Beyond Budweiser: 7 Beers of Summer

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Sixpoint Brewery)

There’s something supremely satisfying about an ice-cold brew on a hot summer day. It’s crisp, refreshing, and lower in alcohol than most wines and cocktails, which means you can indulge in a midday pint without succumbing to a midday nap immediately after (unless you want to).

While you can, of course, drink whatever you like, there are certain brews that are best-suited for the season. From pilsners and pale ales to sour beers and shandies, here are seven beers of summer to look out for when you’re stocking your cooler.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale, $12 for 12 at Binny’s (Image credit: Samuel Adams)

1. Samuel Adams Summer Ale, $12 for 12 at Binny’s: This citrusy, slightly peppery wheat ale has been a harbinger of summer since its release in 1996.

2. Mama’s Little Yella Pils, $12 for 6 at Drizly: This pilsner from Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery is the go-to beach beer for Trisha Antonsen, “Chief Cocktail Officer” at beverage delivery service Drizly. “It’s great at freezing-cold temperature, but it also warms up nicely,” she says.

3. Narragansett Del’s Shandy, $10 for 6 at Shop Rite Wine: This light and lemony combination of Del’s Rhode Island Lemonade and Narragansett Lager is best super-cold and straight from the can. (Note that the 16-ounce cans are larger than average and won’t fit in your koozie.)

4. Sixpoint Jammer, $12 for 6 and Luekens Liquors: This Brooklyn brew is a slightly sour, slightly salty introduction to gose-style beers. Brewed with sea salt and coriander, it’s also the ideal seaside sipper.

5. Harpoon Camp Wannamango, $10 for 6 at Fresh Direct: This brand-new seasonal release is like a tropical vacation in your mouth. Light-bodied with subtle hop, it finishes with notes of mango and passion fruit.

6. Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin, $14 for 6 at Total Wine: If you like IPAs, try the seasonal flavors from San Diego’s Ballast Point. We’re fans of the pineapple, but there’s also watermelon and grapefruit. Be warned, though — these summer IPAs pack a punch.

7. Cisco Summer of Lager, $10.49 at Castle Wine and Spirits: If you happen to be on Nantucket this summer, head to Cisco Brewers’ outdoor patio; if not, pick up a case of this summer lager.

Do you have a favorite summertime brew?