The 13 Best Summer Beers

There’s nothing better in this world than sitting in the sweltering heat and having your thirst quenched by a cold, refreshing, summer beer. Whether that is a fruity and tropical IPA to match the heat, or a light carbonated lager to sup all day long, beer in the sun is the best.

Moreover, you may have already been invited to a barbeque, or thinking about hosting your own, in this case beer can be a great gift to bring to a barbeque or cookout.

To make your summer easy going, we have found some of our favorite summer beers to drink with friends, family, or when you just want some alone time to cradle a can, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out!

OUR TOP PICK

Lagunitas have smashed the summer IPA with their Hazy Wonder. This IPA is made with citra, comet, and cashmere hops which makes for a seriously citrusy affair that will quench your dreams of cloudy IPA sourness.

If you love an IPA in summer this could be the one for you as it is seriously refreshing when you’re in the heat, and the summers just spell out summer for you. At 6.0% this is a little stronger than usual, but when served nice and cold the alcohol won’t hit so hard.

Plus, you’re on your holiday so don’t worry about counting cans! This dazzling array of hops demonstrating brewing ingenuity results in a refreshingly bitter and sour IPA that is moorish and will have you coming back to the beer cooler.

EDITORS CHOICE

This sour ale is inspired by the mimosa cocktail. The mimosa cocktail is another summer hit and the clever clogs at New Belgium Brewing have taken all the great citrusy sour elements of a mimosa and made it into a beer! If you like an ale with citrusy, orangey flavors, but mimosas don’t do it for you, then this sour ale could be your summer find.

The sour but sweet orange flavors really taste like the sunshine that is burning your back. Even though these come in at a relatively hard 6%, you will barely notice the alcohol over the sweet citrus flavors.

This one is great for sitting out in your yard and dozing off behind a pair of sunglasses. Moreover, if you are a gal who wants to impress your man by drinking ale, this could be a great choice. Blend in with the boys with this ale, while still enjoying the familiar taste of a mimosa on the beach. 

BEST VALUE

This is a one of the classic summer lagers, not only in America, but across the world. This one will take you down to the Amalfi Coast with the Italians. This lager is great and refreshingly crisp which makes it perfect for the sun.

Nothing beats an ice cold lager in the sun, right? With a light body and simple aroma, there’s no wonder why this is the number one beer in Italy. This lager should please even the lager-skeptic as it is so shockingly light and tasty and will please anyone grazing in the sun.

What’s good is that at 5.1% you won’t need to guzzle these all day which is perhaps preferable with lager to avoid the gas.  Get ready to make this your favorite beer after you’ve had a few in the sun. 

RUNNER UP

We’re sure you’ve probably seen this at your local bar and liquor store, but you can’t talk about summer beer without mentioning the world famous Blue Moon. Blue Moon is a Belgian style wheat ale that is super tasty and moreish and should have you coming back for more and more.

The citrusy notes are a summer classic, being brewed with the Valencia orange peel, this wheat ale just screams sun and sand. Even at 5.4% this ale will go down an absolute treat and is easily a sessionable ale.

We suggest, for a true summer twist, to add a slice of orange into the top of the pint, while the orange flavor is already there in the beer, the aroma of the orange slice will seriously enhance your ability to taste this beer's flavor profile.

RUNNER UP

This ale’s name pays homage to the Spanish summer sport Jai Alai, where Florida was the US home of the sport as it came to the states. This ale is a great example of European influence on American brewing.

Brewed in Florida, this ale is almost made to be drunk in the sun. Bold hops and caramel malt flavors are exactly the bitterness but smooth mouthfeel that will refresh you on a hot day. This is a great one for the ale drinkers who want something sunny but don't want the constant sweetness of fruit.

This ale is a great blend of both fruity and malty goodness which makes it perfect for the sun. At 7.5% you won’t need too many of these but the alcohol ripeness can be desirable when in the sun. This one will have you basking by the Bayou.

RUNNER UP

Another great summer IPA brewed in the US, but this one is for those with a sweet tooth. It’s something about sweetness that just goes well with summer, whether it's a fresh orange, or a strawberry ice cream, a sweet flavor profile hits the nose perfectly when in the sun.

Stone have hit this on the head with their correctly named ‘Delicious IPA’ that utilizes tropical el dorado hops and citrusy lemon drop hops to make this sweet but still sour and malty ale. Many find the combination of lemon citrus and hoppy flavors meld together to make an IPA that tastes like candy, but in the best way possible. 

While this is at a large 7.7%, this beer is actually gluten reduced, so it’s alcohol heavy finish is balanced out by not going crazy with the gluten content. This is one for the IPA lovers and those with a sweet tooth.

