Everyone loves Summer. A large number of those people like a challenge. And, with that in mind, have we got a Summer challenge for you: to drink every single one of the 150 delicious, refreshing, Summer beers recommended by our nationwide roster of suds experts. If you start right this very second, you can definitely get through at least 110. Download this printable checklist, slap it on your (hopefully very full fridge), then read the deets and expert's take on each and get drinking.
Why You Should Think Twice Before Drinking Airplane Coffee
Victory Brewing's Summer Love (Golden Ale, 5.2%) Dan Dunn, host of Dan Dunn's Happy Hour on SiriusXM; Los Angeles "Who doesn’t like to win, right? I certainly do. Which is why I drink Victory. Not only does the name sound like the very definition of winning, but I also love the smell of Victory in the morning. Or is it napalm? I always get those two mixed up... And while I used to chug too much beer and vomit on a regular basis back in college, never -- not once -- did I hurl from chugging Victory Summer Love Ale. That, my friends, is what’s known as ‘drinkability.’"
Schnelby Redland's Big Rod Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale, 5.4%) Julian Siegel, Owner of Riverside Market; Miami "Coconut and lime blend with this blonde ale and the first taste reminds you of the beach instantly. It's not on any store shelf, but's always on tap at The Riverside Market -- everyone loves Big Rod!"
Anchor Brewing's Summer Beer (American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.5%) Brett Hubbard, Craft and Speciality Import Manager at Gold Coast Beverage & Host of By the Glass Radio Show; Miami "Anchor Summer is an all-malt beer, and over 50% of its malt comes from malted wheat. Wheat malt contributes to an unusual lightness and dryness to the palate, and this -- combined with the distinctive flavor of the wheat -- makes for a perfect thirst-quenching beverage. It's the ideal drink for beer lovers who appreciate tradition and character in their beer, but also seek a lighter refreshing style that's perfect for warm weather."
Pyramid Brewery's Apricot Ale (Unfiltered Wheat Ale, 5.1%) Maria Murriel, Digital Reporter on Bars, Beer & Drinks for the South Florida Sun Sentinel; Miami "It is an unfiltered wheat, with hints of apricot that taste real. There is nothing worse than sweet, artificial-tasting beers. This has the right amount of fruit flavor where it won't be labeled 'for girls', but is still light enough for Summer."
Tequesta Brewing's Julio's Weizen (Hefeweizen, 5.2%) Jack Wich, Former Radio Personality on Rock 104 & Owner/Writer/Content Producer of DrinkFloridaBeer.com; Miami "Tequesta Brewing does some really cool stuff with its Julio's Weizen hefeweizen during the Summer. You'll find they infuse it with softer flavors like strawberry, watermelon, and black cherries. It's all cask beer so the carbonation comes naturally from the aluminum and that makes it extra crisp."
Shiner's Ruby Redbird (Fruit Beer, 4.2%) Julian Siegel, Owner of Riverside Market; Miami "The Shiner Ruby Redbird has been our favorite since it was introduced three years ago... Cool, crisp, refreshing, light, filled with hints of grapefruit and ginger, you just can't imagine the sensation. It is so refreshing that, on a hot day, you can actually choose between drinking it or pouring it over your head!"
Shipyard Brewing's Summer Ale (American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.8%) Adam Fine, Founder of Native Brewing Co and Fresh Beer Inc; Miami "It's an easy drinking light ale with just enough flavor to not disappoint craft beer drinkers but, at the same time, not turn off the non-craft drinker alike."
Cigar City's Florida Cracker (White Ale, 5%) Maria Murriel, Digital Reporter on Bars, Beer & Drinks for the South Florida Sun Sentinel; Miami "This is a light beer with a nice body with a great blend of spices, almost a flowery taste. Totally a beer you can take to the pool or the beach. When you think of Summer in Florida, this is the beer that comes to mind."
Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice (Seasonal Ale, 5%) Reid Ramsay, Beer St Journal; Atlanta "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."
Evil Twin Brewing's Bikini Beer (IPA, 2.7%) Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, beer consultant at Tørst; New York "This beer is citrusy, floral and slightly bitter -- the interesting thing is that, while it has the flavor of a “normal” IPA, it’s much lower in ABV. For this reason, the body is light and crisp making it more drinkable and less sticky than your typical IPA. It’s the perfect beer for drinking outside at a BBQ."
21st Amendment's Bitter American (Session Pale Ale, 4.4%) David Cichowicz, Good Beer; New York "The Bitter American is a hoppy pale ale clocking in at only 4.4% making it perfect for long days of drinking in the backyard on the roof or at the beach. For hop-loving IPA fans, this beer offers a chance to enjoy some of the bitterness and floral aroma of bigger IPAs without being put to sleep by high gravity and tons of hops."
Brasserie Pietra's Colomba Corsican (White Ale, 5%) Jimmy Carbone, Jimmy's No. 43; New York "For several Summers, this one has been my favorite wheat on draft at Jimmy's No 43. The brewer substitutes Corsican herbs for the traditional Belgian coriander and clove. It's got great citrus notes and's a real Summer thirst-quencher."
Einbecker Brewery's Mai-Ur-Bock (Maibock, 6.5%) Jimmy Carbone, Jimmy's No. 43; New York "My last 4th of July beer-of-choice: Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock... Keep it on ice and share a bottle with a friend so you drink many short, cold glasses all day. It's refreshing and the little extra ABV gives you a nice buzz."
Harpoon Brewery's Summer Beer (Kolsch, 4.8%) Paul Kermizian, Barcade; New York "Summer Beer is a kolsch-style ale, which is very light in body and color, but has a nice malt and citrus flavor. Also, at 5.5%, its not so light in alcohol so you have to be a little careful with it at a picnic."
Bockor Brewery's Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge (Sour Ale, 5.5%) Julian Kurland, The Cannibal NYC; New York "When it's humid out, sometimes all you want is something sour, tart, and full of flavor. Enter: Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge. The beer is many things in harmonious unison. Sour cherries, ripe stone fruit, and hints of vanilla and cherry are formed when this unblended, old lambic is allowed to age in oak barrels for over 18 months."
Gueuzerie Tilquin's Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’Ancienne (Lambic, 6%) Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Beer Consultant at Tørst; New York "This lambic has a tart and refreshing vinous flavor... The citrus notes make it a great thirst-quencher, which is one of the reasons I especially like this beer when it’s hot outside. It’s perfect for light Summer dishes and can even to be used as a substitute for wine when cooking."
