Beers of Summer 101

The ever-evolving craft beer movement can be hard to keep up with, but this trend, like any other, moves in circles, bringing old styles of the past to light. With the heat of summer creeping in and a heap full of BBQs, picnics and bonfires on the calendar, these resurfacing trends give us plenty of great options for summer sippin’. Here’s what to keep in your cooler:

booze bin pic

Sour Beers

Sour beers keep cropping up on beer lists more and more. With a slight sour essence and dry finish, these brews are a great way for non-beer drinkers to get in the game. They also tend to be fairly low in alcohol. Try a Bell’s Oarsman (4%) or Rodenbach Classic (5.2%) for something tart and light. For something fuller in flavor (and ABV) and that still makes you pucker, try a Petrus Aged Red (8.0%).

Saison Beers

Historically, saison beers (saison meaning “season” in French) described not so much a style of beer, but rather referred in general to the beer made and drank by Belgian farmers. They brewed beer in the cooler months, with the intention to make it last all summer. Before refrigeration, this meant plenty of fermentation, and ultimately resulted in a robust ale with plenty character. Today, these traits have formed into a style that tends to be quite fruity and spicy. Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière  (4.5%) is one of my favorites. In short, these beers were literally made for the summer. So crack open a fresh one, and cheers to your Belgian ancestors.


Whether you’re sipping shandy in the U.S., drinking a Radler in Deutschland, or toasting with Panaché in Paris, the combination of beer, bubbles, and citrus is universally accepted as the taste of summer. The blend of crisp pilsner and lemon soda (low ABV) makes for one thirst-quenching brew. Stock up on plenty of Leinenkugel, or pour your favorite pils with some Sprite or lemonade.

Bottom line— you can’t go wrong with any of these brews. Trending or not, they are seasonal staples. From IPA drinkers to wine lovers, no one can resist the refreshing sip of a crisp summer beer.



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