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Ah, summer. We've been indulging in one too many glasses of wine, one too many iced teas and iced coffees, and of course, one too many great craft beers because, well, it's summer. But summer is slipping away all too fast (despite the abnormally hot temperatures that seem to be here to stay), and there are just too many beers to drink before Labor Day hits us.
Many of us would rather reach for a light, big-name beer, like Coors or Budweiser, instead of a craft beer during the dog days of summer — but there's no need. Jeff Wharton, the co-founder of Drink Craft Beer and organizer for several craft beer festivals in Boston and the Northeast, explains why summer doesn't have to be the "beer wasteland" of summer — in fact, it can be a beer heaven for craft beer enthusiasts. "It just goes to show you how craft beer has evolved over time," Wharton says.
Click here fore The 55 Beers to Drink This Summer Slideshow
When people first started drinking craft beer (a "rebellion" to the mass market beers, as Wharton calls it), the craft beers people were drinking were "bigger beers." Think of the stouts and double IPAs, you enjoy during the colder months, the beers that warm you from the inside out. "The flavors were bigger, and stronger," Wharton says. "People loved drinking them in the fall and winter, and even in the spring — but not in the summer." So, craft brewers responded to the market by putting out the lighter craft beer styles we see today: golden ales, pilsners, and hefeweizens. "Basically, the beers you want to drink on a 95-degree day," Wharton says.
Which is why summer is actually a great time to be drinking beer, whether you're a craft beer enthusiast or novice. Wharton says it's the "silent majority" of beer drinkers, the people who rely on the beer brands they know and love but want to try new beers, who are making summer seasonal craft beers more popular. Wharton mentions a Summer Rye Ale from Mayflower Brewing, which he first tried at a wedding. "It was the talk of the night," he says. "The beer was interesting enough to keep beer enthusiasts happy, but palatable so that the 'craft beer curious' would love it." In short, it's the test of what makes a summer beer, well, perfect for summer.
And that's what we found when we polled craft beer experts, cicerones, editors, bloggers, brewers, and Twitter #craftbeer experts on what beers they're drinking this summer: beers that are interesting and refreshing enough to keep everyone happy. On our list, we saw multiple styles and flavors come up. For example, saisons are reaching cult-like status. "It's just so good," Wharton says. "It's light and refreshing." Hefeweizen, Wharton says, is another style he's seen grow slowly this summer, especially Bavarian Hefeweizens. "It's a beer that could get bigger and bigger over the next two to three years," he says.
And the flavors that appear in summer seasonals are the same flavors you want to eat in solid form: citrus, blueberry, watermelon. Sure, the craft beer elite might snub their noses at it, but hey — don't you want to try a watermelon brewed beer just once? "It's just what people are interested in," Wharton says. If you need inspiration for what beers you should be drinking this summer, look no further than our bucket (list) of beers to drink this summer. We're counting down the minutes to 5 o'clock just thinking about it.
The Best Cucumber Beers For Summer Sipping
It’s a little surprising that cucumbers and beer don’t have a deeper history. The refreshing gourd, with its signature green and slightly bitter flavor, plays quite nicely with lighter beer styles.
Most of us have tried cucumber water and been taken by its freshness. The flavor of cucumber is uniquely its own, but there’s also the added benefit of accompanying antioxidants. With beer, cucumber can impart some coolness to counteract the sizzle of the hops and effervescence, or garden-fresh grassy notes to play off of the acid of a sour beer. In other cases, it can offer a melon rind note that reminds us of hammocks and backyard hangouts.
Even if cucumber is not your thing, though, there’s a decent chance you’ll like how it operates in the company of hops, malt, and grain. The mashup activates something a little extra in cucumber, a food that’s never really been a celebrity but perhaps should be.
There are a somewhat limited number of these beers to try, but the unique and complementary marriage of flavors they showcase is reason enough to be on the lookout.
Best Overall: Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock
Innovative, daring, and dark-brewed, the Aventinus, a type of ale beer, comes from the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria, Germany. Like many of the world’s best inventions, it started as a mistake: until the 1940s, this beer was shipped in containers lacking temperature regulation, thus partially freezing during shipment and resulting in a more concentrated, intense beer. Six generations of family ownership later, Hans Peter Drexler, brewmaster of Schneider brewery, heard the tale and drew inspiration to recreate it.