Westbrook Brewing Co's White Thai (Witbier, 5%) Julian Kurland, The Cannibal NYC; New York "A new interpretation on the classic Belgian witbier, White Thai is a Summer must... When its blazing hot this Summer, this beer is going to be all you need to cool down and enjoy a BBQ in the park or a day at the beach."
Orval Trappist Ale (Belgian Pale Ale, 6.2%) Allie Pape, Editor, Eater; San Francisco "On the cool-weather side, I love Orval, a Belgian Trappist beer with layers of Brettanomyces funk, sweet brown malt, and exuberant carbonation; I usually pick one up from Public House on my way into AT&T Park (yes, it's allowed! Ask for a plastic cup! I hope to God that none of my fellow beer nerds are reading this!) and spend the first few innings savoring every drop."
Victory Prima Pils (Czech Pilsener, 4.8%) Allie Pape, Editor, Eater; San Francisco "As for when it's actually warm? I'll take two pints of Moonlight Reality Czeck, a note-perfect Czech pilsner, and the nearest patio I can find. It's only available on draft, though, so my backyard-BBQ runner-up would be Victory Prima Pils, a hopped-up take from Pennsylvania. It's the pilsner for IPA drinkers."
Saison Dupont (Saison, 6.5%) Jon Gasparini, Owner, Rye & Rye on the Road; San Francisco "While this is no way a new beer, it's simply amazing. This beer is complex with beautiful floral notes. No offense to High Life, but this really is the Champagne of beers."
Lucky Hand Brewing's Cali Common (California Common/Steam Beer, 5.5%) Jon Gasparini, Owner, Rye & Rye on the Road; San Francisco "Lately, I'm enjoying Cali Common by Lucky Hand Brewing. It's crisp and bright with some mild bitterness. Perfect on a warm afternoon. I like the large bottle format for sharing."
Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Biere (Saison, 4.5%) Christian Albertson, Co-Owner, Abbott’s Cellar & Monk’s Kettle; San Francisco "This is my favorite all-around Summer beer. It's a dry-hopped tart farmhouse from a brewery in Michigan that uses wild-ish yeast strains very well -- not in every store, but can be found in places that cater to the craft beer market. It's the perfect beer to bring to a picnic and impress everyone. Not cheap, but a crowd-pleaser."
Boulevard Brewing's Tank 7 (Saison, 8.5%) Christian Albertson, Co-Owner, Abbott’s Cellar & Monk’s Kettle; San Francisco "We have been incredibly lucky that, a few months ago, Boulevard Brewing's beers became available in the Bay Area. Their farmhouse, Tank 7, is excellent and is a very easy-drinking beer. Since my wife tried it a few weeks ago, I've been instructed to keep it stocked at home."
Bahnhof's Leipziger Gose (Gose, 4.6%) Jay Barmann, Editor, Grubstreet; San Francisco "Also, I'm a fan of the Bahnhof 'Leipziger Gose', a salted wheat ale from Germany that they serve at Bar Tartine (and you can probably find it and other Goses at City Beer Store and Healthy Spirits). It's just barely lightly sour, almost lemony but with a unique salinity, and pretty light and refreshing all around."
Cerveceria de MateVeza's Morpho (Herbed/Spiced Beer, 6%) Jay Barmann, Editor, Grubstreet; San Francisco "I love the Morpho from Cerveceria de MateVeza, despite the girly label with the butterfly on it. It's a bright red-colored, hibiscus-infused herbal ale, like a really terrific, nuanced saison and, as an added bonus, it's got caffeine in it. The perfect park beer."
Linden Street Brewing's Town Lager (California Common/Steam Beer, 4.5%) Lou Boustamante, Bar/Spirits Writer, SF Weekly; San Francisco "When its hot, I find myself driving near the port of Oakland to get my fix of this "only within keg-bike delivery distance of the brewery" beer. Sure, you can go to a nearby restaurant and buy a glass, but hanging out in the taproom enjoying a glass within view of the brewery makes it even more refreshing."
Weihenstephan Original Lager (Munich Helles Lager, 5.1%) Lou Boustamante, Bar/Spirits Writer, SF Weekly; San Francisco "This old-school Bavarian lager has been made at the oldest continuously operating brewery (since 1040) with the same recipe: light, but with plenty of maltiness, there's a reason its been around for 900yrs."
Boulevard 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat (American Pale Wheat Ale, 5.5%) Greg Engert, Beer Boss; DC "For those who resist the typically sweeter and fruitier character of wheat ales, a new cadre of well-hopped wheats are heading to town. Boulevard Brewing Company's 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat Beer is quickly becoming among the most sought after of the bunch, laying floral hop flavors atop a cleansing wheaty brew [and] brimming with thirst-quenching qualities. American Pacific Northwest hops are packed into 80-Acre to create a brew that shows IPA-esque bold, zesty lemon and perfumed aromas combined with a snappy, earthy, mildly bitter finish. "
Four Corners Brewing's El Super Bee De Saison (Saison, 7%) Matt Tobin, Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger Bar; Dallas "Light and refreshing, yet still has a kick at 7% ABV. Great Belgian yeast nose!"
Founders All Day IPA (American IPA, 4.7%) Ben Clark, Flying Dog; DC "During our hot and humid Summers, sometimes it's not the best idea to crack a higher-ABV IPA. That's why Founders' All Day is perfect. It has an easy-drinking low-ABV, but has beautiful hop character to satisfy any hophead."
Community Beer's Mosaic IPA (IPA, 7.5%) Sam Wynne, Meddlesome Moth; Dallas "For those that are looking for a bit more punch from their hooch, some of the local brewers are doing some great things with the new Mosaic Hop. Community Beer Company just released a Mosaic IPA that is insanely drinkable for a 7.5% brew. The Mosaic Hops bring a complex fruitiness that blends tropical fruits with a touch of what I think tastes and smells like blueberry. [It] breaks the standard trends and shows that hops can bring more to the table than grapefruit and pine bitterness."
Austin Beerworks' Einhorn Berliner (Berliner Weisse, 3.5%) Caroline Wallace, contributor to BitchBeer.org; Austin "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?"
Community Witbier (Belgian White, 5.1%) Kevin Afghani, Craft & Growler; Dallas "This is a wit so good, you’ll be amazed it is made right down the street in Dallas’ Design District. Orange peel and coriander seed perfectly balance the unmalted wheat for a perfect poolside refresher."
