Cheers to Summer: Exploring the Top 10 Summer Beer Styles

Summer – the season of sunshine, backyard barbecues, and, of course, ice-cold beers. There’s just something about cracking open a cold one on a hot summer day that feels downright refreshing. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, grilling in the backyard, or kicking back on a rooftop with friends, having the perfect brew in hand can make your summer day even more fun.

And let’s be real, the options are endless. From crisp lagers to fruity sours and everything in between, there’s a beer style out there to suit every occasion. We’ve got you covered with a list of must-try beer styles for the season, as well as a few brands that are sure to keep you cool and refreshed all summer long!

1. Light Lager: Crisp Refreshment

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Nothing says summer like the clean, crisp taste of a light lager. Refreshing and thirst-quenching, these brews are a go-to for any outdoor hangout. Whether you’re firing up the grill or just chilling solo, light lagers are the epitome of laid-back enjoyment.

Here are some top picks:

  • Corona Extra: Another popular Mexican lager, Corona is light-bodied with a refreshing taste and a hint of citrus. Add a few drops of lime juice and a pinch of salt to bring out the full flavor.
  • Modelo Especial: A Mexican-style lager known for its light, crisp flavor and smooth finish.
  • Bud Light: A classic light lager known for its crispness and drinkability, perfect for any occasion.

2. Session IPA: Hoppy Lightness

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When you’re craving hops but want to keep things light, session IPAs are the answer. These brews pack all the aromatic goodness of IPAs but with a lower alcohol content. They’re the perfect companion for leisurely days under the sun, offering a refreshing burst of flavor without weighing you down.

Here are some top picks:

  • Founders All Day IPA: A classic session IPA with citrusy notes and a crisp finish.
  • Lagunitas DayTime IPA: Bursting with tropical fruit flavors and a subtle bitterness, ideal for all-day enjoyment.
  • Stone Brewing Go To IPA: An intensely hoppy beer with a dry finish, perfect for quenching summer thirsts.

3. Fruited Sour Ale: Tangy Temptations

For those looking to shake things up, fruited sour ales offer a delightful fusion of sweet and tart flavors. Bursting with fruity goodness, these brews are a real treat for your taste buds and offer a refreshing escape from the summer heat.

Here are some top picks:

  • Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale: An sessionable sour ale brewed with lime peel, black limes, and sea salt for a zesty kick.
  • Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose: Tart and tangy with the perfect hint of watermelon sweetness.
  • Victory Sour Monkey: A unique blend of tartness and fruity flavors, making it a refreshing choice for adventurous drinkers.

4. Gose: Salty, Sour, and Summery

Originating from Germany, gose is a unique beer style characterized by its tartness and subtle saltiness. With a refreshing profile reminiscent of a seaside breeze, Gose beers are perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day.

Here are some top picks:

  • Westbrook Brewing Co. Gose: Tart and refreshing with a subtle saltiness and hints of citrus.
  • Upland Brewing Co. Revive: A gose brewed by kettle souring, this beer brings lively carbonation and a zesty lemon-lime flavor.
  • Collective Arts Brewing Guava Gose: A tropical twist on the traditional gose style, with juicy guava flavor.

5. Pilsner: The Crisp Classics

Pilsners are the kings of summer brews, bringing together crispness and refreshment in perfect harmony. With their clean profiles and subtle hop character, pilsners are an ideal companion for lazy days spent basking in the sun.

Here are some top picks:

  • Victory Prima Pils: A German-style pilsner featuring floral hops and a touch of malt sweetness.
  • Troegs Sunshine Pils: Crisp and bright with a hint of biscuity malt, perfect for soaking up the sun.
  • Sierra Nevada Summerfest: A classic summer lager with spicy hop notes and a smooth texture, ideal for warm weather.

6. Blonde Ale: Smooth and Satisfying

Blonde ales are all about easy-drinking pleasure, with their smooth taste and subtle sweetness. Whether you’re chilling on the porch or hanging out by the campfire, these brews are like a cool breeze on a hot summer day.

Here are some top picks:

  • Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale: Adding a fruity twist to the Blonde Ale style, this beer offers a smooth taste with a light to medium body and hints of sweet blueberry.
  • Victory Summer Love Ale: Light and refreshing with a hint of citrus and a clean, crisp finish.
  • Blue Point Summer Ale: this Blonde Ale is designed for summertime enjoyment, with a light and refreshing taste and subtle citrus notes, perfect for hot summer days.

7. Hefeweizen: Cloudy, Cool, and Classic

Hefeweizens bring back those summer memories with their cloudy appearance and refreshing wheat taste. Brewed with a special yeast strain, these beers often feature hints of banana and clove, bringing you back to those carefree days spent under the sun.

Here are some top picks:

  • Sierra Nevada Kellerweis: This offers flavors of banana and clove with a hint of citrus, along with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Perfect for enjoying on a sunny day.
  • Widmer Brothers Hefe: A cloudy appearance and refreshing wheat taste. This beer’s subtle banana and clove notes are balanced by a crisp finish.
  • Live Oak Hefeweizen: A Texas-brewed Hefeweizen known for its authentic Bavarian-style flavors. It boasts a rich and creamy texture with strong notes of banana and clove, perfect for summer evenings.

8. Witbier: Belgian Beauty for Balmy Days

Witbiers, also known as Belgian white ales, are a delight for the taste buds with their citrusy zest and spicy undertones. Brewed with wheat and seasoned with coriander and orange peel, these beers offer a refreshing escape from the summer heat.

Here are some top picks:

  • Blue Moon Belgian White: A classic witbier brewed with oats, coriander, and orange peel for a smooth, citrusy flavor.
  • Allagash White: A Belgian-style wheat beer with citrusy notes and a hint of spice, perfect for warm weather enjoyment.
  • Hoegaarden Original White Ale: This traditional Belgian witbier boasts hints of clove and coriander with a refreshing citrus finish.

9. American Pale Ale (APA): Hoppy Refreshment

American Pale Ales hit that sweet spot between hops and malt, giving you a brew that’s full of flavor but still easy to drink. With their moderate bitterness and crisp finish, APAs are an all-time summer favorite among beer lovers.

Here are some top picks:

  • Founders All Day IPA: is all about the hops, with a burst of aroma and a clean, refreshing taste that keeps you cool on those hot days.
  • Lagunitas DayTime IPA: Light-bodied with tropical fruit flavors and a subtle hint of pine, perfect for all-day sipping.
  • Stone Brewing Go To IPA: A session IPA boasting intense hop character and a crisp, dry finish, tailored for summertime enjoyment.

10. Cream Ale: Smooth Sailing

Cream ales offer a velvety smoothness and subtle sweetness that’s perfect for laid-back summer days. Light-bodied and easy-drinking, these beers are a welcome addition to any warm-weather gathering.

Here are some top picks:

  • Anderson Valley Summer Solstice: Brewed with a touch of caramel and honey malt, this is a smooth and creamy ale with a slightly sweet and malty flavor profile. It’s an ideal choice for warm summer evenings.
  • Shy Bear Brewing Cookie Dipper: With its smooth texture and flavor reminiscent of an oatmeal cream cookie, this brew offers a refreshing and nostalgic twist on the classic cream ale, perfect for any summer occasion.

As you gear up for your summer adventures, don’t forget to stock up on some tasty brews. With a variety of summer styles from hoppy session IPAs, crisp lagers, to fruity sours, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re kicking off the season with Memorial Day BBQs, celebrating Mother’s Day and Independence Day with family and friends, or unwinding at a beach bonfire under the stars, a refreshing beer is the perfect companion for these summer highlights.


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