We are officially in the swing of this summertime thing, baby. Depending on where you live, you’ve already experienced a roller coaster of emotion as you take on everything from those glorious, breezy beach nights to those suffocating subway commutes when you wonder approximately how many more stops you can withstand before you simply perish. This is summer in all its finery: seeing friends, the grass under your feet when you visit home and hit that sweet backyard, the quiet of your blanket in the park on a weekday afternoon, the big plop of an air conditioner leaking on you as you walk down the street, the incredulity you feel when somehow it is STILL 90 degrees and a million percent humidity at 10PM???!!! even though you’ve been doing this seasons thing for at least a couple of decades now, the perfection of an ice cream cone on the boardwalk or city sidewalk, the stream of choice curse words you mutter as that thing drips down your arm at an alarming pace--ahhhh, summer.
This summer feels especially precious after the last one, which, honestly...let’s not even discuss right now? We’ve all talked about it plenty, and like, we were there. What matters is that this summer, thanks to the modern miracle of science, we can safely and considerately venture out to grab summer by the horns and make the most of it. One thing many of us have felt over this past year is that we’re never going to take anything for granted again. Seriously! After quarantining for months on end and wondering if we’d ever be able to do the things we know and love again, we’re going to savor every second of everything, up to and excluding waiting on line at the DMV.
With that in mind, we’re thinking about summer activities and what drink would just enhance them, bringing them to peak live-in-the-moment greatness, cheers-ing them and thanking them for existing in our lives again. These are the beers, hard seltzers, hard teas, and more that make everything more refreshing, more enjoyable, more special, and in some cases, just plain tolerable.
Days at the Beach: AMASS Surfer Rosso Hard Seltzer
AMASS’s Surfer Rosso Hard Seltzer is literally inspired by the beach, as well as the Pixies. A sip will transport you to a surfer’s utopia, one that demands you bust out some good tunes. With flavors of hibiscus, ginger, and turmeric, this is peak refreshment while you catch some rays and wade into the ocean.
Patio Taco Parties: Crook & Marker Lime Margarita Hard Seltzer
Especially if you or a friend has some mean kitchen skills--#blessed--there is truly nothing like an al fresco taco party. And vaccinations mean it’s cool to create a whole spread of taco contents that everyone can have fun with. Tacos: truly the great uniter. To go with the revelry and deliciousness, how could you possibly choose anything but the bright lime flavor of an iconic margarita, made lighter and even more refreshing? Crook & Marker’s Lime Margarita Hrd Seltzer is the pro move.
Helping Your Friend Move...in August: Dyke Beer Tall Girl Gose
First, let us ask you, how close are you really to this person? Just kidding...mostly.
If it’s your ride-or-die, you almost don’t mind lugging 19 Rubbermaid bins and a questionable Craigslist-found dresser up four flights of stairs on a 92-degree day. They’d do it for you--even if you do question whether they truly need that entire collection of (very heavy) vintage typewriters. At the end of the day, it will feel so good to collapse into a heap on that bare floor and gather around a pizza. Cap it off with Dyke Beer’s Tall Girl Gose, made in partnership with Greenpoint Beer & Ale. It’s a pink beer that’ll cheer you right up. It’s brewed for a good cause, and it’s full of blackberry, lingonberry, raspberry, and Himalayan pink salt flavor.
Hiking with Friends: The Virginia Beer Company Saving Daylight Citrus Wheat Ale
Few things in life are better than the feeling of cracking open a cool, delicious, crushable beer in some picturesque haven you’ve just hiked to. You’ve worked up a sweat and earned this beer, and now, whether it’s the top of a mountain or a clearing in the woods, you’ve got the beauty of nature as the world’s best taproom. Enjoy that entire vibe with The Virginia Beer Company’s Saving Daylight Citrus Wheat Ale.
Family Barbecues: Mayflower Brewing Company Fear & Patience DIPA
For the lucky among us, family barbecues are pure joy. They’re all about reuniting, laughing, loving. You can truly be yourself, you can torment your cousins with a Super Soaker even though you’re old enough to have a 401K, you can let your grandma win at cornhole, you can feast on your dad’s perfectly barbecued burgers until you need to take a nap under a tree. Bliss.
But for many of us, family barbecues also mean we have a little fear going into it, and we’re going to need a little patience while we’re there. Maybe you’ve got that aunt who makes that deflated sound and cocks her head to one side with a frown when she finds out that you’re still single. Maybe your uncle watches Fox News, and your cousin’s girlfriend is an aspiring influencer. We want you to know we’re here for you.
Whether it’s all celebrating or a little celebrating, a little dodging various relatives, treat yourself to Mayflower’s Fear & Patience DIPA. It’s got big, bold hop flavor that will transport you to your happy place.
First Office Happy Hour: Austin Eastciders Original Dry Cider
Lol, remember talking to humans outside of your family and close friend circle? IRL? What is small talk, even? We’re about to have to start blowing the dust off the ol’ conversation skill set, buds. Working in the office and gathering with co-workers, at least in varying capacities, is back. The right drink will make this something to look forward to rather than something to dread. It will feel fun and stimulating to have all those chats, and it certainly can’t hurt your work life to make some work pals. Austin Eastciders’s Original Dry Cider is a crisp, perpetually crave-worthy drink that will fuel the good time without putting you in danger of doing karaoke with Linda from HR.
Camping Trips: Founder’s All Day Vacay Session Wheat Ale
Not just any beer is a camping beer. You need a beer that’s so good, you can’t wait to crack into it, that any friends who come along will love, that feels worthy of long-awaited hangs around the fire. You also need something crushable, because you’re going to be, well, crushing them all weekend. Enter: Founder’s All Day Vacay Session Wheat Ale. It’s crisp, fresh, subtly citrusy, and light.
