With summer's rising temperatures, sometimes there's nothing better than a cold glass (or can ... or bottle) of beer. But you don't want to be drinking a heavy beer, like a porter or stout, during the dog days of summer. A light, refreshing brew is what you want to be looking for, something with bright flavors of citrus, spices or hops to cleanse the palate and relieve you from the stifling heat. We're here to help you find that perfect summer beer.
Every year, usually in the early spring, beer producers release their summer beers in preparation for a season of eager drinkers. These beers are only around for the one season, so it's easy to miss them if you're not looking for them. But even so, choosing from all the different beers can be daunting, so we've made it easier for you with a shortlist. The tasting notes should help you find the flavors you like to drink on a hot summer day.
What's your favorite Summer Ale? Leave us a comment below.
Victory Summer Love Ale (Highly Recommended)
If you like a beer with bright flavors of hops, a little malt and a citrusy finish, then you'll love Victory Summer Love. <strong>Our Comments</strong>: "Spectacularly complex." "Good hops aroma with crisp body." "Citrusy and refreshing." "Tropical, lychee-like flavor." "Complex and refreshing with a a bit of bitterness." <a href="http://victorybeer.com/beers/summer-love-ale/" target="_hplink">VictoryBeer.com</a>
Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde Summer Brew (Highly Recommended)
Citra hops gives this golden ale its name and flavor. With a bright citrus aroma and a soft malt flavor, it's thirst-quenching and refreshing. <strong>Our Comments</strong>: "Very citrusy and palate-cleansing." "This is the summer beer I've been looking for -- it has a hint of grapefruit." "Floral and fruity." "Crisp with a small bite." "Nice peach notes." <a href="http://widmerbrothers.com/beer/#citra-blonde" target="_hplink">WidmerBrothers.com</a>
Peak Organic Summer Session Ale
This beer combines a summer wheat with a pale ale, creating a complex mouthfeel. Amarillo hops lends the beer its citrusy aroma. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "Pleasantly bitter." "Floral and smooth -- would hit the spot on a hot day." "Would love it for a day of easy drinking." <a href="http://www.peakbrewing.com/category/our-brews/" target="_hplink">PeakBrewing.com</a>
Sierra Nevada Summerfest
This Pilsner-style lager is smooth and refreshing from an extra-long lagering period. With a complex character, big aroma and tangy hop flavor, it's perfect for summer. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "More hoppy than most summer beers." "A solid drinking beer." "Standard." "A little rough around the edges." "Balanced, easy to drink and quite lovely." <a href="http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/summerfest.html" target="_hplink">SierraNevada.com</a>
River Horse Summer Blonde Ale
You'll find this beer to be light and refreshing since it's brewed with citrus and honey. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "Not too creamy, which is nice for the summer." "Nutty flavor." "NIce sweetness in the middle of the sip." <a href="http://www.hunterdonbrewing.com/?p=5389" target="_hplink">HunterdonBrewing.com</a>
Anchor Summer Beer
This American-style wheat beer is crisp and refreshing. It's made with all malt, with more than half from malted wheat. The fermentation leaves it with a clean flavor and a meringue-like head. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "Solid summer standby." "Malty -- good standard flavor." "Citrusy, floral and light." <a href="http://www.anchorbrewing.com/beer/summer_beer" target="_hplink">AnchorBrewing.com</a>
Harpoon Summer Beer
This Kolsch-style ale is brewed with ale yeast and has a light body, mild flavor with enough hops to give it a crisp, dry finish. <strong>Our Comments</strong>: "Pleasant, easy drinking." "Malty." "Clean and refreshing." "Starts with an apple flavor and winds down." <a href="http://www.harpoonbrewery.com/index.cfm/pid/28511" target="_hplink">HarpoonBrewery.com</a>
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice
This beer features a copper color and a smooth, malty, lightly sweet flavor with a hint of a spice. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "Sweet and fruity." "Really unique finish." "Caramel-like flavor." "Very rich flavor." "I would drink this often." <a href="http://www.avbc.com/main/our-beers/summer-solstice/" target="_hplink">AVBC.com</a>
Bluepoint Summer Ale
This golden beer combines wheat malt and barley malt to create a brew with a bit of tartness that's light and thirst-quenching for summer. <strong>Our comments</strong>: "Very light and clean." "I love this beer!" "Surprising sweetness and a light body." <a href="http://www.bluepointbrewing.com/bpbc/microbrews/summer-ale/" target="_hplink">BluepointBrewing.com</a>
Josephs Brau Summer Brew
This golden Kolsch-style beer is malty with a hint of citrus and a slight bitterness for a crisp and clean finish. <strong>Our Comments</strong>: "Smoky, woody as if it were off the grill." "Pretty bold for a summer beer." "Yeasty." from Trader Joe's
WATCH: How To Pack A Beer Cooler
Learn how to pack a beer cooler for a perfect party.