Whether you’re at the beach, on the back porch or lounging poolside at a party, few things beat the heat better than an ice-cold brew.
Check out Gayot's favorite summer beers to find refreshing options from some of the best craft breweries in the country. From hoppy pale ales to crisp pilsners to a fruit-infused seasonal shandy, these thirst-quenchers are sure to satisfy taste buds of all types. Best of all? Each of our featured beers are offered at a reasonable price, meaning you can stock your cooler without breaking the bank.
1. Widmer Brothers Hefe Shandy
Before starting Widmer Brothers Brewing in 1984, co-founder Kurt Widmer lived in Germany, where he discovered the shandy — a refreshing blend of beer and soda or fruit juice. The brewery's brand new summer seasonal is a take on a German shandy using Widmer's flagship Hefeweizen, but with a citrus twist. Actually, it's much more than just a twist. Not only is the beer crafted with the Lemon Drop hop varietal, it also boasts the brewery's own homemade lemonade flavoring. The ritual of adding a fruit wedge to a wheat beer is unnecessary for this Hefeweizen, with its full-on aroma of sweet lemon and flavors of tart citrus and spicy wheat.
Price: $8 for a six-pack
2. Stone Pale Ale 2.0
In 1996, Stone Brewing Company's co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner crafted the brand's first beer in a rented condo in Solana Beach, California. Their Stone Pale Ale, the flagship brand for 18 years, would go on to become San Diego County's first brewed-and-bottled beer. Fast forward to 2015, and Koch and Wagner decided it’s time for an update. Stone Pale Ale 2.0 is a crisp brew that caters to modern hop-heavy tastes.
It pours a golden hue with a light body, and offers ample spiciness thanks to a touch of rye. Generous helpings of German hops impart flavors of bright peach and Mandarin orange. The overall result is a complex, hoppy ale that, at 6 percent ABV, is one of the milder beers the brewery offers in terms of alcohol strength. However, it's anything but mild in regards to flavor.
Price: $9 for a six-pack
3. Berghoff Hop-Forward Pilsner
The historic Berghoff Brewery dates back to 1887, when German immigrant Herman Berghoff and his three brothers crafted their first batch of beer in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It survived Prohibition by making a root beer-like soda and, after the Volstead Act was repealed in 1933, was the first brewery in Indiana to produce legal beer.
This traditional Pilsner merges the Old World with the new, using both American and German malts along with four varieties of German hops. Although the name suggests a bold hop presence, there is a crisp yet delicate balance to the straw-hued lager's slightly sweet character. This summer quencher goes down quite easy and should prove to be a great companion on a hot afternoon.
Price: $8 for a six-pack
4. Two Brothers Wobble India Pale Ale
A new addition to the Warrenville, Illinois brewery's year-round lineup, this IPA combines toasty malts with a generous helping of American hops. The aroma bears fruit with tropical pineapple notes, and complex flavors of lemon and grapefruit tickle the tongue. With its long, drawn-out and tingly aftertaste, this golden-hued summer refresher will fit the bill for hopheads any time of year. The Wobble in the name refers to Two Brothers' ability to teeter on the edge of intense hoppiness without ever losing balance.
Price: $11 for a six-pack
5. Full Sail Session Cream Summer Ale
Packaged in the iconic 11-ounce stubby bottle, this is the latest release to join Full Sail Brewing's Session lineup — a label designed to celebrate camaraderie without extremes or gimmicks. This golden ale offers a creamy head and subtle aroma of herbal hops. It has a malty sweetness with a long-lasting, slightly bitter aftertaste that will keep you coming back for more. And, with the ale's sessionable 5.4 percent ABV, you'll be able to enjoy more than a few sips.
Price: $13 for a 12-pack
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