This version of the Aventinus Eisbock evokes sweet banana and plum flavors flanked by clove, toffee, and raisin notes, carried along by a luxurious, almost-sticky mouth feel. Moses calls it “the devil’s juice” for its seductive flavor profile, as well as “an amazing accomplishment.”
23 Great Beers You'll Want to Drink This Summer
The whole "summer beer" category has undergone an upheaval in the last few years. Very suddenly, breweries started expanding the definition of summer beer to include super-sugary shandies, way-too-tart goses, and ultra-light fruited sessions. And then summer beers started to taste like, well, soda.
You can blame (or thank?) hard seltzer, which as an alcoholic beverage category has created a sea change in the beverage business. Those bubbly boozes, in their sleek cans, wrestled market share from craft beer and, as a result, some of those breweries, along with titans among the macro-beer world, started to crank out the stuff.
And then beer sort of got stuck in the middle, drawn-and-quartered between hard seltzer and its OG roots. But here's the thing: Plenty of amazing craft breweries are still cranking out delicious craft beer that is neither beer-flavored soda nor boring by any means. It's just that this beer is simply harder to find these days because there are so many styles on the market and so many players in the game. (How many breweries does your town have that it didn't 15 years ago?)
So we did the work for you. We sipped through the sessions. We pounded the pilsners. We puckered through the sours. And we explored some category-defying beers that could be the Next Big Style&mdashand, who knows, maybe even a style that can topple King Hard Seltzer.
So whether you&rsquore manning the grill or just mowing the lawn on Sunday morning, these are the 20-plus best Men&rsquos Health-approved summer beers right now. Thankfully, there's still a whole lot to love.
The 19 Best IPA Beers to Sip This Season
Of the top 25 beers on Beer Advocate's list of the best beers in the world, eleven are India Pale Ales. In tandem with the craft beer movement, IPAs have risen tremendously in popularity in recent years.
While IPAs come in a variety of styles, they're generally known for high hops content. Their flavors can range from citrusry to piney, and while they're not all bitter, IPAs are well-suited to those who appreciate some bitterness in their pints. Styles are categorized by both region&mdashWest Coast, British, and New England-style, for example&mdashand hop level, like double or triple.
The "India Pale Ale" name harkens back to the 19th century, when the beer was created in England and exported to British troops stationed in India. The hops and alcohol content was increased from a standard pale ale, reportedly in order to preserve the booze during the months-long trip involving hot weather and no refrigeration. Another theory is that the pale ale carbonation and flavors simply were not robust enough to survive the journey, so extra alcohol and hops were added to keep the troops happy.
Whatever the case, IPAs are some of the most interesting, complex, and popular beers on the market today. Here are 20 of the best to try.
"I really enjoy drinking Hitachino Nest Beer, especially on a hot summer day. It pairs well with both sushi and classic Alsatian dishes like Tarte Flambée and sauerkraut."
&mdashJean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef and Proprietor, Jean-Georges
"When it comes to IPAs, I am really not a huge fan of the new-school hazy IPAs in general. I grew up with clear crisp IPAs and those are still the ones I like to drink the most! This one goes way back for me and is one of the first American IPAs I remember tasting and thinking, wow, the Americans are up to something compared to what I was used to drinking from the UK! It's clean and crisp but still has those tropical dank notes."
"I discovered New Magnolia Brewing Company on a recent trip to Houston. They're a family-owned and operated neighborhood brewpub in historic Houston Heights, with 20 beers on tap and a number available in cans. We serve their beers at the two restaurants we operate in Houston: Cafe Leonelli MFAH and La Table. All of their beers are great, but one of the standouts for me is the Redwood IPA. This West Coast-style IPA is bright, crisp, and absolutely delicious. It pairs incredibly well with classic Italian food."
"Jesse Ferguson and his crew brew some of the freshest and cleanest beers I've ever tried at Interboro in the Bushwick/Williamsburg border in Brooklyn, and we're always sure to pour an IPA of theirs on tap at Red Hook Tavern. Premiere is a straightforward and classic East Coast-style IPA with a slightly hazy golden color and rich foamy head. There's an explosion of citrus and melon aromas and flavors thanks to the Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops, plus a double dry hop of Mosaic. Premiere is dry and balanced, super refreshing, and clocks in at 6% ABV so you can drink more than one on the patio in the sun on a late afternoon."