Lakewood Till & Toil (Saison, 6.4%) Kevin Afghani, Craft & Growler; Dallas "Farmhouse Saisons are perfect for the Summer, and the Till & Toil is perfect for me. Crisp and thirst-quenching, with notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and peach."
Franconia Wheat (German Hefeweizen, 5%) Jack MacDonald, Jack Mac's Swill & Grill; Dallas "A traditional German hefeweizen with slight hints of clove & orange! Dennis crafts traditional brews that make you want more. This wheat screams Summer. Drink it at the pub, in your back yard, on the boat, just drink it. And again, only 5%!"
Peticolas Golden Opportunity (Kolsch, 4.6%) Jack MacDonald, Jack Mac's Swill & Grill; Dallas "The time and care that Mike puts into his beer is evident in this very simple brew. It's light, crisp & refreshing and everything that is good about Summer. And, at only 4.6% ABV, you can drink it all day!"
Revolver Blood & Honey (Wheat Ale, 7%) Jack MacDonald, Jack Mac's Swill & Grill; Dallas "Blood orange zest and local honey, need I say more. But be careful: at 7%, it will sneak up on you."
Pinthouse's Man o' War (IPA, 6.5%) Josh Hare, Founder of Hops & Grain; Austin "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 Hare, Founder of Hops & Grain; Austin "#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."
Deep Ellum's Rye Pils (German Pilsener, 4.8%) Chris Booth, Craft Pride Operations Manager & Beer Guru; Austin "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. Available year-round at Craft Pride, and now in cans!"
Jester King's Le Petit Prince (Saison, 2.9%) Chris Booth, Craft Pride Operations Manager & Beer Guru; Austin "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."
Avery Brewing Company's White Rascal (Witbier, 5.6%) Matt Eggers, Bartender at Dog & Duck Pub; Austin "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."
Real Ale Brewing's Hans' Pils (German Pilsener, 5.3%) Matt Eggers, Bartender at Dog & Duck Pub; Austin "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."
Hops & Grain's The One They Call Zoe (Pale Lager, 5%) Caroline Wallace, Contributor to BitchBeer.org; Austin "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."
The Tap Brewing's Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weissbier, 3% ABV) Jeff Wharton, Co-Founder of Drink Craft Beer; Boston "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."
Sixpoint Apollo Hefeweizen (Kristalweizen, 5.2% ABV) Jeff Wharton, Co-founder of Drink Craft Beer; Boston "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."
American Darling from Pretty Things (American Pale Lager, 7% ABV) J.C. Tetreault, Co-founder of Trillium Brewing Company; Boston "This strong lager Summer seasonal from local favorite brewers Pretty Things is the perfect excuse to let the 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... Easily one of the best American-brewed lagers!"
Peak Organic's Summer Session Ale (American Pale Wheat Ale, 5% ABV) Jamie Walsh, Bar Manager at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale and Co-founder of the Greater Boston Beverage Society; Boston "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."
Night Shift Brewing's Somer Weisse (Berliner Weissbier, 5.2% ABV) Tim Noetzel, Founder of Pintley; Boston "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."
Cisco Summer of Lager, in a CAN! (Munich Helles Lager, 5.6% ABV) Suzanne Schalow, Co-Owner of the Craft Beer Cellar; Boston "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."
High & Mighty Pas de Dieux Saison (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 4.5% ABV) Jamie Walsh, Bar Manager at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale and Co-founder of the Greater Boston Beverage Society; Boston "This is a very dangerous beer: completely sessionable with a ton of flavor. "
Ithaca Flower Power IPA (American IPA, 7.5% ABV) Tim Noetzel, Founder of Pintley; Boston "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 back yard 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 balance malt body."
Weizen Bam from Jolly Pumpkin (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 4.5% ABV) J.C. Tetreault, Co-founder of Trillium Brewing Company; Boston "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 it own... [it] also pairs up beautifully with a fresh Summer salad."
Mayflower Summer Rye (Rye Beer, 3.8% ABV) Kate Baker, Co-owner of the Craft Beer Cellar; Boston "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."
Ziggy Zoggy Summer Lager from Silver City Brewing (Keller Bier/Zwickel Bier, 5% ABV) Miles Montgomery, The Men's Room on KISW; Seattle "I'm also really into Ziggy Zoggy Summer Lager from Silver City Brewing. Tasty German style Summer beer with a little more hop and honey finish."
Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager (Fruit / Vegetable Beer, 4.2% ABV) Libby Tucker, Beer2Buds.com; Seattle "I'm not a fan of fruity beers, but this is drinkable, even for the guys! In fact, it was two of my guy friends who introduced me to this beer. The strawberry taste is light, and the taste is balanced."
Alaskan Brewing Company’s Summer Ale (Kölsch, 5.3% ABV) Sarah, The Danny Donaduce Show & Sarah's Beer of the Week; Seattle "For me, Summer beer-drinking doesn't involve fruit. Limes are for margaritas. Warm weather beers should still be full of flavor, yet not overly filling or too high in ABV... Alaskan Summer Ale's light hops, sweet malt, and perfect carbonation make this German-style beer an absolute Summer must."
American Brewing Co.’s American Blonde (American Blonde Ale, 4.5% ABV) Miles Montgomery, The Men's Room on KISW; Seattle "I go for the American Blonde from American Brewing in Edmonds. A very crisp, light lager that is unique, darn tasty, and very drinkable on a hot day."
Kona Big Wave (American Blonde Ale, 4.4% ABV) Libby Tucker, Beer2Buds.com; Seattle "If you're a fan of hops but looking for something not too heavy, this is a great beer. It's light and refreshing but doesn't short you on flavor. You immediately taste the hops, but they aren't overpowering, and it's also very drinkable."
Cascade Summer Gose (Gose, 5% ABV) Rick & Ellen Kelly, The Noble Fir; Seattle "The Gose style is not commonly available in the US, so it is fun for us to see Cascade embrace it. It is a German-style salt sour, brewed with lemon peel, coriander and other spices. With its low ABV and the salt and lemon acting as electrolytes, it is the perfect Summer beer for the folks who want to enjoy a couple and still stay active."
Fremont Brewing Company's Summer Ale (American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV) Sarah, The Danny Donaduce Show & Sarah's Beer of the Week; Seattle "Summer Ale from Fremont Brewing Company is an amazing warm Summery kind of beer. I guess you could say it's named well. This brew is refreshing, crisp, full of flavor... but won't weigh you down on a warm day. The smell is floral hops; the taste is pure beery goodness."
