging out in hot weather, and is one of those beers that craft beer lovers and the craft beer curious alike will love."
The Tap Brewing's Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weissbier, 3% ABV)
Jeff says, "It's a Summer tradition for us at Drink Craft Beer to drive up to Haverhill to drink this tart German-style beer by the pitcher on The Tap's awesome deck. And "by the pitcher" I mean: we each get a pitcher, because this one is only 3% ABV. They serve it with a floating ice container to keep it chilled, and you can get either raspberry or woodruff syrup (don't worry, the Germans are OK with the addition), but we prefer it straight. It's coming out in bottles this May, just in time for Summer -- so keep your eyes open for it!"
Suzanne Schalow & Kate Baker, Owners of the Craft Beer Cellar
Cisco Summer of Lager, in a CAN! (Munich Helles Lager, 5.6% ABV)
Suzanne says, "The green can reminds me of grass between my toes. What's inside is crisp & clean, with a touch of hop goodness that makes the days of Summer seem endless."
Mayflower Summer Rye (Rye Beer, 3.8% ABV)
Kate says, "Why not rye? Done right, it can rock your socks off, and this is a rad example of such awesomeness. Light, session strength (3.8% ABV), hazy in color, and slightly spicy."
J.C. Tetreault, Co-Founder of Trillium Brewing Company
American Darling from Pretty Things (American Pale Lager, 7% ABV)
J.C. says, "This strong lager Summer seasonal from local favorite brewers Pretty Things is the perfect excuse to let the grass grow up through your mower on the hottest of Boston's Summer days. Beautiful pilsner malt against a firm but elegant hop background... fermented out nice and dry... a blend of three characterful European lager yeast strains. Easily one of the best American-brewed lagers!"
Weizen Bam from Jolly Pumpkin (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 4.5% ABV)
J.C. says, "This complex farmhouse saison from the Dexter, Michigan brewery is worth seeking out. The banana and spice on the nose gives you the familiarity of a traditional German weissebier, but the quenching tart acidity from wild microbes and tannic oak finish drinks great on its own -- but also pairs up beautifully with a fresh Summer salad."
Tim Noetzel, Founder of Pintley
Night Shift Brewing's Somer Weisse (Berliner Weissbier, 5.2% ABV)
Tim says, "Local favorite Night Shift Brewing's Somer Weisse is a playful riff on the classic Berliner Weisse style. This sour beer pours cloudy peach and features notes of lemongrass and ginger. Night Shift will be releasing their next batch in July, and, if it's anything like the last batch, you're in for a real treat."
Ithaca Flower Power IPA (American IPA, 7.5% ABV)
Tim says, "Summer is a fantastic time for IPAs. While most of them aren't necessarily seasonal, there's just something special about enjoying an IPA with friends while you grill up dinner on the backyard BBQ. Ithaca's Flower Power IPA is an exceptional example of the style. It pours a beautiful copper-amber with a fantastic citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit notes give way to grassiness and a balanced malt body."
Jamie Walsh, Bar Manager at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale and Co-founder of the Greater Boston Beverage Society
High & Mighty Pas de Dieux Saison (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 4.5% ABV)
Jamie says, "This is a very dangerous beer -- completely sessionable, with a ton of flavor."
Peak Organic's Summer Session Ale (American Pale Wheat Ale, 5% ABV)
Jamie says, "Peak Organic Brewing, located up in Portland, ME, regularly hits it out of the park with their beer... Their Simcoe Spring was truly a great beer. Peak's Summer offering is "Peak Organic Summer Session Ale". This is an American pale wheat ale that has everything you want in a Summer beer... Clean, not overly hoppy, with citrus notes. [And] they buy the wheat from local farmers... The plus side to all of this? That they brew organically -- and my wife is a GMO warrior, so I won't be eating this with cheese whiz."