&mdashRebecca Flynn, General Manager & Beverage Director at Red Hook Tavern, Brooklyn
"Kern River Citra explodes with sweet citrus and reminds me of the first time I stuck my head in a bag of hops. It reminds me a lot of the first double IPA I ever had, Pizza Port Frank, which sadly isn't made anymore."
&mdashPatrick Rue, one of 19 Master Cicerones in the world and Winemaker in Training at Erosion Wine Co.
"Whenever I see Maine Beer Co. Lunch on a tap list, I order it. The geniuses at Maine have figured out how to layer flavors and textures where each sip is a progression of flavor experiences. First citrus, then pine, then crisp, toasty malt finishing in a crisp bitterness with a lasting finish of citrus. It's an old-school, West Coast-style IPA made in the best of ways, yet with a rustic unfiltered haze that'll appeal to the new school IPA drinkers as well."
"Other Half Brewing opened in 2014 and immediately changed the greater NYC area's brewing landscape. While their canned IPA releases initially created massive hype and long lines that wrapped around Brooklyn blocks, their beers always delivered. A huge following of fans has remained loyal to their outrageous IPAs. Green City is a double dry hopped (DDH) IPA, also in that East Coast style it is so hazy it pours opaque thanks to a load of oats in the malt bill. Those oats contribute a creamy body which offsets the bracingly bitter addition of Simcoe, Citra, and Centennial hops. This beer is another pint that proves Brooklyn is truly the Green City and home to the best IPAs in the country."
"A top IPA list isn't complete without Russian River Pliny The Elder. It is the benchmark for the double IPA style that has stood the test of time&mdasha perspective-shifting beer when I first experienced it in 2005, to today Pliny's, an old pal that still looks the same (perhaps even better) after all of these years! The fresh aromatics of citrus blossoms and freshly cut pine trees with a firm bitterness and a dry finish always keeps me coming back."
"Burial Brewing has some of the best beers around. Their Surf Wax IPA is great for a warm day. It hits all of the needed hoppy high notes while refreshing enough to drink a couple while soaking up the sun."
"I&rsquove been called a &lsquospirits guide&rsquo more times than I can count. It's a play on words, but the message is that I'm a trusted resource when it comes to spiritus alcohol as I've got decades of experience tasting, judging, and selling all manner of high-proof juice. It's smart to seek out the opinions of an expert, whether choosing a new tipple, athletic shoe, or car. When I&rsquom in the mood for a beer, there's no better resource for information in NYC than Cory Bonfiglio of Beer Street. He knows my tastes and steers me toward IPAs that I'll either like right away or that'll challenge my perception of the category. This modern classic has become a beer bar staple, and for good reason. It ticks all the boxes for a classic Hazy IPA: soft mouthfeel, overripe citrus, and tropical aromatics. It's a great choice for relaxing with friends."
&mdashSother Teague, Beverage Director, Amor y Amargo
"As the sunshine starts to be a more regular occurrence, Defender&mdashherbal and floral with bright notes of pithy grapefruit&mdashmakes its way into regular rotation as well. Keep 'em cold!"
"I've always loved Sierra Nevada Torpedo, their now longstanding foray into the IPA category, but Dankful feels like the official Sierra Nevada West Coast IPA we've all been waiting for. It masterfully blends seven varieties of new and old-school hops without pushing too much juicy fruit. This is classic American IPA hop character, with grapefruit and citrus vying with resin, pine, and earth for flavor impact. The resulting balance is remarkable, as is the caramel malt sweetness, which also takes a shot at balance before giving way to a clean, rich and resounding bitterness. Drinking Dankful just feels good, especially as it funds some of Sierra Nevada's many philanthropic pursuits."
"I love Proclamation Tendril IPA. I have been following Proc since their days at the old lumber yard in Kingston. Now they have now upgraded to a large-scale facility and are still able to put out the amazing quality from their roots. This New England IPA is, in my opinion, the best Rhode Island beer. Tendril has these wonderful grapefruit and melon notes that just make it a total crusher for any time of the year."