Port Brewing's Summer Pale Ale (American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV) Rick & Ellen Kelly, The Noble Fir; Seattle "A massively hoppy West Coast-style pale that's very cloudy when it pours and is brewed without Crystal malt, so the Chinook, Cascade, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops really shine. The citrus hop profile is crisp and balanced, so we think it is perfect for the Summer season. When it's on tap, our whole staff gets in on one, pronto!"
Erzquell Brauerei Bielstein’s Zunft Kölsch (Kölsch, 4.8% ABV) Anne Conness, Certified Cicerone & Chef Partner at Simmzy's and Tin Roof Bistro; Los Angeles “Not new per se, but I was lucky enough to find this Kölsch at Total Wines not too long ago. It's also light and refreshing, but a bit more bitter and reminiscent of a dry white wine. Pour it into a tall thin glass and sip away on your patio.”
Great Divide's Colette (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 7.3% ABV) Jason Bernstein, Beer Expert & Co-Owner of The Golden State and Bludso's Bar & Que; Los Angeles “I have found myself drinking Great Divide's Colette... Its carbonation is quieter, and it's decidedly less funky than the Dupont version [of Saison], but there is a light, tart grassiness that lends itself to an easy backyard brew.”
Drake's Alpha Session (English Bitter, 3.8% ABV) Jason Bernstein, Beer Expert & Co-Owner of The Golden State and Bludso's Bar & Que; Los Angeles “The sessionable IPA is the greatest invention. I'm sure it's been around for years, but it's relatively new to me. I love Drake's Alpha Session, but I'm sure there are a million more out there. Basically, you get all the hop-swagger of an IPA but, thanks to the low alcohol content, you can actually have a second one.”
Golden Road Brewing’s Heal the Bay IPA (American IPA, 6.8% ABV) Meg Gill, President of Golden Road Brewing; Los Angeles “I love our brand new Heal the Bay IPA - it's a Summertime, citra-bombed-out, light-in-color, sharp IPA. Is there anything better than a fresh West Coast IPA bursting with fruit, after a big ocean swim, hike, or surf session? Even better, [you're] sipping for a cause that affects every creature on earth: proceeds from Heal the Bay IPA go right back to the Santa Monica-based non-profit.”
Humulus Lager from The Bruery (American Double/Imperial Pilsner, 7.2% ABV) Christina Perozzi, The Beer Chicks; Los Angeles "Man, I love this beer for Summer. It's the hoppiest beer The Bruery makes, with piney, grapefruity aromatics and lots of floral and herbaceous characteristics -- but its also really nice and light-bodied, more like an American lager. The balance is amazing. This is the beer I love to drink when I want to feel like I'm drinking a lighter ABV beer, but I'm really not!"
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Company (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 6.5% ABV) Christina Perozzi, The Beer Chicks; Los Angeles ”In the Summer, I love Saisons and I love Champagne -- and this Belgian-style farmhouse ale is like the lovechild of a brut Champagne and a classic Saison! It’s brewed with orange peel like a White Ale, but then fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels! Its citrusy, tart and dry with vanilla notes on the finish. There's nothing better than drinking this beer at a Summer concert at the Hollywood Bowl!”
Upright Brewing Company’s Seven (#7) (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 8% ABV) Anne Conness, Certified Cicerone & Chef Partner at Simmzy's and Tin Roof Bistro; Los Angeles “Saisons are the quintessential Summer beer, in my opinion (they originally were brewed in Winter for Summer workers), and this one is lighter with a drier finish than traditional Belgian beers. Sour with grassy, spicy notes, and super effervescent.”
Narragansett Summer Ale (American Blonde Ale, 4.2% ABV) Dan Dunn, host of Dan Dunn's Happy Hour on SiriusXM; Los Angeles "Like the Narragansett Brewing Company, my lovely girlfriend hails from Rhode Island. It’s a diminutive state that, frankly, is often overshadowed by some of the other, larger states in the country... which is to say all of them. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate -- Rhode Island has the smallest total area of any state, but Wyoming is less populated. But I don’t know of any decent Wyoming-made beer, nor am I currently sleeping with anyone from there. So in the interest of keeping the sex thing going, it’s Narragansett Summer Ale for me. It’s the second best thing the Ocean State has to offer. Go Rhode Island!”
Brooklyn Brewery's Summer Ale (English Pale Ale, 5%) Erin O'Shea, Chef/Partner at Percy St BBQ; Philadelphia "It’s white bread in a can, very malty and sweet, with a tart finish -- great for Summertime drinking."
21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon (Fruit/Vegetable Beer, 4.90%) Danya Henninger, Editor-in-Chief of TheDrinkNation.com; Philadelphia “Skip the picnic and bring this to the beach -- it's fruit salad, thirst-quenching, and fun all in one little can. The watermelon flavor is not at all overwhelming, and low ABV means you can sip them all day long.”
Dogfish Head's Festina Peche (Berliner Weisse, 4.5%) Danya Henninger, Editor-in-Chief of TheDrinkNation.com; Philadelphia "This fruit beer is no wuss. Its mouth-puckering peach flavor and delicate hop backbone make it a perfect stand-in for brunch on days when it's too hot to bother eating."
Weihenstephaner's Hefeweissbier (Hefeweizen, 5.4%) Don Russell, Executive Director of Philly Beer Week & Beer Columnist, atDaily News; Philadelphia "I'm a sucker for Bavarian wheat beer, and this one might be the best. It's perfect as a Summer refresher when served in a tall glass with a cloud of foam and no f***ing lemon."
Lancaster's Kolsch (Kolsch, 4.8%) Don Russell, Executive Director of Philly Beer Week; Beer Columnist at Daily News; Philadelphia "It's an old German style that may be unfamiliar to many beer drinkers; if it makes you feel any better, think of it as a light beer with actual flavor. This version has a surprisingly smooth, malty body and a refreshing hoppy bite. And it comes in cans, which makes it my go-to brew down the shore."
Harpoon's UFO (Witbier, 4.8%) Erin O'Shea, chef/partner of Percy St BBQ; Philadelphia "Wheat beers are my favorite, and I really like the UFO because it’s well-balanced and the orange and coriander are really subtle. It also goes really well with our new grits & fried oyster dish."
Yards Saison (Saison, 6.5%) Andy Farrell, Beer Steward at City Tap House; Philadelphia "Dry, peppery, and brings just enough acidity/citrus for good BBQ... I’m working on a campaign with Frank Rio from Yards: 'Keep Calm and Saison'. I’m coining that."