RUNNER UP

Our friends at Sierra Nevada have smashed it again with this seriously summery brew. If you are a sweet tooth this is another one for you with strawberry, hibiscus, and guava flavors you will be transported to a tropical dream.

The sweetness is balanced out perfectly by the sourness of the ale, so is one for the beer lovers too. This ale goes down really smooth and is medium bodied, at 5.5% this is pretty sessionable. This pours out like pink beer, so could be great for the female beer lovers among us. 

Many actually go as far as to use this sour ale to make summer cocktails by combining with lemonade for a serious summer vibe. This wild little thing will really make your heart sing.

RUNNER UP

Stone brewing has done it again with this interesting but smash hit beer, or ‘buenaveza’, that is brewed with real lime and high-quality sea salt. This sounds weird but we promise it is great. Imagine someone has taken your favorite beer and added lime and salt for a real Baja style beer.

This lager is literally made to be drunk in the heat of Mexico so it's guaranteed to be a real hit in the summer. The lime and salt combine together with the beer to make a really refreshing and perfectly balanced lager that will make you feel like you're sunbathing on a beach in Baja.

If you are having a Mexican themed get together with Mexican food and snacks, this beer would pair perfectly and make you the host with the most. Gratify your taste buds with this refreshingly crisp beer that you can session on all day at an easy going 4.7%. Salud!

RUNNER UP

For those who want a milder ale that isn’t too strong on the palette, but is also great for summer sipping, this is a great choice. The Mind Haze IPA is optimized by its brewers to make an IPA that is light, clear and not overly hoppy.

Even those who aren’t keen on beer report to love this one. This is the goldilocks of IPA’s, it isn’t too intense, but also doesn’t scrimp of flavor, making it perfect for a summer session.

You can really tell the brewers put in time and effort with this one to make a really approachable beer that will convince even the IPA-skeptic, so this is a great choice to buy a crate and throw in a bucket of ice for your guests to pick at. 

RUNNER UP

For those who like a West Coast IPA that is a little more malty and less hazy and fruity than a New England IPA, the folks at Pizza Port have you covered. This beer has a more traditional hop profile showcasing the malty bitterness of citrus and pine which is a mild and balanced flavor that still remains refreshing in the sun.

This was first brewed in 1992 so you can guarantee that it has the quality to stand the test of time. Made to commemorate Pizza Port’s favorite surf spots, this is guaranteed to be a great one for the beach boys among us. At 6.8% the alcohol provides a crisp finish to this timeless American hop profile.

RUNNER UP

Miller’s classic High Life has been named ‘The champagne of beers’ and for good reason. This beer is on the lighter side as a crisp and easy drinker. The slight sweetness balanced by the bitterness we know of lager, makes for an American classic that has been served at BBQ’s for at least 100 years.

The perfect balance of flavor and refreshments, this beer has stood the test of time and we couldn’t not mention this classic pilsner. At 4.6% you can’t complain, even though High Life’s alcohol percentage is as high as most other lagers it proves to be seriously sessionable and is perfect for lounging in the sun or sharing with friends. 

RUNNER UP

This is one for the IPA fanatics. The hop profile on this Imperial IPA makes it pretty unique and complex. The amber pour and dark fruitiness creates a great balance between the hops bitterness and the grains.

Even at a whopping 9%, the brewers at New Belgium have found a way to make this IPA deceptively light on the tongue. Without getting too fruity, this IPA balances a lot of the bitterness. It has quite a complex flavor profile that an IPA brain would love to break down while dozing in the sun lounger on a hot day.

At 9% you don't need many of these to get lazy in the sun, but it is a great pairing with a BBQ meal. If you have an IPA crazy friend, this could be a great one to share on a sunny day and compare tasting notes.

RUNNER UP

The folks at Deschutes have been brewing craft beer in the US for a long time and they certainly know what they are doing. Their ‘Fresh Squeezed’ IPA shows that they can keep up with the times and make a hazy IPA that could trump others within its market.

The tropical notes on this beer make it perfect for summer drinking. Savor every drop with this juicy combination of citrusy hops and a malty amber body that is lip smackingly good.

Deschutes named the beer because of how it tastes like the hops have been freshly squeezed straight into the beer, and they are right, this is seriously refreshing and perfect for a hot day. At 6.4% they don’t pull any punches, but the alcohol finish helps smooth out the sweetness of tropical refreshment. 

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing better than sipping a nice beer in the summer sun. Treating yourself to any of the beers listed could be the ideal cureall to a bad day at work, or just the highlight of a lazy sunday spent in the sun.

Beer is made for the summer, so grab next summer’s beer today!

Mandy Winters
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