&mdashCorey Hayes, Director of Food and Beverage at the Wayfinder Hotel and Nomi Park, Newport, RI
"Radiant Pig Save the Robots is a dope microbrewery from Brooklyn now owned by our neighbors at Newport Craft. Save the Robots is a true New England-style IPA. I love this beer because of its artistic connection. It was named for East Village Club artists like Keith Haring and Basquiat. It's a great example of a juicy haze bomb, and the tropical notes are what makes it so damn drinkable."
"The Anchor Brewing Tropical Hazy IPA is really a great beer to be had any time of the year. It has a flavorful, crisp, and refreshing taste that pairs perfectly with any style of pizza."
"Goose Island Brewery is a Chicago story and so am I. I have consumed many times my bodyweight of this IPA. Fruity, not over malted, and a brilliant warm weather pounder for when I am tired of pondering complicated wines."
"When I head to my childhood home of Chicago, I always stop off at Big Star for tacos and their excellent list of brews. A Three Floyd's IPA is typically always on my order and instantly signals 'I&rsquom home.'"
&mdashGavin Fine, JH Fine Dining Restaurant Group Owner and Roadhouse Brewery Co-Founder, Jackson Hole, WY
"I'd suggest Fat Orange Cat Brewing Baby Kittens. It's not as overpowering in the hops department as some IPAs, and it's on the lighter side. It also finishes a little bitter, leaving you reaching for another sip. With notes of citrus and tropical fruit, it's easy to pair with all kinds of dishes. We've found it to be a real crowd-pleaser here at the restaurant."
&mdashMikayla Cansler, Beverage Director, The Shipwright&rsquos Daughter, Mystic, Connecticut
"Considering the incredibly diverse and growing range of beer styles available today, it's useful to focus on a particular beer style as a framework for trying out different breweries. IPAs are perfect because they really put the hops and a brew master's creativity in the spotlight. As a style that would have been traditionally brewed for foreign export, they are especially well suited as a source of local pride. I have been loving what's been coming out of New York City lately, with so many smaller operations producing fantastic brews. One of my very favorites is the Other Half Brewing Company out of Brooklyn, which is constantly coming out with new IPA variations in collaboration with cool brands and really having fun with their hops. A great place to try their newest IPA release and discover other local brews is at Eli's Night Shift on the Upper East Side (ask for Chris)."
&mdashNicholas Wirth, Director of Food, Beverage, and Events at the Greenwich Hotel
In my eyes, every beer is a summer beer. Yes, I’ll admit that pumpkin beers are best consumed in fall, and Christmas Ales taste better when there’s snow on the ground, but I don’t think there’s one symbolic, summer style.
When I think about summer beers, I think of everything from crisp IPAs to dessert stouts to juice-spiked seltzers. Lucky for Pittsburghers, there are plenty of local breweries around to keep us well-hydrated and ready to day drink. To help you narrow down the field, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite beers and can series to keep an eye out for this summer – some seasonal, some year-round.
These brews may have similar characteristics – a bit lighter-bodied, lower ABV, or lean towards fruiter flavors – but that doesn’t mean they’re all lagers, pilsners, and sours.
Last summer, Grist House launched their first-ever seltzer series, Seltza Drip, with flavors like strawberry guava, blackberry-tangerine, and mimosa. Each seltzer is based on real fruit, making the mouth feel a bit thicker and the flavor incredible. We might not know the flavors or release dates, but we do know one thing: Seltza Drip will return in 2021.
Lustra, perhaps one of Dancing Gnome’s most well-known and beloved brews, tastes especially good in summer. (Though, to be honest, I’d happily sip on a pint any time.) The beer is a 5.8% pale ale and will capture any drinker by the heart: it’s super approachable, filled with citrusy flavors.
Watch out for some of their less-frequent releases, too – Stained Glass Ceilings, an 8% double IPA, and Etch, a 6.6% IPA, were some of my favorites from last summer.
Hitchhiker's beer list compares to a fruit stand their rotating lineup is full of flavors like mango, watermelon, lemon, and cherry. Stick to their Fruit Rush smoothie sour series for, well, a fruit rush: their most recent iteration, Blueberry Watermelon, conditions a kettle sour on lemons, blueberries, and watermelon.
Or, find summer flavors in their stout selections. Favorites from years past have been oreo-flavored, conditioned on Count Chocula cereal, or made in likeness to a chocolate and vanilla shake.
