Summer is here, and around Thrillist, that mainly means new and exciting ways to drink. To that end, we've asked our very own boys of Summer -- five of ATL's most astute beer-guzzling aficionados -- what they're going to be drinking when the mercury rises. Here are their hoppy Summer beer selections
Matt Simpson, TheBeerExpert.com Jailhouse Brewing Co's Slammer Wheat (American Pale Wheat Ale, 5%) Matt says: "Not only a 'light beer', in its most accurate, sessionable form, but really tasty. This is one beer that you can drink in quantity, on a hot Summer day, and be happy to do so. The wheat and yeast give off essences of spice (pepper and clove), while the American hops balance those with a great citrus aromas and across the palate.
Lindemans' Gueuze Cuvée René (Gueuze, 5.5%) Matt says: "One of my favorite beers, Summer or not. Very dry, tart, and lemony, this true iteration of a Belgian lambic (gueuze), is so crisp, thirst-quenching, and refreshing, it keeps you screaming for more. Its flavors and aromas are so enticing, as to make you wonder how the beer geek population (aficionados) doesn't put it on a higher pedestal. Wild yeast and bacteria fermented, it's as funky as a stinky cheese (a great thing) and accentuated by loads of citrus, earth, and a tart finish. Look for the incredibly white and effervescent head to lead you, with this wonderful ale.
Eric Thornton, Beer Geek ATL Red Brick Brewing Co's Dog Days Ale (Hefeweizen, 4.1%) Eric says: "I have discovered a couple Summer selections that feature a refreshing lighter body, as well as the subtle complexity required to please a beer geek. Red Brick Brewing Co has created a great beer to share with friends on the porch. Dog Days Ale is an unfiltered hefeweizen with citrus banana aromas, silky full mouth feel, and faint wheat sweetness.
Jailhouse Brewing Co's Reprieve French-Style Ale (Saison, 6%) Eric says: "When you want to impress as well as refresh, seek out JailHouse Brewing Co's Reprieve. This crisp saison has light spicy aromas, refreshing semi-dry palate, and perfect tartness to quench your thirst.
Jay Huffman, The Brewery USA 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon (Fruit Beer, 4.9%) Jay says: "Nothing says good, old-fashioned American Summer like beer, watermelon, and the United States Constitution. So why not drink a beer made with watermelon from a brewery named after the most important, beer-loving amendment? Hell or High Watermelon is a wheat beer brewed with real, fresh watermelon that gives you a firm high-five of crisp, watermelon goodness, and with an ABV of only 4.9%, you can sit outside and drink these all day, while soaking up the warming rays of freedom.
Monday Night Brewing's Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale (Scottish Ale, 7.2%) Jay says: "You may read this and think WTF? That isn't a very "Summery" choice of you, Jay. But hear me out. For me, the Summer has two different parts, which include it being incredibly hot outside during the day and then the night when the temperature cools down a little and it’s time to sit outside and howl at the moon. That is precisely where this brew comes into play. The Drafty Kilt is perfect for those late nights sitting on a boat in the lake or out by a fire with all you comrades. This full-bodied, roasty Scotch ale with a hint of smoke is the perfect way to make sure you end your night the right way.
Reid Ramsay, Beer Street Journal Anderson Valley Brewing Co's Summer Solstice (Cream Ale, 5%) Reid says: "I never stop drinking. But when the heat's on, an easy drinking beer is a must. All Summer, I typically have Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice in a can at my side. Pool-side, or grilling out, the beer really works with a wide array of flavors, or just on its own.
Sierra Nevada's Summerfest (Czech Pilsener, 5.1%) Reid says: "Another great bet for Summer, 2013: Sierra Nevada's Summerfest. The pilsner is coming to cans by Memorial Day, and this beer drinker can't wait to slaughter a few.
Dennis "Ale Sharpton" Byron, CruisinforaBrewsin.com Stone Brewing Co's Stone Enjoy By IPA (Imperial IPA, 9.4%) Dennis says: "Usually Summer beers are in the category of refreshing and low-in-alcohol for easy drinking in the hot weather, but not with me. A craft beer-sipping vet, I'm a hop head to the fullest and look forward to the surprise element that Stone's new Enjoy By... double IPA monthly series brings, which I just found out will be available through the Summer months. Gangster!
Westbrook Brewing Co's White Thai (Witbier, 5%) Dennis says: "Second, I am going can for easy portability and beach access: Westbrook's White Thai witbier out of Mount Pleasant, SC, comes correct as a refreshing, yet complex palate pleaser thanks to a gang of nontraditional flavor enhancers including lemongrass, Sorachi Ace hops, and ginger, with the drinkability of a mere 5%. These brews will add thrill to anybody's list!"