Hot days of summer are here. One of the best ways to beat the heat is with a refreshing beer. Summer seasonal beers run through a wide range of styles and flavors. However, some beers are great to enjoy all year round.
Here is a short list of great beers for summer, some you may have tried, but hopefully others are new to you. Keep this list on hand and check off as you drink this summer.
1. Dogfish Head Brewery’s Festina Pêche: The Berliner Weiss base gives a wonderful tart kick and the addition of peaches enhances and balances the tartness. The light 4.5 percent ABV make this a perfect beer to enjoy while doing yardwork and imparts an incredibly refreshing quality.
2. Victory Brewing Company’s Summer Love: This light and refreshing American Blonde Ale is perfect for hot days. Its light body, mild hopping, and refreshing malt character make it a great one to grab after an afternoon of mowing the yard.
3. Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Summer Solstice: One word: Delicious. OK, maybe more words are in order: this cream ale is basically a cream soda for adults. It has a wonderfully thick body and leaves you wanting more. It can be a bit heftier, but it’s still refreshing.
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Pale Ale: The standard for all pale ales, this beer has been brewed since 1980. It’s still a go-to for many craft beer lovers after all these years. The hop characteristic is exactly what you want, present enough to taste and enjoy, but not overpowering that the bitterness does not invigorate the palate. If you have not had this, get some.
5. Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin: Some Belgian inspired beers, when put in the hands of American brewers become a bit heavy when compared to their Belgian counterparts. Hennepin is a classic rendition of a true Belgian Saison. It is crisp, refreshing, and extremely thirst quenching in ways other saisons are not. A phenomenal beer to try if you are looking for a gateway into craft beer.
6. Brooklyn Brewery’s Summer Ale: This light and refreshing ale is great for summer. Owning notes of lemon, iced tea, and floral hops, it is very hard to think of a better beer partner this summer.
7. 21st Amendment Brewery’s Brew Free or Die: IPA’s are all the rage nowadays, but this is still a standout. The hop character dominates, but it is a beer that maintains its balance and is made even better for the summer by being in a can. Yes, a can.
8. Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Ale: Another prime example of what pale ales could and should be for beer lovers. A great balance of hops and malt character for a refreshing quality that doesn’t fatigue the palate.
9. Founder’s Brewing Company’s All Day IPA: Another IPA? Well yes, but this is a session IPA and a wonderful IPA regardless of ABV. The ABV is 4.7 percent, so this is an IPA you can have after a hot day. Stock up.
10. Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan’s Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier: The pinnacle of hefeweizens and with good reason, it is breathtakingly delicious. What makes this beer even better is its world class status and is fairly easy to obtain.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.