Cool Beers For A Hot Summer

Jeff O'Heir

Pick a summer activity, warm-weather occasion, or seasonal dish. Odds are high a brewer has crafted a beer to match it.

A new round of refreshing saisons, fruity pales, piney IPAs, sweet wheats, easy-drinking Belgians, and bracing sours are taking over the glasses, bottles, and cans once filled with the heavier porters, stouts, and barley wines that provide comfort during the colder months.

Now is the time for crisp, quenching, light beers brewed specifically for the beach, ballgames, and barbecues. Many of the beers showcased above pair well with shellfish, salads, seasonal vegetables, and other summer favorites. Made with innovative hops and a variety of fruits, they also make flavorful additions to a variety of recipes.

Brewers release these beers in limited batches, typically beginning in late spring. While some are nationally distributed, most are shipped regionally. They all offer a good excuse to explore something new or to visit one of the breweries. We’ve included links on where to find the brews and how beer lovers rate them.

Finding a seasonal beer that fits your summer mood, activity, or dinner shouldn’t be a problem. The Brewers Association reports that all seasonals will account for close to 14 percent of the craft beer shipped in the U.S. this year. Summer is the second most popular category behind fall.

But who in their right mind is thinking about fall right now? It’s time to toast summer.