Berrong on Beer: 13 beers for summer ‘13
July 12th, 2013
06:00 PM ET
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Nathan Berrong works at CNN's satellite desk and writes Eatocracy's beer column, "Berrong on Beer." He Tweets at @nathanberrong and logs beers at Untappd.

Summer is in full swing and as temperatures continue to rise, there is a plethora of ways to combat the scorching sun. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable way than a few cold and refreshing craft beers.

The perfect beer for summer should be crisp, light in body and color, refreshing, easy to drink, transportable and have a lower alcohol content. Based on this criteria, I’ve chosen the 13 best beers for summer 2013. This list isn’t exhaustive because, believe it or not, I don’t have access to every beer. However, these are my 13 favorite beers that I’ve had the pleasure to try - and they’re sure to help you beat the heat.

21st Amendment Brewery: Hell or High Watermelon
Simply put, this beer is “summer in a can." This seasonal release from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery is always stocked in my fridge during the summer months, and it’s one of the few beers I can think of that never gets old. The idea of watermelon in a beer may sound off-putting but the watermelon is faint yet present; it’s there only long enough to taste it without overpowering the wheat flavor. I challenge you to find a better beer to drink when it’s hot outside.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company: Pils
This brewery can do no wrong in my book. Everything they put out is topnotch, and beer nerds all over the country geek out with each new offering. If you think you don’t like the pilsner style, this is the one that will change your mind. Firestone Walker Pils is a pale yellow lager with a clean, mild but pronounced hoppiness upfront; at the finish, hints of toast. As a twist on a traditional pils, Firestone Walker dry hops theirs with German Saphir, which adds a touch of Bergamot zest and lemongrass. Thank you, Firestone Walker, for making me revisit a style that I had mostly written off years ago.

SweetWater Brewing Company: Waterkeeper Hefeweizen
SweetWater Brewery is one of the oldest breweries that is still making beer in the great state of Georgia. The brewery is only 16 years old, which tells you all you need to know about how Georgia stacks up against other well-established beer states. (Sidenote: Hey, State of Georgia! Ease up on the restrictive beer laws and let’s get some more craft breweries in production.) Even if my home state doesn’t have the beer scene akin to Washington or California, we still know how to make some damn fine beer. And SweetWater’s summer release, Waterkeeper, is a testament to that. It’s a German hefeweizen and apart from being a refreshing and incredible beer, it’s brewed (and named) to raise awareness for The Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit that aims to clean up and restore waterways all over the world.

Hill Farmstead Brewery: Arthur Saison
Hill Farmstead is one of the most talked about craft breweries in America right now. This is impressive when you consider the brewery is in its infancy (3 years old!), and it speaks to the high quality of the beers they’re producing. Arthur is Hill Farmstead’s take on a saison and is made with a house yeast and local well water. The beer is named after the founder's grandfather’s youngest brother, Arthur, and the brewery is on the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. Arthur is considered one of the best saisons in the world, and has white pepper and grassy notes that are synonymous with the style. What really sets it apart though is the sheer drinkability and balance that is so desirable, but rarely found today in extreme beers.

Maine Beer Company: Peeper
Maine Beer Company is another relatively new U.S. craft brewery and much like Hill Farmstead, they are making big waves in the beer scene. Apart from producing exceptional ales, they also have exceptional packaging. Their labels are classy, clean and simple, and I’m a sucker for a beer that not only tastes good but looks good too. Peeper is a pale ale that contains four different kinds of hops and finishes at 5.5%. It’s a great American pale ale that would be perfect at a barbecue, especially if actual barbecue will be consumed. Hops + spicy/tangy/sweet = delicious.

Golden Road Brewing: Cabrillo Klsch
Los Angeles’ Golden Road has set the bar for American-made Kölsch-style beers with their Cabrillo Kölsch. The style is hard to pin down and falls somewhere between an ale and a lager. Golden Road uses ale yeast but ferments it at cooler temperatures like a lager. The nose of the beer contains some peppery notes but the taste has light citrus flavors and finishes extremely clean and crisp. It’s refreshing and makes for an exceptional summer beer.