Get your funk on at Stranger Roots, a Millvale brewery known for farmhouse and experimentative ales. Their house lager, at around 4%, is made for sunny days. Fruit shines in their tartshake series, in flavors like blueberry peach and strawberry rhubarb. For the seltzer-heads, their year-round bubbly offering is balanced, easy-going, and super drinkable.
There’s never a quiet moment at Cinderlands’ massive, 15-barrel brewing system in the Strip District. Squish, a 5.5% light-bodied pale ale, is another year-round brew that hits just right in summer. For a burst of fruit, shop their tartshake series, and be on the lookout for delicate Saisons and grisettes to hit in the future.
While you can’t go wrong with their signature American Ale, Big Hop, East End has plenty of cans for you to crush this summer. Start with Wheat Hop (before it’s gone!) a 5.1% hoppy American wheat ale loaded with juice, before moving to Pedal Pale Ale, a crisp, citrusy, traditional pale ale.
East End is also set to release the fourth iteration of their massive collaboration brew, the Pennsylvania Loophole Project, this time including 23 breweries across the state. This version will be a white IPA, which Scott Smith, owner of the brewery, says sits somewhere between a Belgian Witte and a modern IPA.
Love smoothies, but also want a beer? Go for this Zelienople brewery's Smooshie series their latest a 7% Tropical Fruit Punch described as a “smoothie in a can” and “pure in-your-face fruit." It's the perfect breakfast beer.
Go hoppier with Shubrew’s returning Pixelated IPA, Jumpman, a personal (and city) favorite. The 6% IPA, flaunting pineapple and citrus, is undoubtedly drinkable.
14 Shandies To Keep Your Thirst Quenched All Summer
Here at VinePair, we love the shandy: the perfect compromise between hydration and intoxication. A shandy is technically a beer cocktail comprised of a good brew and fruit juice. Shandies are perfect for the summertime, especially when it comes to hikes or long days in the sun. The juice will prevent you from getting faint, while the beer (which is typically low in alcohol) will make life just a little bit rosier. And while it’s always fun to try and make your own shandies, if you’re short on time or just in the mood to see what’s out on the market, you might want to reach for something prepackaged that you can easily drink on the go. We’ve chosen the fourteen shandies that perfectly tread the line between fresh flavor and boozy goodness. If you weren’t jonesing for a long weekend and a frosty glass before, you will be after reading this list.
1. Schell Shocked Grapefruit Radler
Grapefruits are more than just the fruit selection for dieters worldwide. They’re also delicious, tart, and perfect in a radler (basically the German equivalent of a shandy). Schell’s grapefruit radler has a surprisingly creamy head with a touch of malty nuttiness. There is a certain pop sweetness to Schell’s, so this is a great radler if you want to treat yourself to an adult soda. However, aside from the sugar you’ll get a nice touch of grapefruit puckerability.
2. Sixpoint Rad
This mild-mannered beer is from Sixpoint’s Mad Scientists Series, which produces wacky, innovative brews. Rad is a wheat beer that incorporates a fruit juice mixture to deliver a thick, fizzy shandy. Rad is pretty unique for a shandy, in that the fruit juice flavors go beyond just citrus. You’ll get stone fruit like peaches and nectarines, as well as a little strawberry and banana. Plus, the bright orange color of the beer matches the cool can, which is perfect for a picnic or hydrating after a jog.
3. Samuel Adam’s Porch Rocker
Sam Adams does a great job of consistently putting out temperate, agreeable beers that appeal to macro and micro-brew drinkers alike. Porch Rocker epitomizes this phenomenon, as it has both fresh originality and mainstream approachability. This is a delicate beer that doesn’t overdo it with the sweetener. You’ll taste some light lemon, hay, and a bit of natural sugar. Don’t expect a cloying cider: expect a beer with lemon. In other words, this is the beer a Corona and lime wants to be.
4. Boulevard Brewing’s Ginger-Lemon Radler BEST OVERALL
While ginger has been a popular cocktail ingredient for some time (Moscow Mule, anyone?), it’s a little underutilized in beer. Boulevard Brewing makes the most of this sweet-spicy root with their ginger-lemon radler. You’ll get lemon rind, succulent citrus, a little heat from the ginger, and sweet, tasty bubbles. If you want to fancy up this raddler, add ginger shavings. We also think that the gentle zest in this beer would be just what the doctor ordered should you fall ill to a summer cold.
