THERE’S a lot to love about summer. Time by the pool, BBQs, baseball, and the sound of cicadas. The worst thing about summer: mowing the lawn. However, the lawn has to be mowed, so we might as well have a so called lawnmower beer to drink during that long hot work.
The best summer beers are light, low in ABV and in my opinion need to be light and crisp, no overwhelming malt or hops flavors. There is nothing wrong with a good rich dark beer, but that’s not what most want on a 100-degree Savannah day.
These are all very available beers. Most are seasonals so they are only around for the summer time so make sure you go pick these up. Here is my list, in no particular order, of good summer beers.
Summer of Lager, Cisco Brewers Inc.
Helles Lager, 5.6%
Lagers make sense with a summer beer. That is what all the big boys brew right. This was a nice crisp lager with a nice citrus finish, the brighter side to the hops.
Hop Sun, Southern Tier Brewing Company
American Pale Wheat Ale, 5.1%
Southern Tires is really best known for their darker beers so Hop Sun is a bit of an anomaly. As the name suggests there is a good bit of hops. This one has a stronger flavor as there is a good bit of hops, more than any other on this list. There is a good bit of floral note, but they are reflected in the nose so you expect them before the first sip. A fine choice especially if you like hoppier summer beers.
Summer Session Ale, Peak Organic Brewing Company
American Pale Wheat Ale, 5%
Peak Brewing’s entry into the summer beer market is a good one. Bright and citrusy Summer Session comes in cans so it is a fine beer to choose for sitting around the pool.
Summer Solstice, Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Cream Ale, 5%
Cream Ales are a great choice for summer beer, if you don’t mind a little sweetness. Cream ales can be too sweet but Summer Solstice hits on a nice balance of easy drinking but candy like drinks.
Anchor Summer Beer, Anchor Brewing Company
American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.5%
Anchor beers often have the west coast hops that they are so popular for. However the hops are downplayed here and this turned out to be a great summer beer. Anchor calls this an all malt beer and is brewed with 50% malted wheat. They pour with a big head, something the brewery attributed to the high protein content of the malted wheat used in brewing.
Oberon Ale, Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
American Pale Wheat Ale, 5.8%
This is another beer with a high malted wheat content. It’s also brewed with Bell’s signature ale yeast yielding Oberon’s citrusy flavor. I’m not one for fruity flavors but the fruit here is subtle and just makes a lot of sense. It pushed the range of a sessionable beer at 5.8% and has a stronger flavor than some on this list.
Summer Ale, Brooklyn Brewery
English Pale Ale, 5%
Brooklyn’s Summer Ale has everything you might be looking for in a summer beer. It is light and crisp with no overbearing flavors. That is not to say that this beer has no flavor, it’s has a light citrus flavor but it’s balanced out by a touch of bready yeast. Brooklyn’s Summer Ale is a perfect pool-side or yard-working beer.
The Local Option:
Gun Bunny, Service Brewing Company
Belgian Style Witbier, 5.1%
Made with Indian coriander, tangelo peel and muddled mandarin oranges Gun Bunny is a refreshing but flavorful summer option. Available for the first time in cans Service Brewing has made this summer seasonal very accessible this year.