Ah, summer: the season for stuffing one’s face full of fresh fruit, ice cream, and carnival food. Thinking of double-fisting a handful of blueberries and a fudgsicle to wash down that cotton candy cone? You’re in luck, because greedily gorging yourself on such sweets like a 3-year-old who hasn’t learned to use a napkin isn’t just acceptable during these 93 days of sticky heat -- it’s the norm!
Luckily for us beer lovers, summer is also the time in which plenty of beers are brewed to reflect the flavors of the season. From an orange creamsicle-inspired brew to one that has a “Country Time lemonade vibe,” here are the beers that’ll allow your tastebuds to truly appreciate the summertime.
5.3% ABV (Anaheim, CA)
California’s famed The Bruery produces a line of wild and sour ales under the Bruery Terreux name. And this particular seasonal release -- a sour wheat ale with salt, coriander, and grapes -- is a doozy. The beer is meant to resemble rosé, and gets quite close from a flavor perspective. Though it isn’t as deeply pink as its wine-based counterpart, with a few lighting tweaks in Instagram, it can surely pass for one.
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4.1% ABV (Patchogue, NY)
No, a “beach plum” is not just a plum you eat at the shore. (Don’t worry, we thought so, too.) Long Island is home to indigenous, local beach plums that are added to this beer to give it a pleasant tartness. The beer also features hand-harvested sea salt from Amagansett and North Atlantic seaweed! This is summer in a glass, Long Island-style.
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4.2% ABV (Bellaire, MI)
I mean, does it get any more summer than this beer’s label? It’s an all-out bright pink assault on the senses. This shandy from the venerable Michigan dessert beer kings is a mix of Soft Parade (a fruit rye ale made with a combo of summer berries) and lemonade from Michigan soda-makers Northwoods. At 4.2% ABV, it’s basically alcoholic berry lemonade...that should come with a hammock.
4.2% ABV (Los Angeles, CA)
Avocados are everywhere these days. (Thank heavens for that -- if the nation’s supply of avocado toast went away, would we even survive??) But as it turns out, Californian avocados are only in season in spring and summer. In past years, Angel City has produced a creamy Kölsch-style brew for its annual Avocado Fest -- and this year, the seasonal beer is finally being canned! Good thing, too: made from hand-picked avocados from a nearby farm, and brewed with avocado honey, cilantro, and lime juice, this hazy, straw-colored brew is a local favorite.
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5.5% ABV (Littleton, CO)
Who doesn’t love an orange creamsicle on a hot day? (Okay, aside from a lactose intolerant?) Boosted by a nitro infusion, this creamy-as-heck cream ale features natural orange zest. Most people have experienced nitro with darker styles like stouts and porters, but even a lighter ale like this one benefits from the hit of gas. Just like with an actual orange creamsicle, your enjoyment of this beer will skyrocket if you’re on the beach. Trust us on this one.
5.3% ABV (Liberty, Maine)
Lake St. George was the sixth ever brewery in Maine, having opened (and closed) in the ‘90s. A few of the people involved went on to found Monhegan Brewing, and are now giving Lake St. George another go as of this past July. Their Kerplunk! blueberry sour is not, in fact an ode to Green Day -- it’s an homage to the sound a blueberry makes when it hits the water, according to the brewery. We imagine people will be taking this sessionable -- and not sickly sweet! -- beer to the St. George Lake in no time.
4.5% ABV (Bend, OR)
If you’re going to trust one brewery with making a tasty, sour Berliner Weisse, let it be 10 Barrel. After all, they’re the creators of the outrageously crushable, delicious Cucumber Sour -- a tart, refreshing beer known to convert even the most hardened sour beer-skeptics. This taproom-only summertime brew infuses guava into the proceedings, ensuring an easy-drinking, tropical delight.
5.5% ABV (St. Louis, MO)
Here’s a little secret about all those fruit beers you’ve seen on shelves this summer -- many breweries use fruit extracts to make their beer taste like fruit. And that's all good -- but there’s something to be said for breweries like Schlafly, which brews their Coconut Creme Ale with coconut and pineapple purees, and then ages it on lightly toasted coconut flakes. Unlike many overly sweet dessert beers that induce diabetic shock, this brew goes down smooth and easy. Helps that it’s only 5.5% ABV, too!
4.5% ABV (Torrance, CA)
Dudes’ owner describes this new, seasonal light sour as having a “Country Time Lemonade from the ‘90s kind of vibe.” From that line alone, you can just picture sipping this from a rocking chair on a humid day, can’t you? Summer is peak peach season, and adding a little sour twist to this summer fruit brew gives it a little more complexity than any other straightforward peach beer might possess. Also, the description of this beer on The Dudes’ website references the uber-catchy song “Peaches”, also from the ‘90s. Drink it while watching Saved By the Bell.
5.9% ABV (Yakima, WA)
With a release just a few weeks before the end of summer, this beer is perfect for bidding the season farewell. Including hand-peeled mangos and fresh Yakima hops, it's part of the Sesiones del Migrante project, for which Mexican and American breweries collaborate on beers to honor and celebrate the Mexican migrant workers who harvest all of the hops that are so essential to beer these days. What a refreshing way to close out the season.
Note: 10 Barrel, Blue Point, and Breckenridge Brewery are members of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.