Summer Suds 2017
Summer. Just the thought of the word brings back thoughts of warm weather, vacations, and kicking back on the porch with a few beers. Good beer is a crucial part to summer, so picking the right one is as important as choosing the best beach to visit on vacation.
From shandys to pale ales to wheat beers and beyond…summer beers are all about refreshing you and beating the heat. There’s a special bond that exists between warm weather and cold beer. While beer is pretty great all year; there’s just something about a hot day that makes a beer taste better than normal.
Since choosing the right beer for your summer fun is so important, we did the legwork for you and compiled a list of our favorite summer beers to match just about any beer preference. Take a look, get some sunscreen on, and get out there and enjoy some cold beer, warm weather, and make the most of your summer.
Anderson Valley Brewing 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
What’s better than one of the best summer beers ever in a 12oz can? One of the best summer beers in a 16oz can of course! Summertime favorite Oberon from Bell’s Brewery is out once again this summer with a twist, thanks to the “pounder” can and a true pint pour. Light and refreshing, both sizes are available this year to help you with all your porch sitting and grass cutting, koozie not included. Of course if glass is more your style, Oberon is always in the bottle, too.
Heavy Seas Beer Smooth Sail
The folks at Heavy Seas Beer know a thing or two about great beer in cans. Adding to their lineup of canned beverages comes Smooth Sail. Not your average summer ale, this 4.5% ABV wheat ale includes lemon and orange peel to give it a nice citrus kick. While some Heavy Seas beers are available in bottles, this seasonal treat is only in cans, making it an easy choice for the beach or tailgating.
Otter Creek Brewery Fresh Slice
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. This 5.5% white IPA includes a little clementine and coriander along with some very dank and delicious hops. The Belgian yeast used in this beer makes it nice and fresh tasting while being extra refreshing for nice hot 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.
North Country Brewing Co. Bucco Blonde
Blonde ales are typically light and refreshing, making them a perfect match for warm weather, and North Country Brewing’s Bucco Blonde is no exception. This 4.9% blonde ale has a great malt body with a hint of bitterness to balance things out. This beer was brewed specifically for Pittsburgh’s very own Pirates. More specifically, for the Bucco’s pitching coach Ray Searage, also known as Uncle Ray, and proceeds go to benefit the Make a Wish foundation.
Victory Brewing Summer Love
Coming out this summer again in a can is Victory’s seasonal Summer Love. 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 and spicy noble European hops, finishing up with a lemony aftertaste thanks to some whole flower American hops. Even though that can will keep your beer fresh longer, Victory Summer Love is available in bottles, too.
Anderson Valley G&T Gose
When it comes to classic cocktails, it’s hard to beat a gin and tonic. Simple, straightforward, and full of bright botanical flavors, it’s a real go-to drink. The brewers at Anderson Valley Brewing Company felt the same way, which is why they decided to translate this classic drink into beer form. Using a tart sour Gose beer as the base for the concoction, you’ll also find lemon peel, juniper, lemongrass, and grains of paradise along for the trip to give this bright, tart beer a truly refreshing edge that’s perfect for warmer months. Like many Gose-style beers, G&T Gose comes in at 4.2% ABV.
Dogfish Head Brewing Co. Romantic Chemistry
It’s a pretty big understatement to say that the bread and butter of Dogfish Head Brewing Company’s beer lineup is the IPA, but it’s the truth. This wildly popular style is once again being refreshed and made even better, this time by brewing the beer with mango, apricot, and ginger. Together these flavors and aromas join forces to make a beer that’s one serious IPA! Coming in at 8% ABV, this beer will be available in 12-oz bottles and on draft now. If you were a fan of Aprihop, then this beer is right up your alley.
Jacks Cider Conewago Orchard Cider
Sometimes a cider is exactly what you need on a nice hot summer day, and when that need hits, you definitely want to keep it craft and thanks to Jack’s, you can. Jack’s Conewago Orchard Hard Cider is made from apples picked from Jack’s Conewago Orchard, hand-pressed on site, and fermented and aged to perfection. This 5.5% ABV hard cider has just a touch of sweetness to balance out the natural acidity of the apples and some spiciness. In short, this is one cider that is hard to pass up.
Lancaster Blue Trail Shandy
Shandys are a style of beer made specifically for enjoying when the weather gets warm. A mix of fruit juice and lager beer, a shandy is light, refreshing, and definitely easy to drink. Lancaster Brewing Company couldn’t agree more, and gave us just that with their Blue Trail Lemon Blueberry Shandy. This 5% ABV beer uses natural lemon and blueberry flavors, pure cane sugar, and expertly brewed beer to give us a light, refreshing warm weather beer. Best of all, this canned beer helps support Barkin’ for Parkinson’s trail hike “16.”
Saugatuck New Daze on Saison
Farmhouse ales are typically light yet flavorful with a funky yeast flavor that makes them very well-rounded beers. Saugatuck Brewing Co. brews their Daze On Saison with a blend of four different hops and six different malts to give it the farmhouse flavor you’d expect with an interesting twist of bitterness that will make you want to have another. Daze On Saison comes in at 5.5% ABV and is available starting in early summer.
Stone Brewing Ghost Hammer IPA
Not one to rest on their laurels, Stone Brewing loves to take a common style of beer and give it just enough of a tweak to make it their own. Their latest foray into the world of beer experimentation is their new Ghost Hammer IPA. This 6.7% ABV beer will be released in cans as well as draft, and features coriander, grains of paradise, and is blended with an assortment of citrus fruits. The result is a bright, flavorful IPA that’s heavy on the hops and bitterness while keeping the added fruits and spices forefront.
Troegs Crimson Pistil
What do you think of when you think of summer? Pools, grass cutting, and the beach are all good candidates, but one thing that’s probably present in every image is bright, colorful flowers. Summer is when the beautiful hibiscus flower blows, and Troegs Brewing decided to take full advantage of it this year for their new Crimson Pistil Hibiscus IPA. This 6.2% ABV beer features a mix of berry-like tanginess, tropical hop notes, and a hearty dose of bitterness to give you your new favorite summertime beer.
Victory Kirsch Gose
Bright, sharp, and sweet are all commendations that are applied to the nicer of our population, but they’re also the perfect description of Victory Brewing’s Kirsch Gose. This 4.7% ABV beer pours light ruby red with a white foamy head, and thanks to the addition of fresh sour cherries, the tart sourness of the Gose style of beer are complimented and enhanced. Refreshing and light, Kirsch Gose is so good you’ll be sad it’s only available in spring and early summer.
When it comes to warm weather beers, the king of the hill is without a doubt the Witbier. This light, refreshing style of beer is exemplified by Weyerbacher Brewing’s Wit. This 4.6% ABV beer has next to no bitterness at all and features coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, and star anise to give it a light spiciness and crisp, clean finish.