5. Narragansett’s Del’s Shandy
Throw your Mike’s Hard Lemmies in the trash and reach for this lovely spin on spiked lemonade. Del’s Shandy is pretty alcoholic as far as shandies go (5% ABV), with a substantial, creamy texture. Plenty of bright lemon mingles with yeastiness for a great combination of summer sugar and ale punchiness. Del’s has a great nose, so take a big sniff and enjoy the aromas of lemon curd and grainy grit. Mike’s, you gotta up your game.
6. Curious Traveler
Traveler Beer Co. is brought to you by the same people who brought you Magic Hat, one of the more well-known craft breweries out there. Both whimsical and fruity, Curious Traveler is Traveler’s year-round lemon shandy. This is a very refreshing beer that – particularly when dangerously served on draught – you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again. The lemon sourness and semi-bitter, salty finish will cleanse your palate. Enjoy this shandy with light summer fare like chicken salad or peanut lettuce wraps.
7. UFO Big Squeeze Shandy
Harpoon triumphs with this bold, grapefruit shandy. Like Schell Shocked, UFO Big Squeeze is all about the grapefruit. In fact, there’s so much luscious, fruity goodness, if you’re looking for a shandy that’s mostly beer, then move along. This is a beer for someone who truly appreciates real fruit. This beer is great when dessert is making its rounds, because it has genuine zingy sweetness without being saccharine. It will both satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling sated.
8. Amstel Radler
We know, we know, we were hesitant as well – but hear us out. This radler is a solid session beer that caps in at a low ABV of 2%. It’s quite crisp, with bright lemon tanginess. While Amstel is a good beer alternative to a vodka lemonade, don’t expect too much hoppy or malty flavor. Like UFO Big Squeeze, the fruit to beer ratio is skewed (at least in terms of taste) toward the fruit. If you’d like to add robust nuttiness, stir in a little amaretto.
9. Point Coast Radler BEST ON A BUDGET
This beer from Stevens Point Brewery features a little bicycle on the bottle. Why? Because “radler” is German for “bicycle.” Point Coast switches up the game by using both lemon and grapefruit juice, not to mention a little squeeze of lime. This beer – which is made with Munich hops (this radler is staying authentic!) – tastes like a perfectly indulgent naughty popsicle on a blistering summer afternoon. Plus, at around $8 for a six-pack, this is an affordable shandy that you can buy massive quantities of for a summer barbecue.
10. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
The aftertaste on this shandy is superb. Plenty of wheat and malt accentuate the classic lemon flavor. Leinenkugel’s won’t taste like pure juice either. Instead, you’ll get a hint of egg flavor, like you’re enjoying a fluffy lemon meringue. You could even enjoy this shandy as a light breakfast beer. Get the griddle ready for pancakes, omelettes, and serve up chilled glasses of Leinenkugel’s summer shandy. Now that’s what we call a healthy start to the day.
11. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen-Mix Grapefruit
The German brewery Binding-Brauerei has created a scrumptious (although slightly hard-to-pronounce) grapefruit shandy. We recommend serving this straightforward citrus beer with a healthy dose of ice and a little maraschino liqueur to complement the sour flavors. As this shandy is half-juice, half-beer, it’s well-balanced and a good jumping off point if the idea of a shandy sounds ridiculous to you because you can’t imagine juice in your beer or (god forbid) vice versa.
12. Stiegl Lemon Gaudi Radler Shandy
Another European beer, the Stiegl radler is an Austrian creation that will have even the most shandy-skepticcal smiling. More sweet than sour, this radler has an herbaceous, fresh-from-the-earth quality to accompany it’s full fruit flavor. Enjoy this fresh, clean beer with a few stalks of mint, or even crushed up basil leaves. For those who wish to enjoy a radler that has a hint of minerality, this is the apt choice.