Samuel Adams: Boston Lager
Samuel Adams Boston Lager is the staple craft beer. It recently underwent a makeover of sorts, just in time for summer. The iconic brew is now available for the first time ever in cans. But, as founder Jim Koch told me, it's not just any regular aluminum can: The brewery invested $1 million to create their own can - aptly named the "Sam Can" - in order to ensure the quality and taste that Boston Lager fans have become accustomed to. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the outdoors," said Koch. "Some people don’t know that I was an Outward Bound instructor early in my professional life. I can’t wait to pack a few cans of Boston Lager in a pack before I head out on a hike or go camping, as a lot of parks don’t allow visitors to bring in glass.”

Bison Brewing Company: Hop Cuvée
Bison Brewing is an organic brewery out of Berkeley, California, and their Hop Cuvée is the best organic, hop-centric beer I've tried. The 2013 Hop Cuvée includes two new varietals of organic hops, Citra and Simcoe, and the classic Centennial hop. It’s a traditional West Coast IPA that is piney, crisp and finishes dry. And at only 5.5% ABV,  it makes for a perfect summer beer.

Boulevard Brewing Company: Reverb Imperial Pilsner
Reverb Imperial Pilsner is part of Boulevard’s Smokestack Series of beers that come in 750-ml bottles (the size of a standard wine bottle). The beers are meant for sharing, and this beer would make for a perfect housewarming gift or picnic beer this summer. Boulevard takes the traditional pilsner and turns it up to 11 with Reverb, clocking in at close to 8% ABV. The pilsner style is extremely hard to brew because any flaws in the beer are immediately detected (unlike beers with a lot of ingredients or are barrel-aged, which aid in covering up off flavors). This beer has no flaws, and for a style that seemingly tastes so simple, this beer stands out as a true work of craftsmanship.

New Glarus Brewing: Thumbprint Berliner Weiss
Thumbprint Berliner Weiss is a German-style wheat beer that has recently grown in popularity in American craft beer circles. This light, effervescent beer is around 3% ABV, and tastes like tart lemons with a dry, almost white wine-like finish. New Glarus describes the beer as “...a kaleidoscope of fresh flavor. Barrel fermentation, Riesling grapes and Wisconsin White Wheat are bottle fermented with five proprietary yeast strains. A connoisseur's rare jewel both spirited and subtle, enjoy your sparkling toast under summer stars.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Odell Brewing Company: Celastrina
The second saison on the list, this one is from Colorado’s Odell Brewery and is called Celastrina, or Hops Blue. The name comes from the tiny blue butterfly that lives on wild hop plants along Colorado's Front Range. Celastrina is a cloudy blonde ale with banana, clove and grassy notes; it has a subtle spicy character in the finish. One of the coolest things about this beer is that $1 from each bottle sold goes to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program to help fund research of the Hops Blue butterfly. The beer comes in large format bottles which makes it perfect for enjoying with a meal (freshwater fish) like you would a white wine.

Westbrook Brewing Company: Gose
Pronounced “Goes-uh”, this German-style beer is gaining popularity here in the states. The beer is unfiltered and contains upwards of 60% malted wheat which creates a hazy, yellow ale that is surprisingly refreshing and usually a bit tart. I use “surprisingly” because the beer contains a decent amount of coriander and salt, and you wouldn’t think a salty beer would (A) be refreshing or desirable in the summer, and (B) taste good. But, it is and it does. I am personally a big fan of this style, but not all Gose beers created equal. Westbrook’s Gose, however, is one of the best I’ve ever had. If you can wrap your mind around the idea of drinking a beer that is slighty sour, salty, citrusy and sessionable at only 4%, this is definitely the summer beer for you.

Surly Brewing Co.: Furious
Furious is an aggressive, hop-bomb of an IPA that makes for a great summer beer. The beer is only available in cans (and kegs) making it perfect for, well, anywhere since cans are allowed in many places that bottles are not. One of the greatest things about this beer is that it packs a ton of flavor and complexity while being relatively low in alcohol at only 6.2%. Another great thing about Furious? Instead of the typical 12-ounce cans, Surly puts this one in pint-sized cans (16 ounces), and more beer is never a bad thing. Sweet honey notes balance the bitter and citrus hops flavors. It’s just an all around perfect example of an IPA in the summer.

