The Canned Beers of Summer
The first portable beers left breweries by way of bottle, which is no surprise knowing that beer was first bottled by a brewery more than 400 years ago. Since then the bottle has been a staple of getting beer from brewer to drinker, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best method possible.
Take for example the can. Canned beer is better in many aspects than beer in a bottle. Not only does a can protect your beer from light better than a bottle ever could, but it seals out oxygen better than a bottle cap can, too. Cans are easier to recycle, cheaper to ship, and get cold faster than a bottle could ever hope to. In short, cans rule.
There was a time that only cheap, flavorless beer was put into a can and the better, craft beers were bottled, but today that just isn’t the case. More and more craft breweries are starting up canning lines and putting their amazing beers into these aluminum receptacles to help get you the best, freshest beer possible.
Each year the list of beers available in cans grows, making beer in a can the newest trend in craft beer, and one that’s easy to get behind. From protecting your beer to amazing recycling stats, beer in a can is where it’s at. We’ve compiled a list of the hottest seasonal beers coming out in a can as well as year-round beers that are making their debut in a can this year to make it easier on you when you make your next beer run.
Whether you’re tailgating, cutting the grass, sitting on the porch, or even kicking back on a beach, these canned beers are not only better in a can, they’re safer for those glass-free situations. Grab yourself a beer koozie and dive into our list of summer canned beers.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Anderson Valley Briney Melon – Back in the early 16th century, the people of Golsar, Germany created a beer that was brewed with salt water and spiced with coriander and hops. Allowed to ferment with lactic bacteria, this tart beverage was a loved by the masses. As with all things, history has a way of repeating itself and Anderson Valley is here to help with their Melon Gose (prounouced go-zuh). This 4.2% ABV beer is light yet tart with a slightly salty taste. Perfect for warmer months, this beer is only around during the summer so make sure to try it before it’s history again.
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice – Unlike winter and fall beers, summer beers fall into quite a few categories and run the gamut of flavors. Take for example Anderson Valley’s Summer Solstice. This beer is slightly sweet with a malty backbone and a clean finish. Summer Solstice is considered a session beer, coming in at 5% ABV, making it perfect for having a few beers while barbequing or cutting the grass. Bravo hops give this beer a slight hop flavor and the light spice addition gives the beer a hint of caramel and spice, making it a “cream soda for adults” without being too sweet.
Bell’s Brewery Oberon – Few things taste more like summer than a cold can of Bell’s Oberon. This 5.8% ABV wheat beer features a spicy hop character with mild fruity aromas. The malt gives this beer a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant lightness that makes it nearly perfect for the warm summer months. Oberon is available in 12-oz cans as well as the 16-oz pint cans, giving you the exact right amount of beer to make the porch-sitting months hopefully last forever.
Heavy Seas Beer
Heavy Seas Smooth Sail – Wheat ales seem to make the best summer beers, but sometimes they can get a little bit overused and, dare I say, boring. The folks at Heavy Seas Beer agree on both counts, which is how their Smooth Sail Summer Ale was born. This 4.5% ABV wheat ale is brewed with lemon and orange peel, giving the finish on this beer a great citrus kick. Since cans are the best beer vessel for the summer, this beer will only be available in cans and on draft. So, grab a can, kick back, and enjoy the tastes of summer without worrying about broken bottles or boring beers.
Lancaster Brewing Company
Lancaster Brewing Kölsch – Originally brewed in Köln, Germany, the Kölsch is a beer that seems to be brewed specifically for the summer. Lancaster Brewing’s Kölsch comes in at 4.8% ABV, making it great for a variety of outdoor activities, and the fact that it’s available in a can makes it even more versatile. Lancaster’s summer seasonal pours a pale straw color and features floral hop notes followed up by a smooth malt character, which is thanks to their extended cold aging.
North Country Brewing Company
North Country Brewing Bucco Blonde – Blonde ales are typically light and refreshing, making them a perfect match for warm weather, and North Country Brewing’s Bucco Blonde just that. This 4.9% blonde ale has a great malty body with just a hint of bitterness to balance things out. Best of all, this beer is brewed specifically for our very own Pittsburgh Pirates, and more specifically for Bucco’s pitching coach Ray Searage, also known as Uncle Ray. To sweeten the deal even more, proceeds from Bucco Blonde go to benefit the Make a Wish foundation.