Flying Fish's Farmhouse Summer Ale (American Blonde Ale, 4.6%) Stephen Lyford, Official Photographer for Philly Beer Week & Writer of the Philly Beer Week news section; Philadelphia "A little earthy, a little hoppy, but light and refreshing -- not too heavy for a warm Summer's day."
Victory's Swing Session Saison (Saison, 4.5%) Stephen Lyford, Official Photographer for Philly Beer Week & Writer of the Philly Beer Week News Section; Philadelphia "A saison that isn't too 'yeasty' or fruity but, instead, has an herbal nose and flavor that don't overpower the rest of the beer, and that I find to be refreshing! I found it to be reminiscent of the 'Saison du BUFF', but dialed down a bit."
Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat (Witbier, 4%) James Watt, Founder of BrewDog; London "Citrusy and orangey with a wholly refreshing coriander hit, Wahoo Wheat is inspired by crashing waves and has a distinctly surfy quality about it. The zingy mouthfeel would be super-refreshing whilst sipping on a beach."
Tap East's Tonic Ale (Blonde Ale, 3%) Melissa Cole, Lead Partner at lovebeer@borough; London "There's a joy to drinking beer in the same place that it was brewed -- it's like you're managing to organise a proverbial in an actual brewery! Tonic Ale is the brainchild of Tap East's Head Brewer Jim Wilson. It may be subliminal messaging from the name, but you get that lovely lime and botanicals aroma you'd get from a well-made G&T and a quinine-like bitter bite at the end -- best of both worlds on a sunny day, in my book."
Sharps Honey Spice Tripel (Belgian Strong Ale, 10%) Jack Stones, Beer Sommelier at Meantime Brewing Company; London "Another golden ale, however, a little bit more challenging and not something you’re likely to get away with having too many glasses of! However, the citrus flavours are still there, this time from the addition of actual citrus peel rather than from punchy fruity hops. Maybe a beer to accompany a sunset, as it will certainly be warming."
Partizan Saison Galaxy (Saison, 5.4%) Will Hawkes, Beer Writer/Guru for Craft Beer London; London "In an Ashes Summer, how about a beer made with Aussie hops? The Galaxy variety adds passion-fruit flavour to the sourish tang of this Belgian-style ale."
Thornbridge Kipling (English Pale Ale, 5.2%) Jack Stones, Beer Sommelier at Meantime Brewing Company; London "Lovely golden Pacific pale ale, full of citrus and grapefruit: summer in a glass. The new-world hops don’t become too overpowering after the second bottle, either, which is always a risk with something this hoppy."
The Kernel Table Beer (American Pale Ale, 3%) Will Hawkes, Beer Writer/Guru for Craft Beer London; London "Low in strength this pale ale might be, but it has real depth of flavour -- and the clean bitterness is just the thing for a hot day."
Dark Star American Pale Ale (American Pale Ale, 4.7%) Martin Hayes, founder of The Craft Beer Co.; London "A world-class beer which is good all year 'round, but in the Summer, this beautifully well crafted beer really comes into its own. It is wonderfully thirst-quenching and packed full of citrus flavours."
Maui Big Swell IPA (American IPA, 6.3%) James Watt, Founder of BrewDog; London "This bad boy serves up a tidal wave of hops and is Martin's favourite canned IPA. It totally hits you in the face with the quintessential hop aroma and would be awesome served up at a BBQ for Summer."
Two Brothers' Sidekick (American Pale Ale, 5.1%)Chris Quinn, Owner of The Beer Temple; Chicago "Sidekick is the newest beer to appear in cans for Two Brothers. A light-bodied pale ale with mild bitterness and a big bunch of tropical hops, Sidekick is dangerously crushable."
5 Rabbits' 5 Lizard (Witbier, 4.3%) Josh Noel, Beer and Travel Writer at The Chicago Tribune; Chicago "I didn’t know what to make of this beer the first few times I tried it, but I’m now fully on board, especially as the temperature creeps up. 5 Lizard achieves a rare combination of light (4.3% ABV), thirst-quenching, and deeply interesting with its odd combination of bright, sour, and fruity funk. I can drink this endlessly on a hot Summer night."
Revolution's A Little Crazy (Belgian Pale Ale, 6.4%) Josh Noel, Beer and Travel Writer at The Chicago Tribune; Chicago "I’m a big believer in not limiting yourself to only so-called lighter beers in Summer. That said, I have little interest in, say, a double IPA in July. But Belgian pale ales like A Little Crazy are a perfect hybrid style that manages to be robustly flavorful while staying relatively bright and clean. A Little Crazy is a wonderfully executed example of that balance of tasty hops and yeast."
Allagash White (Witbier, 5%) Gabriel Magliaro, Founder of Half Acre Beer Company; Chicago "Allagash successfully steps way out on a lot of their beers, but their anchor is White. That beer is flat-out refreshing out of the box and built to move volume on any warm day. Spiced beers can give me the creeps, but White ties together raw materials in a way that doesn't have you thinking or caring about any single element. You want Summer beers to give you something to think about, but also to cordially step out of the way and let Summer's activities take over."
Alpha King, Three Floyds Brewing (American Pale Ale, 6.66%) Gabriel Magliaro, Founder of Half Acre Beer Company; Chicago "There are boatloads of new beers-of-the-minute that hog pixels of praise all over the Internet, but let's remember an early-adapted pale ale of distinction. Alpha King still reigns as an enforcer of what should be. Rip off the crown on a King and rediscover why so many people are starting breweries in their basements."
Firestone Walker Solace (American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.8%) Josh Deth, Managing Partner at Revolution Brewing; Chicago "I've heard that Firestone Walker is bringing in Solace, their Summer fusion beer, for the first time this Summer. I've had it at their taproom in Cali, and it’s real nice. It’s a blend of a hefeweizen and a Belgian ale, which is something you don't see every day."
Metropolitan Flywheel (German Pilsener, 5.2%) Chris Quinn, Owner of The Beer Temple; Chicago "There are few things more enjoyable on a hot Summer day than drinking a crisp German-style lager. And while fresh examples of the style used to be hard to find, Chicago's own Metropolitan brewing has been cranking out a deliciously clean, perfectly hopped pils for years. It's beers like this that make you understand how lagers came to dominate the global beer scene."