That’s my list for the 13 best beers this summer. What are some of your favorite summer beers? Let me know in the comments below.

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soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Clown

    Corona with lime, Heineken.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  2. Adam

    I guess this is what happens when people on the east coast try to think about beer...come to Oregon and be free

    July 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Sam


      July 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • eugeniamb

      Yup, it's missing the Pacific Northwest completely so sad,

      July 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Michael

      I would like to MOVE to Oregon...and work at Duschetts!

      July 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
      • Dave

        First learn how to spell Deschutes....but they do make great beers so you get a point for that.

        July 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      • Adam

        I like Deschutes too, but if you're going to Bend its all about Boneyard Brewery. Some of the best beers I have ever had, no joke.

        July 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  3. Jon II

    Apollo. Unbelievable that no one has mentioned it. Does anyone here even drink beer?

    I kid, I kid.

    But seriously, Sixpoint's Apollo is it.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  4. Sam

    Devils Backbone summer brew Stripped Base Pale Ale specially canned for hangiing out at the river. A portion of sales going to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

    July 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • w

      Devil's Backbone is the best thing to happen to Wintergreen in a long time!

      July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  5. John

    Yea !! Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Missouri !!!

    July 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  6. sybaris

    if you drink a different beer by the season then your name must be Mary

    July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • BeerMe

      That's right a real beer drinker drinks Bud year round. Seasonal beers pairs with seasonal food and drinking them for different flavors and not just to get drunk watching NASCAR.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • sybaris

        seasonal beers were brewed out of necessity due to changes in seasonal temperature not food.

        Today we have these things called refrigerators to keep our beer in year round.

        Put your dress on, Mary

        July 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • lol

      dang nab it Cooter! I thawt I told yew ta finish yer chores befir ya kin get on da internet an harrass people! Now go kiss yer sister gudnite.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  7. EEA

    Cannot go wrong with Ninkasi's Total Domination IPA. Check 'em out in Eugene, OR.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Hank

    Id like to meet the person who invented beer and buy them a beer.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • lol

      Not sure who, but according to latest theory/evidence, he or she lived in Mesopotamia around 10,000 years ago. I suggest you get started on that time machine. ;)

      July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  9. Christopher

    Summer Shandy is awful. I'll take Half Acre Daisy Cutter's and Jack's Abbey Hoponious Union. Boulevard Tank 7 also.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  10. Charles

    Who on earth would ask a Georgian about beer? That's like asking a Floridian about the best salmon, a Californian about the best BBQ, a Texan about the best lobster... makes no sense! Not one damn beer from the PNW, the craft brew capitol of the world?!

    July 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Hans@Charles

      Americans in general know nothing about beer. Talk to a German and you may learn something...

      July 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • lol

        I don't know what part of America you live in, but you might need to get out more. If you're talking about Joe 6-pack (Joe 30-pack nowadays) you may be right, but generally labeling American's anymore as "knowing nothing about beer" is about as dated and off the mark as calling Pittsburgh polluted and dirty, import cars crap, or thinking that lying in the sun is good for you. Ever been to Germany? You'd be surprised how many actually know jack squat about beer and just like the standard American consumer, only drink what the advertisements tell them to. Fortunately, they have beer laws and a general long established culture about beer in Germany that protects them from being served horsep1ss like we still get from the big brewers here in America, but they don't necessarily "know" more about beer just because they are German. I will say this; they don't have anywhere near the selection of quality beer in Germany as we now have in America. In fact; I'll say there's probably no where else in the world that does. Not only do we have thousands of quality craft brewers here now (compared to the hundreds in Germany), we also import more beer than anywhere else in the world.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Georgia Peach

      You sound about as ignorant as some of your stereotypes. Get outside of your PNW bubble and learn about some amazing beers and breweries in all parts of the country, and world.
      Also, the "PNW" has been discussed pretty heavily. Try reading.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • RichardHead@Georgia Peach

        Got any Pie left? :))

        July 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • eugeniamb

        Don't be mad b/c you can't live up here and taste all this great beer. LOL.

        July 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  11. Ellen

    I didn't see any beer from Oregon. Isn't that state supposed to be the center for craft beers?

