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20 Great Summertime Beers

20 Great Summertime Beers

Ah, summer. For the vast majority of us, just uttering the familiar word subconsciously transports us to somewhere better, warmer and more relaxing – preferably with a frothy beer in hand. Most of us liken it to a more enjoyable, heightened season of sunshine, typically a social time spent in the great outdoors, prompting plentiful ice chests and enthusiastic clinking of glasses among friends. That's where summertime beers come in.

Whether you’re reaching for a crisp lager, Czech pils, fruited sour or satiating pale ale, the more robust levels of vitamin D paired with unwavering hotter temperatures naturally demands more hydration.

As such, this list will help you discover the 20 finest examples of thirst-quenching summer beers to help satisfy beer fans on a hot summer day.

Velvet Glow Pale Dry Beer by Russian River Brewing Co.
Velvet Glow
Russian River Brewing Co.
Santa Rosa, CA

This brewery owns a very sacred piece of many craft beer fans' hearts for being a baptism by fire -- dunking people into the beautiful, diverse world of sours (and the importance of cooperage), back in the early years of the craft beer boom. This summer, try beaming behind a different veil, courtesy of the brewery’s Velvet Glow. This clean German Helles gives a nod to a recipe from Grace’s Brother Brewing, who operated in the same Sonoma valley from 1933 to 1966.

Lawn Games by Outer Range Brewing Co.
Lawn Games
Outer Range Brewing Co.
Frisco, CO

Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that you’re throwing cash down on the counter for something as advertised and that’s how it feels with Lawn Games from Outer Range Brewing Co. in the mountain-town of Frisco, Colorado. The lush grass covered can contains an easy-drinking, deep golden-hued, West Coast-style American IPA that harnesses a moderate hop profile with a breath of malty sweetness.

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler
Salzburg, Austria

Morning, noon, or night, amidst a bike ride as originally intended or sitting poolside, there is nothing more classic than a Steigl Grapefruit Radler from STIEGLBRAUEREI in Austria. Its low ABV coupled with real, tangy juice makes for a nice refreshing pick-me-up, perfect for catching rays, without drying you out in the process.

Staycation Land by Baxter Brewing Co.
Staycation Land
Baxter Brewing Co.
Lewiston, ME

This year especially, with COVID-19 still blanketing the world, "getting away" is just not an option, so we will have to get creative at home. Staycation Land, from Baxter Brewing Co. in Lewiston, Maine, is the kind of lightly breaded, old-world lager that's perfect for building backyard space machines with the kids or in Baxter's own spot on description, "snacking directly from the fridge, half-watching baseball."

Fancy Lawnmower by Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Fancy Lawnmower
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Houston, TX

Even the label is indicative of why Fancy Lawnmower from St. Arnold Brewing Co., in Houston, Texas, is a must after sweat-inducing activities, such as walking to your mailbox, in the brutally humid, Lone Star heat. This true German-style Kölsch, originally brewed in Cologne, pours crystal clear and gains layered, citrus characteristics from a generous serving of German Hallertauer hops bolstered by a nice toasty finish.

The Real Dill Michelada by 4 Noses Brewing Co. & The Real Dill
The Real Dill Michelada
4 Noses Brewing Co. & The Real Dill

Summer is about togetherness and that extends to breweries as well, such as the collaboration between The Real Dill in Denver, and 4 Noses out of Broomfield, Colorado, who successfully created a killer version of the typical tomato juice & light beer hybrid. The Real Dill Michelada begins with a pale ale base and balances noticeable pickle brine with subtle pops of spiciness and acid to provide a lycopene-filled brunch beer that's surprisingly enticing. 

Honey Kolsch by Rogue Ales & Spirits
Honey Kolsch
Rogue Ales & Spirits
Newport, OR

The buzz is real with Rogue Ales & Spirits’ creamy, orange blossom bomb: Honey Kolsch. Just like sampling honey’s golden nectar can showcase nature’s diversity, this medium-mouthfeel ale exudes distinct fruity, floral and lightly biscuity flavors that don’t read as cloying but rather are reminiscent of a dense, sweet slice of beer bread.

Gold Leaf Lager by Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
Gold Leaf Lager
Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
Roseland, VA

As the saying goes: "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know," and we want to stay acquainted with the Gold Leaf Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Co., in Roseland, Virginia. This German-style lager articulates European malts to build a pronounced cereal aroma, pours with an ample cotton top and uses Northern Brewer, Saaz and Tettnang hops to invite notes of apple and a mild herbaceous quality. 

Premium Czech Lager by Seedtsock Brewery
Premium Czech Lager
Seedstock Brewery
Denver, CO

I fell in love with Bohemian styles as a young buck traveling abroad, appreciating Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen while exploring gothic architecture in Prague. So, I can't make it through a summer without recalling memories from our Eastern European escapades and making mention of a solid Czech Pils. Seedstock Brewery in Denver, Colorado, takes us back to Charles Bridge with a delicate straw-colored example that drinks smooth, clean and captures moderate carbonation. 

