Sure, kids are going back to school soon but that doesn’t mean summer has to end! With the temperatures up, the sun still high in the sky and the weather cooperating (if it’s not too hot or stormy!), keep those summer vibes going for as long as you can.
Beer and summer are natural companions and beer sales are brisk during this time period with sales during May-August accounting for 40% of total yearly beer sales according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
Here are some excellent summer activities and my favorite beer style for each.
Beach and Hop Water
You want to stay hydrated at the beach but also want something hoppy, I have a few ideas for you. You can lean into some non-alcoholic options like Athletic Run Wild IPA or try a can/bottle of Hop Water, an NA seltzer that many breweries are making nowadays as a great alternative to beer. I love Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher which is distributed widely. But Em, you say, this is a beer article! I want beer at the beach! Okay, you’re right. Harpoon Brewery’s Rec League, a 4% ABV hazy pale ale, will help you beat the heat.
Camping and Pilsner
Lagers and summer; there’s nothing finer! When hitting the outdoors for camping and hiking, a golden lager like a pilsner is where it’s at. There are a lot of local pilsner options should you be making trips this year. In New England, try Oxbow Luppolo, which is an Italian-style pilsner. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, Buoy Czech-style Pilsner is quite tasty and if you want something slightly lighter and drier than a Czech-style Pilsner, Heater Allen German-style Pilsner is one of the highest rated pilsners in America.
Mowing the Lawn and Kölsch
Yard work can work up quite a thirst and the German kölsch feels like the right beer for this job. A kölsch is a German style brewed with ale yeast but conditioned cold like a lager. There’s a slight fruitiness to the beer that comes from the ale yeast. These golden beers are perfect for summer be it while you’re mowing your lawn or just relaxing in the hammock. Saint Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower is one of the finest examples of an American made kölsch but the beer straight from Germany is also easy to find with choices like Gaffel, Reissdorf or Früh.
Picnics and Sour Beers
Break out the cheese board! Sour beers are the perfect complement to picnicking out of doors under the shade of a large tree. Sour beers encompass a huge swath of beer styles from German ales like Berliner Weisse and Gose to the highly intricate spontaneously fermented beers of Belgium which can take years to make. I usually gravitate towards Belgian fruit lambics that make a handsome presentation like 3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek, a beer that tastes almost like sour cherry pie. There are also wonderful canned sour options from America like Westbrook Gose or Crooked Stave’s lovely sour collection.
Baseball and American Light Lager
There’s nothing like baseball at the ballpark (or baseball on the radio while lounging on the porch) and that seems to make the most sense when drinking a light lager. Most of the top selling beers in America like Bud Light and Michelob Ultra (both owned by ABInbev) are American Light Lagers but many craft breweries are making light lagers as well like Night Shift with their excellent Night Light to New Magnolia’s Heights Light.
Cheers to keeping summer alive just a little longer and enjoy it. Cheers!