    July 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • lol

      No not really, maybe self-titled for whatever reason but not in reality. CA has twice as many craft brewers as OR and some have been around for decades now, long before craft brewing was ever popular, Colorado has just as many as OR, PA has over 100 themselves and it's growing like a virus. There are lot's of places as well that are booming with craft brewers now, even places you would never think of. Chances are you can live in Anywhere, USA and be within 10 miles of a craft brewer...and if you're not, that means you need to move. :)

      July 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Yup

        Completely agree. I live in Minneapolis MN and new craft brewers have been opening up pretty regularily for the past few years. Now that they have loosened the tap-room laws they are spreading like wild fire. There is a new brewery to try every weekend it seems like. And really quality stuff too. That's a win win win in my book.

        July 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Hb

      Session Dark made by Full Sail in Hood River, Oregon. Hints of coffee and chocolate. yum!

      July 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Jon

    I hate to be the real beer nerd on this post but:
    "The style is hard to pin down and falls somewhere between an ale and a lager."
    I had some grilled sewer rat the other day – the taste was somewhere between chicken and fish. Thanks.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  13. ohioan

    New Glarus Dancing Man Wheat is pretty good on a hot day. I'm down to one bottle. Sadly I don't live in or near Wisconsin to get more.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  14. Meg

    Sam Adams' Porch Rocker and Left Hand Brewing's Good Juju

    July 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • aj2maj2m

      Good Juju – a great ginger beer... Nice!

      July 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  15. cjobrie

    Great article and research material. I'd be interested in the IBU numbers on some of these as well.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  16. MarylandBill

    Nothing like ranking beers to bring out the contrarians in all of us. Everybody's taste buds are slightly different which is why comparisons like this are meaningless.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Kirk

    Give me a Bell's Oberon or give me death!

    July 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • The Nak

      Ditto that.................

      July 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Steve

      On tap!

      July 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Ricky

      Thank You Kirk. About time Bell's gets a little love.

      July 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  18. Primal 4 Life

    Sam Adams is very average beer. Nothing special about it at all. It;s really not all that good. Cool they are finally putting them in cans which are superior to bottles in every way though.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • RC

      I'd be interested in hearing more about you "cans are better in every way" ideas.

      July 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • RC

        Sory-you sad "superior", not "better". My bad.

        July 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  19. David

    The Barnburner Saison by Karbach Brewing company or Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower or Ommegang Hennepin saison.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Sam

    Could someone buy me a beer? I'm hard at work today and need a cold one. I'll even let you pick the beer.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Edwin

      Bud light it is! Be careful what you wish for!

      July 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  21. CorkTheElder

    Longtrail Blackberry Wheat, once a summer seasonal, now available all year. I just think of it as quenching the thirst I have after mowing the lawn during the summer. Available in the Northeast.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  22. lol

    Victory Summer Love is an awesome beer. It has a great clean taste and refreshing finish that instantly takes you back to when you were a teenager (or even younger) and were sneaking beers at a family reunion or some other summer time function...even though it's many times better than the Old Milwaukee and Stroh's they were serving up then.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  23. Penny

    Leinenkugel Summer Shandy!!!

    July 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Judd Stevenson

      I agree, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy for the summer.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  24. Peter

    Bell's Oberon and Leinenkugel Summer Shandy would have to make the list for me

    July 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  25. Rob

    Santan Brewing Company in AZ has a great summer beer called Mr. Pinapple. Despite the name, no overpowering fruit flavor. Just very refreshing with a clean finish. Perfect for 100+ degree days here.

    July 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • lol

      I tried it. Not bad but I couldn't really have more than one. Not something you can sit down with a 6-pack of and watch a ball game or BBQ with. Kinda has that sweet, overly carbonated, malt beverage thing going on... not enough of a "beer" feel or finish to it...eventually makes me thirsty for an actual beer.

      July 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Ken

      I was hoping someone would give love to Mr. Pineapple, it is the ultimate summer beer!!

      July 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  26. Tony A

    Any list that has Sam Adams anywhere near a top 100 is a obviously a sham. How much did they pay you?