Victory Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Summer Love – Returning this summer again in a can, Victory’s seasonal Summer Love comes to us in the go-anywhere 12-oz can. While there are many reasons to love summer, Summer Love is possibly the best. This golden ale comes in at 5.2% ABV and features tastes of fresh, clean German malts with earthy, spicy noble European hops, and finishes up with a slight lemon aftertaste thanks to some whole flower American hops used in the brewing process.
Victory Brewing Golden Monkey – Available for the first time in cans, the now year-round Belgian-style tripel comes in at a hefty 9.5% ABV and while yes, this isn’t your typical summer beer, it’s availability in cans makes it a sure-fire win for any time of the year. Golden Monkey has a surprisingly light taste and mouthfeel, and features herbal, fruity notes along with the spicy flavor and aroma that’s common to many tripels. While this may not be the best beer for mowing the lawn, it’s exactly what you need for kicking back on the porch or having a great tailgate.
Victory Brewing Vital IPA – One of the newer beers from Victory is also available in cans this year. Vital IPA is a 6.5% ABV beer that features fresh, crisp, fruity notes that are thanks to whole flower American hops and rugged German malts. IPAs are typically very refreshing, making them great beers for the warmer months, and Vital IPA delivers everything you want with pine, tropical fruit, and a light body to round things out.
Oskar Blues Brewery
Oskar Blues Beerito – While IPAs are great, there’s something about a crisp, light-bodied lager on a hot day that’s as close to perfection as you’re apt to achieve. Oskar Blues Brewery knows this, and to help us all try to reach Beervana, they’re releasing Beerito this summer. Beerito is a 4% ABV Mexican lager that features German and Colorado malts along with noble hops. This combination gives Beerito a surprisingly deep character for a beer that only comes in at 4%. This might just be your new favorite lawnmower beer.
Otter Creek Brewing Company
Otter Creek Brewing Fresh Slice White IPA – The call of the lawn chair and fresh cut grass is a strong one, and Fresh Slice from Otter Creek Brewing is here to answer it. This 5.5% white IPA includes a little clementine peel and coriander along with some very dank hops. Otter Creek uses Belgian yeast in this beer to give it a crisp, fresh taste that’s refreshing, especially on those hot summer days. Best of all, this is the first can ever offered by Otter Creek, so check it out while you can, as this one is only seasonal for the summer.
Otter Creek Brewing Steampipe – Continuing with Otter Creek’s newfound love for canning beer, one of their newest beers is making its debut this summer in cans. Steampipe is a 6% ABV California-style common lager with an extra kick of juicy hops. Modeled after the California Common, or “Steam Beer” style of lager, Steampipe uses a lager yeast yet is fermented at a higher temperature that is normal. The California Common style of beer is one of the only beer styles to have originated in the United States, making it a great beer for celebrating not only all summer long, but all year long, as Steampipe is a year-round beer.
Tröegs Independent Brewing
Tröegs Sunshine Pils – Coming back again this year in cans is Tröegs Brewing’s Sunshine Pils, this year sporting its all-new artwork and design. This straw-golden Pilsner comes in at 4.5% ABV and is possibly one of the most refreshing beers you’ll ever try. Brewed with Pilsner malt and both Hersbrucker and Saaz hops, this Euro-style Pilsner is crisp and light while having a solid hop character. Perfect for just about any meal or a good day of yard work, Sunshine Pils is like sunshine in a can. Catch Sunshine Pils while you can, as it’s only available in the summer months.
Tröegs Nimble Giant – New to the Tröegs portfolio of beers this year is a hefty double IPA known as Nimble Giant. This 9% ABV imperial IPA is a late-summer seasonal that’s only available in 16 oz. “pounder” cans and on draft. Brewed with Azacca, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, Nimble Giant features notes of grapefruit rind, pineapple, and honeysuckle while keeping an earthy character that makes this IPA one that any hop head needs to try as soon as possible.