Luponic Distortion No. 016 by Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Luponic Distortion No. 016
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Paso Robles, CA

There’s no arguing with the phrase that "the only constant is change," which prompts the rotational Luponic Distortion IPA series from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, California. The base beer remains the same with an aggressive hop dictation, which showcases an impressively broad range of flavors made from humulus lupulus alone. Our top pick is the exotic and crushable Luponic Distortion No. 016 with peach, pear drop and dragon fruit, which makes for a solid pairing with pulled pork or BBQ ribs.

Green Chile Ale by Soulcraft Brewing
Green Chile Ale
Soulcraft Brewing
Salida, CO

There is a fine line with chili beers between enjoyable heat that tickles the back of your throat and bathroom-inducing discomfort. Soulcraft Brewing in Salida, Colorado, finds a necessary midpoint with their Green Chile Ale, which harbors a bright base with a smoky, accessible spice level from its fire roasted green chiles and a little extra spank from serrano peppers that're also added into the fold. 

Big Sprang by Trillium Brewing Co,
Big Sprang
Trillium Brewing Co.
Boston, MA

Initially brewed as a signal of springtime, Big Sprang, from Trillium Brewing Co. in Boston, Massachusetts, still transitions pleasantly into summer as a light-bodied, Kölsch-inspired brew with the aura of white wine, stemming from a strong application of Nelson Sauvin.

Mango Tree Shaker by Odell Brewing Co.
Mango Tree Shaker
Odell Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, CO

Summertime should allow for a wee bit of unwinding and the Mango Tree Shaker, just one of the vibrant fruited riffs on the well-received original Tree Shaker, produces that extra-ripe bump you’re searching for. Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, manages to easily bind big fruit with accessible grassiness to create a dangerously crushable double IPA.

MF Gose: Sandia by Paradox Beer Co.
MF Gose: Sandia
Paradox Beer Co.
Divide, CO

If you make it past the 4th without slicing into a fragrant watermelon you're missing out on a major seasonal side dish, but you can get that same, refreshing, run-down-the-side-of-your-mouth feeling from the MF Gose: Sandia by Paradox Beer Co. in Divide, Colorado. This modern mixed-fermentation Leipzig gose anchors aromas of sour wheat and sea salt with the delicate essence of this juicy, summer-forward fruit.

Señor Pina by Cerveceria Colorado
Señor Pina
Cerveceria Colorado
Denver, CO

The culturally expressive concept at Cerveceria Colorado, in Denver, Colorado is fascinating. A conjoined off-shoot of Denver Beer Co. that focuses entirely on the unique flavors of Mexico, the brewery’s The Señor Pina blonde ale is built for shoreline sippin', fermented with pineapples and Mosaic hops, resulting in a thirst-quenching, tropical take made for drinking on Playa Divorciados.

Summer Love by Victory Brewing Co.
Summer Love
Victory Brewing Co.
Downington, PA

For "sunshine in a can" try the Summer Love seasonal from Victory Brewing Co. in Downington, Pennsylvania. This slightly lemony and earthy golden ale celebrates its 10th birthday and commemorates a decade of backyard BBQs and baseball with 10 iconic throwback cans hidden within limited 15-packs. 

Bad Boy Wally by Wren House Brewing Co.
Bad Boy Wally
Wren House Brewing Co.
Phoenix, AZ

If you want to go big, you double down. If you want to go bigger, you want a Bad Boy Wally from Wren House Brewing Co. in Phoenix, Arizona. At 11.2 percent ABV be ready to be fooled by this super smooth, cryo-hopped triple IPA that has a creamy mouthfeel and bursts open with notes of apricot and passion fruit. 

SeaQuench Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
SeaQuench Ale
Dogfish Head Brewery
Milton, DE

If a beer and a heavily salted, rimmed margarita made a baby it would likely taste similar to SeaQuench Ale from Dogfish Head in Milton, Delaware. The sour conglomeration uses black limes, a dehydrated lime typical in Middle Eastern cuisine, and sea salt to encapsulate an oceanic brew that's clutch whether you're sporting Sperrys, flip-flops or sneakers, as it's also touted for its low-cal/low-carb approach.

Tanker Truck Sour Series: Passion Fruit Gose by Two Roads Brewing Co.
Tanker Truck Sour Series: Passion Fruit Gose
Two Roads Brewing Co.
Stratford, CT

Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, Connecticut, corners the market on approachable salinity with their Tanker Truck Sour Series. Although any of the lineup are terrifically drinkable, the passion fruit gose tops the list of these kettle sours that pour hazy and garner an authentic, mild perfumy whiff of the seedy South American fruit it's derived from.

Guava Rosa by Wasatc Brewery
Guava Rosa
Wasatch Brewery
Salt Lake City, UT

This beer gives validity to the saying, “travel, the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” The concept for this slightly tart and delightfully refreshing Mexican-inspired ale was born during a trip that Jon Lee, Wasatch head brewer, took to Guadalajara, Mexico, to collaborate with Cerveza Loba. Inspired by the local ingredients at a nearby market and similar arid scenery, this South-of-the-border beer reimagines bright, tropical flavors reminiscent of a fruit-forward cocktail with a hint of flower power.

Whatever you choose to sip on, the best beers for right now are honestly whatever pleases your palate the most in that specific moment, which is always up for interpretation and variance. What are some of your favorite summertime brewskis? And feel free to chime in, on the good, bad, and the ugly from our list because everyone has an opinion and there's a beer out there to match each and every one of those feelings too.