    July 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • lol

      Agreed. Had my first S.A. Lager in 1988. Back then there wasn't much in the way of Craft/Micro beers, so that or maybe Anchor Steam was the go to choice for a good beer (at least in my neck of the woods). Now, it's been surpassed by dozens if not hundreds of better beers and many brewed right down the road from most of us. When I taste a S.A. Lager now, it does nothing for me. Kinda like: "Well, If that's all there is, I guess I'll have that." Sorta like when you find yourself at a chain restaurant and that's your only option...that, or iced tea. Plus, Sam Adams has fallen prey to it's own success and like the bigger domestics, taste and quality takes a back seat to quality and the all mighty dollar, that's just the way it is. I'm still surprised they haven't been bought up by a huge European beverage conglomerate by now...they're ripe for it.

      July 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  27. Johnny C

    Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and Founders All Day IPA are summer staples for me.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  28. lol

    I've tasted hundreds of beers over the decades – many with all kinds of odd combinations of added flavorings – and even though I've not liked many of them for normal reasons of taste, I can count on one hand how many I couldn't even finish a few ounces of, and the Hell or High Watermelon beer is one of them. It was so bad it actually made me angry that anyone would package that p!ss in a can and have the nerve to sell it to people. It's the kind of thing you drink and instantly turn to look for the hidden camera, as there is no way it couldn't be a prank, right? I thought last year there would be no way they could have the decency to make it again and yet there it is for 2013. It makes Coors Light with a shot of Potpourri scented Windex poured in it taste like a great Belgian Ale by comparison and calling it vomit inducing awful is an understatement. If the brewers of this vile product are reading this, you should be ashamed to even call yourselves brewers and need to have your business license revoked.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • lol

      Excuse me, I meant "indecency".

      July 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • CJ

      Everyone's tastes are different... watermelon beer it is pretty weird, and I can understand why someone else wouldn't like it. I personally think it's a stroke of genius.

      July 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  29. phil


    July 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • aj2maj2m

      3 Floyds! Gumballhead rules!

      July 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  30. Ziggy

    "Simply put, this beer is 'summer in a can.' " I like a bit of citrus/fruit to my summer beers, but Hell or High Watermelon is just nasty. Too many beers (Summer Wheat, Blueberry Hill, etc.) are more wine coolers than beers. Bell's Oberon is summer in a bottle, and it is great American Wheat Beer.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  31. Nomad

    Hacker-Pschorr in my picnic basket.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  32. weezie

    Bell's two hearted is the staple of IPA's for craft breweries. Their summer seaonal each year is Oberon and is also excellent and should be listed on here.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  33. Mike

    I was excited to hear that a Watermelon wheat existed, but turns out that it's pretty bad to avergae based on reputable beer review sites.

    If someone asks me for a great summer beer, I have 3 options:

    For those who like hops: 3 Floyds Gumball Head. (or Deesko if you are lucky enough to visit the brewpub)

    For those who like a fruity wheat (tired of Blue Moon? Try THIS):: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

    My personal favorite: Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • David

      I prefer Arctic Panzer Wolf from Three Floyds.

      Starr Hill and Devils Backbone make some really good stuff that is available in Central VA. Northern Lights IPA(SH) and Vienna Lager(DB) are probably the best.

      July 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • BeerBrewerDan

        Striped Bass (DB) is darned tasty too.

        July 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Apex

      Wrong, it's awesome.

      July 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • lol

        Wow. You must be A:) the brewer of that vile stuff, or B:) had your tongue lit on fire as a child, as no one else this side of a lobotomy table thinks that. I'd like to know what other beers you find so tasty so I can avoid them at all costs. I'll use you as my proverbial "parrot in a coal mine".

        July 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  34. Temperent

    Wow, lots of alcoholics on here today. Who knew?

    July 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Lisa

      Aw... you're pretty.

      Enjoying a quality beer (or even two) does not in any stretch of imagination make one an alcoholic. In fact, my beer is rather expensive, either American craft or imports. If I waas an alcoholic who wanted to just get drunk, I'd buy cheap stuff. :)

      Have a great day.

      July 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • bob pitt

        Where can I get the cheap stuff?