SKA Mexican Logger (American Pale Lager, 4.2%) Ria Neri, Cicerone at Bangers and Lace; Chicago "Light, refreshing, 4.2% ABV. Best [drunk] out of the can. Don't forget the coozy. You'll also be the first to know that Bangers & Lace will be doing a can-beer dinner with SKA Brewing Company this Summer."
Sunner Kolsch (Kolsch, 5.4%) Ria Neri, Cicerone at Bangers and Lace; Chicago "'Kölsch'-style beer is unique to Koln (Cologne), Germany. The taste is refreshing, gently fruity, and slightly sweet, with a crisp, dry finish. The best part? It's low in alcohol -- only 5.4%. Perfect for a Summer session."
Tecate (American Adjunct Lager, 4.5%) Josh Deth, Managing Partner at Revolution Brewing; Chicago "In the sweltering sun, I enjoy myself a nice, cold can of Tecate, sometimes with a lime but usually without. To me, it doesn't have the awful twang that some other mass-market beers have, so they go down smooth -- especially when they're ice-cold."
AleSmith XPA (American Pale Ale, 5%) Scot Blair, Owner of Hamilton's Tavern, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, and Small Bar; San Diego "A wonderful and reliable hoppy San Diego ale for warm weather. AleSmith XPA has a light-golden color and a splendid citrusy aroma with hints of sweet malt and pine and a malty, sweet backbone. Very refreshing with a light body and a dry finish."
Green Flash Saison Diego (Saison, 4.2%) Chris Steltz, Editor of BeerGeekNation.com; San Diego "Refreshing and simple yet intriguing, perhaps the perfect Summer offering. Green Flash took the classic French style and made it their own. Bright, fruity citrus flavors complement a biscuity malt backbone perfectly. Finished off with a classic spicy saison yeast strain, this is one there to beat the heat but keep you coming back for more."
Rough Draft Southern Triangle (Imperial Pale Ale, 6.5%) Kenny Casciato, Co-Owner of Ciro's Pizzeria & Beerhouse; San Diego "Rough Draft used a combination of three different hops from the Southern hemisphere, which you don't see a lot of in San Diego, to make Southern Triangle. It's a citrusy, juicy blast. The perfect Summer beer."
Port Brewing Anniversary Ale (American Imperial IPA, 10%) Kenny Casciato, Co-Owner of Ciro's Pizzeria & Beerhouse; San Diego "Anniversary Ale is a seasonal beer that [came] out May 1st. It’s stronger and bigger than most Summer beers, but I look forward to it every year. It's hoppy and over the top, and I can’t get enough of it."
Noble Pistol Whip'd Pils (Czech Pilsner, 4.2%) Brian Jenson, Owner of Bottlecraft Beer Shop; San Diego "I'm always looking for a light, hoppy beer with a lot of character, and this one hits the mark. Pistol Whip'd is an awesome twist on a traditional Czech-style Pilsner with the added character of Motueka hops from New Zealand. The beer is light at only 4.2%, and the Motueka hops provide for lemony-lime and tropical fruit nose and flavor as well as a nice dry finish."
Alt-Bier, Hangar 24 (Altbier, 6%) Valerie Guagliardo, Bartender at California Kebab & Beer Garden; San Diego "It's a 6% twist on a German classic. Surprisingly sessionable, it has beautiful caramel and toasted malt flavors balanced by hop bitterness, all while maintaining a clean, crisp finish. I love this beer around sunset, while I'm warming up the BBQ for some grilled chicken!"
Cuvée des Jonquilles (Biere de Garde, 7%) Brian Jenson, Owner of Bottlecraft Beer Shop; San Diego "This beer is one of my favorites for Summer. It offers up aromas of citrus, honey, and a bit of an earthy, hay-like funk followed by a matching palate of biscuit, lemon, and honey balanced by the dry bite of white pepper. Drink out of a champagne flute."
Anchor California Lager (American Pale Lager, 4.8%) Scot Blair, Owner of Hamilton's Tavern, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, and Small Bar; San Diego "A wonderful interpretation of the way a lager would have tasted in the late 1800s. Robust and full-flavored with a zesty hop bite. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, and absolutely perfect for Summer camping, a day at the beach, or your family Summer BBQ."
AleSmith Summer YuleSmith (American Imperial IPA, 8.5%) Chris Steltz, Editor of BeerGeekNation.com; San Diego "A big, hoppy, West coast-style, Imperial IPA that is brewed in perfect harmony. The hops and malts of this beer complement each other like fireworks on the 4th. The bright flavors in this beer remind me that Summer is a time to celebrate big fresh flavors, and, at 8.5% ABV, this one is also sure to remind you of the Summer heat."
The Harlot, Societe Brewing (Belgian Pale Ale, 6.4%) Valerie Guagliardo, Bartender at California Kebab & Beer Garden; San Diego "This one is a no-brainer. It's an easy-drinking, crisp, dry Belgian with bright citrus notes. Fantastic on a sunny day with ceviche and fresh tortilla chips!"
Troegs Sunshine Pils (German Pilsener, 4.5%) Ben Clark, Flying Dog; DC "There's nothing like a crisp and clean pilsner during the Summer. Troegs nails this style, which is often neglected by us hop-crazy brewers. This is the beer I want to have in constant supply for the cupholder of my riding lawnmower."
Stillwater Cellar Door (Saison, 6.6%) Brandon Skall, Founder of DC Brau; DC "Notes of white sage, light earthy spice, and crisp citrus throughout. Great for a hot day!"
DC Brau's El Hefe Speaks! (Hefeweizen, 5.3%) Greg Engert, Beer Boss; DC "For those who love traditional wheat-based brews, DC Brau has got us covered all Summer long. For the first time ever, our inimitable local brewery has pledged to make their delicious take on Bavarian Hefeweizen, El Hefe Speaks!, a true Summer seasonal, with plenty of kegs and cans flowing throughout the stickier months. Brightly refreshing, El Hefe Speaks! boasts a mild sweetness bolstered by fresh citrus, banana, white pepper, and clove."
Mad Fox Brewing Company's Kolsch (Kolsch, 4.4%) Bill Butcher, Owner of Port City Brewery; DC "I'll be drinking Bill Madden's Kolsch at Mad Fox Brewing Company all Summer long. It is the perfect refreshing Summer beer, crisp and delightful."
Port City Brewing Company's Optimal Wit (Witbier, 5%) Bill DeBaun, DC BEER; DC "Now bottle-conditioned, this is a light, refreshing witbier with notes of black pepper, coriander, orange peel, and grains of paradise. Eminently drinkable at just five percent. Do yourself a favor and don't add orange to this one the way you might see people do to other witbiers; you'll thank me later."
Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachiace Ace (Saison, 7.6%) Jason Irizarry, Chocolate City Beer; DC "On a milder, sunny, BBQ-backyard-type day, I'd would sip on some of Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachiace Ace -- a lemony gem, refreshing and bright. "
Legend Pilsner (Czech Pilsner, 6%) Amy Bowman, Owner of Black Squirrel; DC "The pilsner style has long been associated with thirst-quenchers enjoyed best during the hot Summer months. In Legend’s version, the emphasis is on the Hallertau and Sterling hops. And, unlike the macro American imitators of the pilsner style, its hop character is right up front. Legend Brewing opened in 1994 in Richmond and is Virginia’s oldest continually operating craft brewery. Legend pilsner is a gem that flew under the radar until it placed second in the Washington Post’s Beer Madness, beating out thirty-two beers in a head-to-head match-up. It’s a great beer that’s finally getting the recognition it has long deserved."
Oxbow Brewing Company's Freestyle Series of Saisons (Saison, 4.5%) Dave, 3 Stars Brewery; DC "For my Summer consumption, I am generally in the mood for something light, tart, and easy-drinking. This Summer, I am seeking out offerings from Oxbow Brewing Company out of Maine, like their Sasuga or their Freestyle Series of Saisons. I also won't pass up a delicious hop offering, like our Two To The Dome double IPA, [or] I'd have to go with Heady Topper from Alchemist Brewing. I would also search out any of our Summer Session Series of Saisons, where we will be releasing seasonal offerings in the form of amazing low-ABV Saisons."
Evolution Lot #3 IPA (American IPA, 6.8%) Bill Butcher, Owner Port City Brewery; DC "I'll also be drinking plenty of Evolution Lot #3 IPA, because I absolutely love IPA, and I drink it year 'round. This is a great local example of American IPA: hoppy and bitter, with great citrus and piney flavors you look for in an IPA."
Lindemans' Gueuze Cuvée René (Lambic, 5.5%) Matt Simpson, TheBeerExpert.com; Atlanta "One of my favorite beers, Summer or not. Very dry, tart and lemony, this true iteration of a Belgian lambic, 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."
Jailhouse Brewing Co's Reprieve French-Style Ale (Saison, 6%) Eric Thornton, Beer Geek ATL; Atlanta "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."
Jailhouse Brewing Co's Slammer Wheat (American Pale Wheat Ale, 5%) Matt Simpson, TheBeerExpert.com; Atlanta "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."
Monday Night Brewing's Drafty Kilt (Scottish Ale, 7.2%) Jay Huffman, The Brewery USA; Atlanta "You may read this and think WTF? That isn't a very "Summery" choice of you, Jay. But hear me out... 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."
Red Brick Brewing Co's Dog Days Ale (Hefeweizen, 4.1%) Eric Thornton, Beer Geek; Atlanta "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 mouthfeel, and faint wheat sweetness."
Sierra Nevada's Summerfest (Czech Pilsener, 5.1%) Reid Ramsay, Beer St Journal; Atlanta "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."
Stone Brewing Co's Stone Enjoy By (Imperial IPA, 9.4%) Dennis "Ale Sharpton" Byron, CruisinforaBrewsin.com; Atlanta "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!"
Upslope Belgian Style Pale Ale (Belgian Pale Ale, 7.5%) Jonathan Shikes, Westword Beer Man; Denver "When I think of Colorado in Summer, I think of canned beers because you can grab a few and toss them in the cooler wherever you go. Then, once you crush the contents, you crush the cans."
Dry Dock Apricot Blonde (Fruit Beer, 5.3%) Jonathan Shikes, Westword Beer Man; Denver "It has a lighter mouthfeel and full, bright Summery flavors for hot days."
Crabtree Brewing Company's Berliner Weisse (Berliner Wiessbier, 4.3%) Dave Butler, Fermentedly Challenged; Denver "One of my go-to beer styles for the Summer is a Berliner Weisse and there are a couple of local examples that I enjoy. Back in 2011, they won a Gold medal for this beer at the Great American Beer Festival. It's light, refreshing and with a distinctive sour tartness that Berliner Weiss' are known for."
New Belgium Rolle Bolle (Belgian Pale Ale, 5.5%) Patrick Crawford, Brewer/Owner, Denver Beer Co. "I had one of these the other day. What a fun beer, hints of crazy fruits, subtle hops and still a seasonable ale."
Cannonball Creek Solid Gold Belgian Golden (Belgian Strong Ale, 7.2%) Patrick Crawford, Brewer/Owner, Denver Beer Co.; Denver "A great beer for sipping on a Summer evening. Bold flavors with a nice malty backbone; this guy would go great with turkey burgers on the grill."
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Rauchbier, 6.6%) Rob Shellman, Cicerone/Founder of The Better Beer Society; Minneapolis "This smoked beer from Bamberg, Germany is a staple for grilling season at my household. Whether it's the marzen with a pork butt, or the weizen with pepperoncinis, it's nice blend of smokiness with sweet malts and effervescence make this Summer beer a great one to cook with."
Lift Bridge Farm Girl (Saison, 6%) Rob Miller, Head Brewer at Dangerous Man; Minneapolis "Lift Bridge's Farm Girl Saison was made with Summer in mind. This style has a spicy yeast and hop quality backed up with the tiniest bit of funk. This enigmatic beer is both quenching and refreshing as it is complex; wait until you see it shining in the Summer sun!"
North Coast Scrimshaw (German Pilsener, 4.4%) Rob Miller, Head Brewer at Dangerous Man; Minneapolis "An excellent Pilsner to have on a warm Summer evening. Aromatic noble hops are balanced by the presence of Munich malt to give a spicy, yet refreshing flavor. Crisp, clear, and clean, the North Coast Scrimshaw is a must have for those who like to spend their time outdoors."
Dangerous Man Cream Ale (Cream Ale, 5.4%) Rob Miller, Head Brewer at Dangerous Man; Minneapolis "The Dangerous Man Cream Ale is a dream come true for Summer beer lovers. This beer is light in color and has a forward hop crispness that has most finishing their beer before they even realize it. With a medium-body and a slight corn and biscuit malt backbone, the Dangerous Man Cream Ale is sure to please."