Post-Volunteering for Neighborhood Clean-Ups: Alewife Brewing Company Zea Mays Mexican-Style Lager
With its warm weather and, hopefully, a little more free time--hello, Summer Fridays--this season is a great time to get out there and give back to the community, especially since it was harder to do so all last year. One fun and easy idea is participating in a neighborhood clean-up. They’re easy to Google and get involved with--New Yorkers can look here, for example. When you’re done, you need a beer that’s extra refreshing after all that work in the sun, and that also feels like a worthwhile reward because, hey, give yourself a pat on the back! To tick both boxes, meet Alewife’s Zea Mays Mexican-Style Lager.
Poolside Lounging: Lunar Lychee Hard Seltzer
Not all of us are fortunate to have pool access, but if you are, treasure that. Let us live vicariously through you as sort of nap, sort of read the same page of that magazine over and over again without retaining anything, all while enjoying the sun, the occasional dip, and of course, an adult beverage that’s super refreshing and bursting with flavor. Lunar’s Lychee Hard Seltzer is just the right balance of sweet and tart, plus it’s crisp with all of its bubbles, and it’s perfectly light and easy-drinking.
Waiting for Your Super to Fix that “Antique” Window AC Unit: Jiant “The Original” Passion Fruit & Elderflower Hard Kombucha
Outside, it’s 95 degrees. In your East Village five-floor walk-up, it’s 117. A symphony of fans from nearby hardware stores and your parents’ garage do their best, but you need that sweet, sweet window AC unit. Is it even summer if “silence” in your apartment isn’t actually the constant dull roar of that ugly gray box trying its best? Somehow, even though you know this whole summer situation comes every year, it’s not until the first blistering day that you remember your AC is broken. While you wait for the super, who is fixing everyone else’s because they also just remembered, drink Jiant’s “The Original” Passion Fruit & Elderflower Hard Kombucha. It’s light, floral, fruity, sweet, and tart--in other words, the crushable refreshment you need.
First Hinge Date: Japas Cervejaria’s Oishii Witbier
Summer dates are the best dates--park strolls, dinners outside, low-key taproom and patio hangs, and the fact that it’s lighter out longer. Again, this year’s summer dates are even more exciting due to, ya know, recent months. Maybe you’ve been talking to someone on Hinge for weeks upon weeks upon weeks, like much longer than you would have before meeting in a pre-pandemic world. When the time finally comes to go on an actual date, you need a special drink you both will love, that will feel fresh but won’t be too heavy. Japas Cervejaria’s Oishii Witbier is a crushable wheat beer with a kick of ginger. It’s so unique that you don’t need to worry about awkward silences--when in doubt, discuss the beer!
Music Festivals: Crowns & Hops Brewing Co. HBCU Hazy IPA
One of the most exciting things to return this year is music festivals and outdoor shows. We are more than ready to shake off our recent quarantine past with some of our favorite bands and artists, safely and happily outside, with friends and friends-to-be. Live shows in sunshine demand beverages both celebratory and easy-drinking. Crowns & Hops’s HBCU Hazy IPA is like a light tropical smoothie with its beautiful, complex hop profile. Plus it’s got serious cool cred coming from California’s Crowns & Hops, and bonus, it has a special message, as it’s brewed in honor of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's), which both of the brewery’s founders attended.
Fire Escape Hangs: Great South Bay Brewery Tipsy Tea
Fire escapes are city dwellers’ big, grand porches. Out there, we can sit and relax, people-watch, take in a sunset, and just breathe. The modern-day equivalent of whiling away an afternoon on a big porch with an iced tea is chilling on your fire escape with a tasty hard tea, so naturally, you’ve got to stock up on Great South Bay’s Tipsy Tea.
Reading in the Park: Coastal Spritz Watermelon Rosé Spritz
Remember the rush of excitement when your professor said you could have class outside on a gorgeous day? Guess what: you can still enjoy that feeling even now that you’re a grown-up. When you’ve got a free afternoon, just grab a blanket, a book, your favorite snack, and a crisp, thirst-quenching drink that feels a little festive and indulgent but is actually irresistibly light. The drink we’re referring to? The Watermelon Rosé Spritz from Coastal. This and a shady tree equal instant vacay.
Watching the Olympics: Walker Brothers High Gravity Watermelon Lime Kombucha
Olympics fans are rejoicing because we finally get our games this year, and this means peak must-see TV. You can stay inside in the air-conditioning guilt-free, because you’ve got athletes to cheer on and be inspired by! For an Olympics-viewing beverage accompaniment, you obviously want something that tastes great, but also something crushable (the Olympics are long, y’all), and something that’s made with good, natural ingredients and isn’t too heavy. The High Gravity Watermelon Lime Kombucha from Walker Brothers is worthy of the gold here.
Standing in Front of the Open Refrigerator Post-Run: SolSet Lime Zest Hard Seltzer
Speaking of athletic star turns: we salute your dedication to your workout even when the temperatures soar. A sweat session definitely makes those tacos and brews feel even better. When you get a run in on a summer day, we think that earns you a little liquid reward. And it absolutely has to be thirst-quenching. Go one step further with the revolutionary SolSet Lime Zest Hard Seltzer, a delicious can of fizzy hydration that actually packs in rejuvenating electrolytes.
Block Parties: Sixpoint Brewery Party Poppers Hard SeltzerHow you could choose anything but the Party Poppers Hard Seltzer from Sixpoint Brewery for a good, old fashioned block party? The instruction is right in the name: let’s party, people! In bright, fun, vibrant, sweet, tart fruit flavors, these light and sessionable little jammers are total crowd-pleasers, so you’re sure to be the fan favorite if you show up with a pack or two.