        July 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  35. Dry as a bone

    I cannot get enough of the newest Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat! It is the best I have had! We have quite a stock on hand because it is a seasonal brew. Hope they decide to make it available year round! If you've not had one you are in for a treat!

    July 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • jefnvk

      I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you stop drinking Busch's wanna be microbrew, and go out and enjoy something from your local brewery :)

      July 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • lol


        July 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Dry as a bone

        That's about all we have in the fridge besides my tasty buds! Tired of the watermelon brew and the lemon flavored kinds! It's not all about micro-brews! We support them all locally, I just like what I like, because I like it, not becasue someone says so!!!!

        July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • betterdays

      Sounds like the name of a pre-sweetened breakfast cereal for children. Love that little Shock Top label mascot, too, with his gnarly, rad mohawk and sunglasses. He looks so darned rebellious! Golly!

      July 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  36. Terry

    The best summer beer. Raspberry beats watermellon everytime.

    July 15, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Mike

      Schlafly is a darn fine brewery. Good stuff, great recommendation.

      July 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  37. JayCee302

    Flying Fish Brewery – Farmhouse Summer Ale

    A tribute to the highly drinkable "every day" beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.

    July 15, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • jefnvk

      Never had the pleasure of trying a farmhand ale until I moved to a city with a large microbrew presence. I can completely agree, a cool farmhand is my absolute favorite for a hot-day summertime beer.

      July 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  38. thesaj

    Try Innis & Gunn, scotch whiskey ale.


    July 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • cozyboy

      Love Innis & Gunn. Their seasonal Irish Whiskey (cask) Stout which comes out late winter/spring is the best beer I've ever had (no hyperbole here).

      July 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  39. Skillet Sauce

    An imperial pilsener at 8% ABV? Doesn't sound all that refreshing to me.

    No Weihenstehener Hefeweissen? Blashemy!

    July 15, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  40. joeylight99

    Nothing from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL? They are one of the best breweries in the US right now, and no love. If you have a chance to try their Hotter Than Helles Lager or Floride Cracker Belgian Wheat they are great summer beers. If you're even in Tampa stop by the brewery to try beers like Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale and Lemon Cake Lager.

    July 15, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  41. Brad

    Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and Goose Island 312 are some of my favorites this summer...

    July 15, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  42. Amy Z

    Austin Beerworks' Einhorn is a delightful summer beer.

    July 15, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  43. nicoleperdue

    Not a single beer from Texas? Seriously? :)

    Shiner has brought back their Ruby Redbird Ale for the summer. Strong flavors of grapefruit and ginger – when it's cold, it's one of the few things to cut through the heat in Texas.

    Live Oak has won awards with their Pilz, which was admired by the late Michael Jackson (beer critic, not singer).

    St. Arnold has their Lawnmower, (512) has their Wit, Franconia has a great Kolsch... I could keep going. But you should come check out Texas beer for yourself. Budget a couple weeks. Austin alone has (512), Independence, Circle, Adelberts, Rogness, Thirsty Planet, Hops and Grain, Austin Beerworks, Jester King, 4th Tap Cooperative... That's just the straight up breweries and doesn't mention the independent brewpubs. DFW is also sprouting a ton of microbreweries and brewpubs, and there's multiples in Houston and San Antonio as well.

    Just sayin'...

    July 15, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Chris

      Out of all the amazing st arnold beers you focus on lawnmower?

      July 15, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Pete

      No beers from Oregon should be the question. Portland (Beer City USA)

      July 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Vader

      Rather than Lawnmower, I go with Icon (seasonal) wheat and it's citrus tang.

      July 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • rhobere

      Oh man, thank you for saying Franconia. They make some top notch beer. I lived in McKinney for a while and there was nothing quite like it. I've lost my love for Shiner though. They actually charge more for it in state than they do out of state in a lot of places because Texans will pay more for a local beer. Talk about taking advantage of your fans.

      July 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  44. Mike S

    I recently found Shiner's Ruby Redbird. Great summer brew!

    July 15, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Rich

      SHINER RUBY beer on a hot day

      July 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  45. Rich A

    I love Hell or High Watermelon! DC Brau's El Hefe Speaks is also at the top of my list.

    July 15, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • bob pitt

      Best American beers are Dos XX and Corona...


