Debates abound about what adult beverages are best to indulge in during sweltering summer months. Of course, every opinion is just that, an opinion. Some people cringe at the thought of a stout weighing them down when the temperature’s anything about 70, while others think even the beach is a swell spot to enjoy a cake-flavored brew. Really, it all comes down to what you like, what you find refreshing, what gives you a moment of “heck, yes” on even an uncomfortably warm day, what helps you celebrate, what helps you kick back.
Lately, with the rise of hard seltzers and hard teas and the like, these categories have been pushed as the best hot-season tipples. Personally, we do love all of this variety, and the options that are ever expanding into ways to imbibe in light, crushable, flavorful ways. But, we recognize that not everyone is on the hard seltzer train, and those people need great summer drinks to look forward to, too! Despite what social media can sometimes have you thinking, there are still plenty of non-seltzer ways to cool down and quench your thirst. As much as we love hard seltzer, beer’s been a thing and a thing people like to drink during the summer, at that, for a long, long, long time. So, let’s round up some absolutely killer options for reliably superb summer drinking, shall we?
Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers Dry-Hopped Post Shift Pils
Dry-hopped and unfiltered, Jack’s Abby’s Dry-Hopped Post Shift Pils is the summer day cool-down for pilsner aficionados. It’s crisp, bright, perfection, with its super light body, grainy flavor, and flavor-and-aroma bouquet of floral, spicy, herby hops. It’s such a classic, you can look forward to it time and time again, especially when you need something truly refreshing.
Ross Brewing Co. Tio Valero Mexican-Style Lager
Mexican lagers are summertime icons. They’ve got just a kick of sweetness to perfectly harmonize with their clean, light, freshness. Nothing is easier or more thirst-quenching in the beer world, and nothing pairs more effortlessly with everything from tacos to burgers. Ross Brewing has upped the ante with Tio Valero, made with flaked corn, agave nectar, lime peel, and sea salt. This crusher boasts a hint of summer getaway, margarita vibes, and we are here for it.
Sunday Beer Company Light & Tight Anytime Lager
Sunday Beer purposefully set out to create a beer that doesn’t compromise one iota on crisp, classic lager taste, but is still remarkably light and easy-drinking, the kind of beer you can enjoy on hikes, after workouts, all day long at barbecues, and so on. That mission was definitely accomplished in the form of the Light & Tight Anytime Lager. This light lager is just 3.8%, ideal for even the hottest days.
Champion Brewing Company Shower Beer Pilsner
In order to be a true, perfect shower beer, a brew has to be full of flavor in order to make that shower a rewarding, hard-day-be-gone ritual, but light enough that it’s crushable even in hot water (literally) and won’t derail your plans for the rest of the afternoon or evening. Enter Champion’s Shower Beer Pilsner. All the things that make this versatile pilsner great for the sower make it great for a hot day, too. It’s so fresh and so clean, with a touch of floral, herbal hops.
Gay Beer Golden Lager
Beer sometimes gets this reputation for being too heavy to be refreshing, and the beers we’re rounding up here are proof of how wrong that stereotype is, Gay Beer being a must-have example. This Golden Lager packs in all that sweet grain, crisp carbonation, and subtle hoppiness, and it does this so light and so clean that it’s forever thirst-quenching. This is the kind of brew you stock up on, especially in warmer months.
18th Ward Brewing Tricycle Path Italian Pils
Italian pilsners are having a serious moment and all we can say is, “What took ya’ so long?!” This substyle is chef’s-kiss delicious, and a dream on a hot day. Basically, these are crisp, clean, classic lagers like the German styles we know and love, but with more of an emphasis on hops. So, you get even more citrus, herbal, floral, and earthy flavors and aromas in a light, crushable format. The Tricycle Path from 18th Ward is a prime example.
Coronado Brewing Company Salty Crew Blonde Ale
Allow Coronado to introduce you to a “boat beer,” which is basically any crisp, light, versatile beer that’s canned for easy on-the-water enjoyment. Cracking into the Salty Crew Blonde Ale will transport you to sunny, blissful summer vibes whether you’re actually on a boat or not. Its forever-weekend attitude plus its clean, effortless drinkability makes this brew a favorite summer staple.
Dyke Beer Tall Girl Gose
We love the Tall Girl Gose, brewed in partnership with Greenpoint Beer & Ale, because it’s part of Dyke Beer’s mission to celebrate and protect queer spaces and it honors “Transwomen, Femmes, Drag Queens, & all the tall queer girls in our community,” says Dyke Beer. We also love it because it’s like a super crushable, crazy refreshing canned version of a beachy cocktail. This liquid vacation both cools you down and brightens your day. It plays on the classic salty, bright, tart gose style with blackberries, lingonberries, raspberries, and Himalayan pink sea salt.
Interboro Fly Like: Lime & Sea Salt Citrus Gose
For a different but equally fun, fresh, delicious take on a gose, try Interboro’s Fly Like: Lime & Sea Salt Citrus Gose. The lime and sea salt create a margarita mood, and we all know how margs equal instant paradise on a summer evening. This dry, crisp beer is actually an even lighter way to enjoy that cocktail flavor, great for pairing with chips and guac and never feeling even a teensy bit weighed down or anything but fully refreshed.
The Virginia Beer Company One Night in Georgia Peach Berliner Weisse
Few fruits shout “summer vibes” from the rooftops better, louder, and more deliciously than peaches, so any drink that makes them the star is going to be oh so satisfying. One Night in Georgia from The Virginia Beer Company is a Berliner Weisse, meaning it’s a super light, bright, crisp, and tart take on peaches’ sweetness. That means you get all of that flavor in a way that’s utterly cooling and rejuvenating. Yes, please.
Five Boroughs Brewing Co. Tiny Juicy IPA
IPA lovers know the struggle all too well: you’re itching for a good burst of hoppiness, but IPAs can sometimes feel too big and heavy for summer’s heatwave days. Five Boroughs has come to the rescue with the Tiny Juicy IPA. As its name implies, this brew is small and sessionable so it never slows you down, and it’s juicy so it’s irresistibly full of flavor, and even in all of its easy-drinking goodness, it never compromises on hop flavor and aroma, so IPA fans will feel fully satisfied.
TALEA BEER CO. Blush Rosé IPARosé is basically the official drink of summer, and it’s not hard to figure out why. Aside from being pretty in pink and just lovely in an Instagram post, rosé captures fruity and floral flavors in a light, effortlessly drinking manner. It stands to reason that a rosé beer would weave similar magic into a brew. The geniuses at TALEA have created the Blush Rosé IPA, marrying rosé’s subtle flavor profile and dryness with a kick of hops. It’s truly the best of both worlds--rosé IPA all day.