13. Hopworks Urban Brewery’s Totally Radler
We love puns, and we love beer, so Totally Radler is a no-brainer. Primarily organic lager, Totally Radler gets a splash or two of fresh lemonade to liven up the party. Although Totally Radler is the perfect beer to serve in a punch bowl, we adore these colorful cans complete with radler-riding lemons and limes. Instead of chucking the packaging to the side in favor of dumping Totally Radler in a large serving receptacle, serve this shandy tacky margarita style. Simply get a glass and fill it with crushed ice and a little bit of shandy, then stick the can on top. Aesthetics are important!
14. Hoppin’ Frog’s Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale
By now, you know we’re obsessed with any craft beer packaging that involves animals. Ohio brewery Hoppin’ Frog has delighted us with this amphibien themed shandy that tips the boozy scale with an ABV of 7%. Far from watery, this malty shandy has attitude. Almost as much attitude as that shades-wearing frog. You’ll taste a honey flavor reminiscent of a mead, along with viscous dessert wine sweetness and a frothy lemon aftertaste. Hoppin’ Frog also makes a barrel-aged bourbon version of this shandy, for those looking to get ultra-funky.
To really amp up the beer and the party, combine beer and a margarita.
A bottle — again, preferably a Mexican lager — can be turned up into the glass of margarita. If you’re serving more than one, make a pitcher by blending the beer with the tequila and margarita mix or limeade. Not a fan of tequila or don’t need the strength? Go ahead and subtract the liquor.
Easy Summer Shandy
Most beer mixed drinks are easy, but few are as simple as the shandy. This popular drink requires just two ingredients and it's the perfect way to give your favorite beer a citrus twist. The shandy is simply a 50-50 mix of beer and lemonade, and you can personalize it in many ways.
First off, there are a lot of beers to choose from. Though everyone defines it a little differently, the best shandy will come from light, refreshing brews. Most people enjoy their shandy with a light lager, and it's a well-rounded choice. Wheat ales are an excellent option as well because many have a natural citrus profile. If you enjoy the hoppy IPAs, give a couple a try to see if any work for your taste. It's generally best to avoid dark beers.
The second ingredient requires just as much thought. Your shandy will only be as good as the lemonade, and it's highly recommended to make lemonade from scratch. It is very easy and you can make enough to fill an entire day with shandies.
With all these options and the fact that the shandy is so easy to mix up, there's really no need to buy a bottled shandy, which many brewers now offer. You'll find that the freshly made version is far more refreshing.
10 Beer Cocktails to Drink With Your Buddies This Summer
Grilling up some tasty, protein-heavy foods in your backyard, hanging out with your buddies, and tossing back a beer or two—that’s probably what you envision when you think about the perfect summer weekend. And we’re right there with you.
But when it comes to beers, we get that even your favorite ice-cold pilsner or pale ale can start to get a bit boring after a while. Fortunately, there are far more creative ways to booze over your summer weekends—or at any point during the warmer months, really.
Yep: We’re talking about beer cocktails.
You heard that right—drinks that combine beer and hard alcohol. It may sound strange, but trust us: These unique combinations are delicious, refreshing, and, of course, pack an extra punch.
Step outside your Budweiser bubble and check out 10 of our favorite beer cocktails to mix up this summer.
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10 Citrus-Spiked Beers to Drink Before Summer Ends
When temperatures are broiling and humidity is a wet blanket, the sole salve for your sanity is a beer, the colder the better.
In an earlier era, the default was a light beer as clear and fizzy as seltzer. In today's diversifying beer market, the top choice is increasingly a shandy or radler (German for "bicyclist"), the low-alcohol fusions of beer and fruit juices.
Brimming with aromas and flavors of lemons, grapefruit, and other grove-fresh fruit, these blended beers match the bright blast of citrus with limbo-low levels of alcohol. This makes them great go-tos for picnicking, brunching, basking at the beach, or simply wetting your whistle.
In addition to shandies, other breweries have zeroed in on the citrusy qualities of their pale ales and IPAs, accenting inherent aromatics by adding a splash of grapefruit juice or maybe a lemony squeeze. Other brewers are giving sour beers a fruity spin, matching tartness with tartness.
From radlers loaded with lemon to IPAs gobsmacked with grapefruit, here are 10 of our favorite citrusy pick-me-ups to sip whenever thirst strikes. We think you'll agree that they have real appeal.
This is Foaming at the Mouth, Joshua M. Bernstein’s hopped-up adventures in the ever-expanding universe of beer. And yes, he would like another round, please.