Summer Beers

Clare's top choices for summertime brews


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Summer Beers For all intents and purposes, it’s summer. The official first day of summer is still to come, but that doesn't change the fact that it's hot and I'm craving one of those crazy frozen beers that Kirin is selling across Japan.
Rumor has it that frozen beer machines might be coming to the States but until then, I'm more than content with the domestic variety of summer beers.
It can be hard to determine which beer styles are right for summer. Let’s start with the basics:

Photo courtesy of Alexey U/Shutterstock

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: SparkyUK3
    1112956 46

    Drinking Cisk beer (lager) here on the island of Gozo (Malta) and it is tasty, refreshing, local and more expensive than some imports. I loved Edinger Dunkel (German wheat beer) too which I drank in England. I have bought some of the local wine and the white is better than the red. I'll report any new findings of wine as I discover them. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

  • Farmhouse Saisons? hello?

    Jun 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

  • Snooth User: advwebsys
    250772 23

    i'm surprised hoegaarden wasn't on your list.

    Jun 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

  • Snooth User: Jasper23
    691492 1

    Can't beat Allagash White for a refreshing summer brew! Full, rich, spicy flavor but incredibly crisp and airy. Awesome stuff!

    Jun 15, 2012 at 2:09 PM

  • Snooth User: Bootz
    337697 45

    Yeah, the real problem is that there is no such thing as "real" Beer here in the USA. Unless you make it yourself. We need a law that distinguishes between CAB (Carbonated Alcoholic Beverage) and Beer, the beverage naturally brewed with real brewers yeast in the bottle. Offer the consumer the choice. Drinking in England or Germany....I'm jealous! Those same brands sold here in the USA...pasteurized...and dead. shame. We need new laws regarding BEER, the real stuff!

    Jun 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

  • Snooth User: geraldr68
    944113 12

    If you like the Deschutes American Blonde Ale check out Ballast Point's Pale Ale. It's brewed in the kölsch sytle as well.

    Jun 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

  • Snooth User: steve16046
    Hand of Snooth
    1085122 828

    Pennsylvania brews rightfully getting some love. Troegs and Victory are top notch brewers in the USA. Both offering tasty styles within the definition of those styles. @johnGrills, I agree Saisons, especially from The Bruery, Brasiere Fantome and Boulevard Brewing are some of my favorites. they are perfect for a hot summer day, but they are An acquired taste.

    Jun 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM

  • Snooth User: steve16046
    Hand of Snooth
    1085122 828

    @bootz, yes, the USA, does not have the cask culture that the UK has nor does it accurately portray the fine brews that we call session brews (<4.0abv). But having tasted many an English pint, I am kind of glad that there is more than the ESB cask brew. While there are some that are quite tasty and delicious drinkers, there are plenty out there that are bland and boring and not what I consider 'real' beer. So while we agree that the beer culture in America is a complete opposite of that than the UK, I don't agree with your quote of "offer the consumer he choice." I am pretty sure that if the beer drinking constituents craved and wanted more lower ABV brews and more brews on cask, they would make them available. But sadly, like wine, the bigger badder higher ABV and oaked aged brews are king in the usa and garner the best 'score'. While I don't agree, it is the culture we live in.

    Jun 15, 2012 at 7:26 PM

  • Snooth User: deliusfan
    521320 50

    When I was in Germany, oh, 15 years ago, I remember getting my Hefeweizen served with an orange wheel wedged into the narrow part of the glass and the beer poured through it! You also would find places that added flavored syrups ("Bananenweizen" comes to mind) to their beers, and I don't think this was just done for the American tourists as far I as I could tell...

    Jun 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

  • Snooth User: Bootz
    337697 45

    Hey Steve, the point I'm trying to make is that a majority of consumers here in the USA don't know the difference. Imagine all sparkling wine being labeled Champagne. Consumers won't crave something when they don't know of anything else. I really hope that someday, people will demand that the laws here are changed!
    Maybe this would be a great issue for Snooth to champion!!! PLEASE!

    Jun 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM

  • "'re typical IPA"? Oops. Spell/grammer check malfunction.

    Jun 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM

  • Snooth User: ledavis4
    Hand of Snooth
    851301 481

    Love the article - more beer features!

    Jun 18, 2012 at 6:33 PM

  • Snooth User: oldvino
    131700 1

    Well, I normally just read the comments and have never jumped in until now.
    Steve...& Bootz have started a thread that got my attention. I have to agree with some of their thinking then also disagree with parts of it also. Changing laws is not the answer when the American public dictates what the brewers put out. When you sit in a bar that boosts 150 different beers and the group sitting next to you all order Coors Light or a Bud...the brewers don't have much choice. If they want to stay in business they have to put out what the public wants. There are plenty of American brewers out there that can match or even out do the European or Belgium Brewers.
    In fact, I'm sitting here eating spicy blue clawed crabs drinking a very good Pilsner that stands up to the Old Bay Seasoning. The beer is Abita SOS. You can't get any more summer than crabs and beer in the North East. Victory's Summer Love is also a very good summer Beer. Yes it is all an acquired taste, but great American brewers are out there. You just have to make an effort to go out and find the one that matches you taste. Until the American public steps out of the rat race and starts drinking their beer for taste rather than quantity, us beer coinsures will have to search for our beer, but it is definitely out there.

    Jun 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

  • Snooth User: steve16046
    Hand of Snooth
    1085122 828

    Oldvino, I agree. There are tons of different craft beers out there. And within each style there are hundreds of interpretations. It is very similar to wine. When I got into craft beer years ago I found it overwhelming and thought there should be more structure. However, upon exploring some different styles lie Weizenbocks, Gose, Rye Brews, Russian Imperial Stouts..etc I am glad that many American brewers push the limits. While some of those brews "fail" In my opinion, I like having those options. I do wish I could find more cask beers, I am ultimately satisfied with the beer "culture" in the USA. Oh and Victory Summer Love is quite tasty. I love the noble hops! It is one of my favs from Victory right behind Hop Devil and Storm King Stout.

    Jun 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM


    Jun 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM


    Jun 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM

  • You did't give any anectodal knowledge regarding the beers styles. Lager vs. Pilsner (what makes a Pilsner, where did the name come from), or why is an IPA called an IPA? This knowledge is interesting and will allow the drinker to learn more, and later be able to better appreciate the different beers.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM

  • Snooth User: Leann Dubh
    1121094 9

    Blue Moon is not a Hefeweizen. It is meant to be a take on a witbier, also known as a Belgian white ale. The styles bear some similarities. Both are wheat based, both are cloudy and unfiltered. The differences lie mainly in the yeast and spicing. Hefeweizens are brewed with a distinct German yeast strain that will impart flavors such as banana and clove. Witbiers will make use of a Belgian yeast strain and are generally spiced with coriander and orange peel. Either way, hold the fruit. The citrus oils will kill the head on your beer. Head retention, presentation, and use of the proper glassware are very important, especially with a style such as hefeweizen. A well maintained head will trap volatiles (compounds that give a beer its aroma), enhancing the nose, and as a result, the flavor of the beer.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

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    May 10, 2018 at 6:05 AM

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