612Brew Mary Ann (Ginger Kolsch, 4.1%) Robert Kasak, Head Brewer at 612Brew; Minneapolis "612Brew's Mary Ann is a great Summer beer... Unlike anything found in the Minnesota craft beer scene, 612Brew brews this lager with 70lbs of fresh, hand-grated ginger. This beer bursts with ginger aroma and flavor... Drink this on your deck, on a patio, and, if your lucky, with girls in bikinis."
Schell's Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen, 4.4%) Robert Kasak, Head Brewer at 612Brew; Minneapolis "Schell's Hefeweizen is a wonderful representation of the style. Just a bit of banana character in this sessionable wheat beer does not overpower. 4.4% ABV means I'm going to drink the whole six-pack, and not share. Now, if it was only available in cans."
Summit Summer (Kolsch, 4.9%) Robert Kasak, head brewer at 612Brew; Minneapolis "Summit Summer is a great session ale. Super crisp with a nice floral aroma from the Hallertau. A beer under 5% ABV, to me, is what helps define a Summer beer. Plus, I like the Minnehaha Falls pic on the bottle!"
Surly Hell (Munich Helles Lager, 5.1%) Omar Ansari, founder, Surly Brewing Co; Minneapolis "I know it's my beer, but it's what I like to drink whenever I'm out on the water."
Bell's Oarsman (Berliner Weissbier, 4%) Omar Ansari, founder, Surly Brewing Co; Minneapolis "This is a good Summer beer as it's got a tartness that cuts through the heat."
Northgate Bliss (Harvest Ale, 5.5%) Adam Sjogren, founder, Northgate Brewing Co; Minneapolis "A Summer ale with touches of orange, ginger, and wheat. Especially fashioned by our head brewer to be enjoyed at his Summer wedding."
Surly Bitter Brewer (English Bitter, 4%) Adam Sjogren, founder, Northgate Brewing Co; Minneapolis "Even better that it comes in a can for boating and Summer softball games."
Odell St. Lupulin (American Pale Ale, 6.5%) Matty O'Reilly, co-owner of Republic; Minneapolis "Odell St. Lupulin. Why? Because it rules and Odell pretty much rules, too. Lately, everyone is all about "session beer this" and "session beer that" and "I can have 40 of them", which is kind of a bunch of crap, because sessionable beers have naturally been around for a long time without being a forced thing.... St. Lupulin is downright solid, it comes out in the Summer, and it's a 6.5% ABV American pale ale with great flavor and I f***ing love America."
Steel Toe Sommer Vice (Hefeweizen, 5%) Matty O'Reilly, co-owner of Republic; Minneapolis "People golf year-round, but not in Minnesota. Weiss beers are available year-round, but not in Minnesota. I don't golf at all, but I am susceptible to a sunshine-in-the-sky paired with cloudy-in-the-glass phenomenon. It's a great beer, true to style, and it says Summer has arrived."
Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat (Wheat Ale, 5%) Rob Shellman, cicerone/ founder of The Better Beer Society; Minneapolis "This is the beer that changed my mind on wheat beers. It's an unfiltered American wheat beer using white wheat and dry-hopped with Citra hops. Tropical passion fruit, pineapple aromas, and flavor. The beer finishes bone dry, making you want another sip. Don't blink, it looks like you've already had three."
Fort George's Cavatica (Imperial Stout, 8.8%) Martin Cizmar, Editor of the Willamette Week's Arts & Culture Section and Beer Guide; Portland "I'm weird in that, in the Summer, I really enjoy a roasty stout, served a little colder than it's supposed to be. Hard to beat a can of Fort George's Cavatica for that, especially if you're out in a park."
Pfriem Belgian Strong Dark (Belgian Strong Dark, 11%) Martin Cizmar, Editor of the Willamette Week's Arts & Culture Section and Beer Guide; Portland "The other beer I've been super-excited about lately is the Pfriem Belgian Strong Dark -- it's a sweet, supple, yeasty brew that reminds me of butterscotch pudding. I suppose it's a little heavier than a lot of "Summer" beers. I mean, I'm not really reaching for a shandy until mid-July."
Oakshire Line Dry Rye (Rye Beer, 5.3%) Ben Edmunds, Brewer at Breakside Brewing (which will release Passionfruit Sour & Float the Oregon Lager); Portland "I have to give a shout-out to Oakshire's Line Dry Rye. I think that Matt van Wyk does an amazing job of blending rye and honey flavors in that beer. It's just perfectly balanced."
Upright Brewing's Pure Wit (Witbier, 4.5%) Ben Edmunds, Brewer at Breakside Brewing (which will release Passionfruit Sour & Float the Oregon Lager); Portland "I always look forward to the release of Upright Pure Wit, which I believe is available now in bottles. That stuff will come and go very quickly (just like Summer)."
Burnside Brewing Lime Kolsch (Kolsch, 5.4%) Ezra Johnson-Greenough, Founder of The New School Beer Blog, Portland Fruit Beer Fest & Portland Beer Week; Portland "At first, the combination of the traditional beverage of Cologne, Germany, with the traditional garnish of a Mexican light lager seems like heresy, but as you will learn with a crisp refreshing pint of Lime Kolsch, just like Mariah Carey, mixed heritage has sexy results."
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler (Fruit Beer, 2.5%) Brian Yaeger, Author of Red, White and Brew and the forthcoming Oregon Breweries; Portland "Warm Summer days are made for radlers, in this case a German lager mixed with grapefruit soda. At a mere 2.5% ABV, you can literally drink this all day long while sipping the citrusy taste of Summer."
Ninkasi Radiant Ale (American Pale Ale, 6%) Ed Forman, Comedian, Late-Night Host & Beer Fanatic; Portland "Radiant is another gingerish-colored beer this ginger likes, and it's from my favorite NW brewery. Hoppy but not overpowering, with a sweet, malty flavor and 6% alcohol by volume that's perfect after a hammock love-making session. (When not enjoying a classy NW brew, my late-night Summer beer of choice is leftover, non-descript, light beer in red Solo keg cups left on the front porch of my neighbor's house.)"
Amnesia Brewing's Trail Hazer (American Pale Ale, 5.2%) Ed Forman, Comedian, Late-Night Host & Beer Fanatic; Portland "Naturally as 'PDX's King of Late-Night', aka the Pale Whale, aka the Creamy Dream, I enjoy a nice pale ale during the warm Summer months, like the Amnesia Trail Hazer, a golden ale with a creamy, white head and a body that's bitter and hoppy, with a splash of citrus flavor."