Food & Drink

Austin's beer experts tell you the top beers to drink in the sun

A can of Hops & Grain's The One That They Call Zoe by a lake

There's nothing hotter than a Texas Summer, and nothing colder than a cold beer, so we've asked five notable ATX hop-heads to pick their favorite Summer brews and make like Paula Abdul in that song with MC Skat Kat and explain just what makes these opposites so attractive

Chris Booth, Craft Pride Operations Manager & Beer GuruJester King's Le Petit Prince (Saison, 2.9%)Chris says: "One of my personal favorites for warmer weather is the Le Petit Prince from Jester King, which they call a Farmhouse Table Beer. Like a well-made pilsner, this humble beer showcases organic pilsner malt and the noble qualities of Czech Saaz hops, but with the added complexities and dryness of an authentic Belgian Saison-style ale. And at only 2.9% ABV (no, that's not a typo), you can drink it all day and not worry about the consequences! We carry the large bottles of this year-round and on draft whenever possible.

Deep Ellum's Rye Pils (German Pilsener, 4.8%)Chris says: "One of my go-to beers is another low-ABV yet full-flavored Texas craft beer, Deep Ellum's Rye Pils. Take the sessionability of a pilsner but give it some exciting American craft beer twists: dry-hopped for pleasant aroma and freshness, rye malt lends some chewiness and earthiness, and plenty of American hops (but of Germanic descent) yield a bold and American quality. It's also unfiltered, which accentuates the rawness. And we've got it in cans!

Sean Bradshaw, W Austin Director of Beverage & FoodDogfish Head Festina Peche (Berliner Weissbier, 4.5%)Sean says: "My mother is from Berlin, and during the Summer they drink a style of beer called Berliner Weisse. It is a wheat beer with a mild sourness that is traditionally served cold with a dash of a fruit syrup. The tartness of the beer is incredibly refreshing on a hot day, especially when balanced with the syrup. During the warmer months, Dogfish Head makes a great American version of this style called Festina Peche, which is made with peaches. We are going to serve it on the summer menu at TRACE with a dash of house-made Texas peach syrup.

Shiner's Ruby Redbird (Fruit Beer, 4.01%)Sean says: "Shiner's Ruby Redbird declares on the bottle, "The Perfect Summer Brew", and they are 100% correct. This Summer lager is made with Texas's own Rio Grande Valley grapefruit and a touch of ginger. Best served while sweating on a boat, at a picnic, or during any other hot and sticky activity.

Josh Hare, Founder of Hops & GrainPinthouse's Man o' War (IPA, 6.5%)Josh says: "My top choice would be the Man o' War from Pinthouse. I'm a personal fan of hoppy beers for the Summer sunshine, and this one has a perfect balance of fresh, juicy citrus flavors and a clean, crisp finish.

Austin Beerworks' Pearl Snap (German Pilsener, 5.3%)Josh says: "No. 2 would be the Pearl Snap from Austin Beerworks. The light body and nice, clean hop character make this a fantastic warm-weather beer. And, of course, I love a good can of local craft beer.

Caroline Wallace, Contributor to BitchBeer.orgHops & Grain's The One They Call Zoe (Pale Lager, 5%)Caroline says: "Kiss your favorite easy drinkin' poolside lager goodbye, because The One They Call Zoe is about to take up some serious real estate in your heart... and your fridge. Zoe marks the first beer to make it to Hops & Grain's mainstay canning lineup since their debut two, and for good reason. This crisp, flavorful, sessionable pale lager is friendly enough to enjoy year-round, but you can bet your ass it'll go down especially smooth in the scorching Summer months.

Austin Beerworks' Einhorn Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weisse, 3.5%)Caroline says: "Delicious, tart, and extremely refreshing, a pint of Einhorn, Austin Beerworks' Berliner Weisse Summer seasonal, can make even 103-degree heat suddenly feel like pleasant patio weather. After the success of its 2012 debut, Einhorn will be hitting tap walls again this Summer. But, real talk, when can we get this bad boy in a can?

Matt Eggers, Bartender at Dog & Duck PubReal Ale Brewing's Hans' Pils (German Pilsener, 5.3%)Matt says: "This Summer seasonal is a German pils that is hopped like an American IPA. It sets a new standard for the amount of flavor you can find in a pils, while also being crisp and refreshing. This craft beer is also available in cans, which are a must for Summer water activity.

Avery Brewing Company's White Rascal (Witbier, 5.6%)Matt says: "Wheat beers aren't very popular with craft beer nerds, but that doesn't mean they aren't delicious. This American version of a Belgian white is deceptively smooth and goes down easy after mowing the lawn or a long bike ride. Also, available in cans."

Jester King's Le Petite Prince on tap
Deep Ellum's Rye Pils
Dogfish Head Festina Peche
A bottle and can of Shiner's Ruby Redbird
Pinthouse's Man o' War
A can of Austin Beerworks' Pearl Snap
Hops & Grain's The One They Call Zoe
Austin Beerworks' Einhorn Berliner Weisse
Real Ale Brewing's Hans' Pils
Avery Brewing Company's White Rascal