      July 15, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  46. Aloha

    I've been drinking this Tangerine beer lately, pretty good. The local supermarkets are having a rough time keeping it stocked.

    July 15, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • bob pitt

      I tried that one, however I feel a bit feminine after drinking it so I stopped..

      July 15, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • ourdailypint

        Drink what you like.

        July 15, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • Steven

          Well said, ourdailypint. Some days it's a Guinness or a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy or glass of Chardonnay or a Budweiser. If you're not comfortable enough in your own skin to enjoy a delicious beverage because of the stigma you think is attached to it, you've got issues.

          July 15, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • betterdays

          You can even put a little paper umbrella in it if you wish!

          July 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  47. ourdailypint

    While these articles are nice – they're not exactly helpful because of distribution limitation. I suggest adding a "Where can you get this" under each beer and listing which states the beer is distributed too. It's nice to know that Surly Furious is a great IPA (it truly is) – but it basically doesn't leave the state of Minnesota. It the goal of these articles is to introduce people to craft beer is isn't very helpful to leave them on a search for beers they don't have access to.

    July 15, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Miguel

      Most breweries these days have a "where can I get it" page, and if they don't a simple email to them will get you up to date answers.

      July 15, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • ourdailypint

        1) The majority of the general public (i.e. CNN readers) don't really understand the complexity of beer distribution.
        2) I'm still commenting how a few of the beers listed here have such a small distribution channel (only certain parts of their state) that it's probably important to mention.

        Perhaps another way to organize the list would be by region (if you wanted to include such beers).

        July 15, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • lol

          Yup, just like people touting Bell's from Michigan (which I can get when I'm back in Western PA) but here in NJ, you can't (at least not in my selection of distributors). I was just recently able to get Sweetwater in my area and that's saying a lot since I have access to easily hundreds of other craft and import beers here but of the 13 beers mentioned on this list, I can only get my hands on 4 of of them I absolutely hate and another I avoid unless I have no other options. I'm guessing for every one brewer I can find, there are at least 2 or 3 I can't, and that's not even including the smaller, more local brewers in the country that aren't large enough, or can supply enough to get distribution out of their immediate area. There's a lot of beer out there folks and chances are you'll never get to try even a fraction of it, and for your health and wallets sake, that's probably a good thing. ;)

          July 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • jefnvk

      Agree completely. I can go on all day about how good Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI is, but that doesn't help anyone not living in SW Michigan, as you rarely see their products outside a three county area.

      It'd be really nice if some of the distribution requirements got loosened up, so that I could order beer from these little breweries online.

      July 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • melissa

      well said ourdailypint.. I'm in Texas and none of these brews (in the article) are available in my small town.

      July 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Nick

      Same could be said for Hill Farmstead. I don't even think they bottle their beer yet. Last time I checked you could only get growlers at the brewery or pints on tap in a few of Vermont's nerdiest beer bars like Prohibition Pig.

      July 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • John M

        They bottle everything except their IPA's. I have a bottle of Arthur Saison here at home. It's not their best but is very, very tasty.

        July 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Katmil

      Part of the fun of traveling around the U.S. (and abroad) is finding the local brews and trying them out, so I don't necessarily think these lists are not helpful. It helps me make my "wish list." As for my favorite summer beers, there are so many, but my particular favorites are Bell's Oberon, Goose Island Summertime, and Short's Soft Parade. I'm from Michigan, so I have a Midwest bias, but I also love Abita's Lemon Wheat (LA) and most anything from Lagunitas (CA).

      July 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  48. TysonTbone

    Sam Adams makes a delightful Gose. I highly recommend it.

    July 15, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • JT

      I've only had three Gose (Westbrook, the Sam Adams, and one German brand that began with L) and of the three I would rank them Westbrook > Sam Adams > the German one. Could have to do with freshness, as the Westbrook brewery is a lot closer to me than SA or Germany!

      July 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  49. John

    I would add Sweetwater's Blue, a blueberry infused beer that is one of my favorite summertime brews. Sadly, production constraints limit distribution to no farther West than Huntsville, AL and I now live in Texas.

    July 15, 2013 at 10:05 am |
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