Keep the barrel-aged stouts in your cellar and hide the barleywines in the back of the fridge. It’s summer and it’s time for something light and refreshing. But light and refreshing doesn’t have to mean bland and boring. If you’re looking for something new to drop in that cooler during the dog days, we’re here to help. Pick some up before your next cookout, tailgate, or other outdoor event. Take a sip, wipe your brow, and repeat all summer long. These are the best summer beers coming out in 2018.


Lagunitas Cherry Jane Sour Ale

Fruity beers can be hard to get right and often end up more gimmicky than a quality addition to your summer beer lineup. That’s why we admire what Lagunitas has done with Cherry Jane Sour Ale. Cherries already have some natural tartness (not a ton, but it’s there), so they play nice in a sour ale. It’s a natural pairing that will hopefully help direct the coming light sour ale trend. And if it doesn’t, then at least we got to drink one of the finest examples of the style. Link


Temescal Brewing & Humble Sea Brewing Co. Pool Noodle

Pool Noodle is a joint project from Temescal Brewing and Humble Sea Brewing Co. only just recently released. It’s a hazy IPA with the kind of tropical fruit notes you’d expect. Probably the best part is how light it is in your stomach. We remember drinking stout by the pool for reasons we can’t remember and it was all we could do to keep from sinking like a stone. It takes someone smarter than us to figure out the science behind why, but drinking a Pool Noodle made it feel easier to keep our heads above water. Link


Firestone Walker Brewing Company Firestone Lager

Drinking a well-made lager is like driving a solidly built sedan. There are definitely flashier, more flavorful rides, but everyone keeps buying the Camry because it starts every time, is a pleasant drive, and will outlast whatever weird car trends take over year to year. That’s exactly the place Firestone Lager fills in craft brewing. There’s nothing fancy or experimental happening here. Just a great, drinkable beer that won’t leave you wanting. They even made the design on the can no-nonsense and easy to look at. Everything about this lager makes us think it’ll be around for a long time. Link


Weihenstephan & Sierra Nevada Braupakt

You probably already know this, but Weihenstephan is the oldest brewery in the world. They have centuries of tradition informing their modern brewing, so we’re going to pay attention when they release something new. We’re also going to pay attention when they release something in collaboration with Sierra Nevada. It’s a Hefeweizen, easily one of the top summer styles, particularly when you’re looking for something you can drink plenty of over a long afternoon without worrying about sweaty summer hangovers. Link


Creature Comforts Brewing Company Get Artistic

It’s always nice to see local artists find support in the businesses around them and Get Artistic from Creature Comforts is a great example of that support. This isn’t the first time the brewery’s demonstrated their commitment to local artists either. Their Get Comfortable campaign has supported local arts since 2014. For Get Artistic, Creature Comforts got creative with their recipe. We haven’t heard of sauvignon blanc grape juice popping up in many other beers, but here it is in Get Artistic. Link


Almanac Brewing Co. Raspberry Sunshine

A lot of time and work went into putting the Raspberry Sunshine together, and it shows. It’s a clean, refreshing, interesting ale aged for three months in white wine foeders and conditioned on raspberries, two very light, summery flavors. It’s also the most recent beer in Almanac’s Farm to Barrel series, a great run of beers that began in 2013. You might have to fight a few collectors to get one of the 375ml bottles, but what’s a few clean punches between enthusiasts? Link


Stone Fear.Movie.Lions

We don’t know if the name of this beer is a list of three things, a command, a mix of the two, or a warning against the MGM lion. Stone put an explanation on the end of their description on their site, but it left us more confused than before. What we’re not confused about is how good this beer is. It’s an unfiltered Double IPA and you don’t need to stand in a line to get it. Fear.Movie.Lions is an all-around hard hitter. Link


Dogfish Head Variety Pack Cooler

Dogfish Head has been at the forefront of high quality craft brewing since they opened back in 1995. Summer simply wouldn’t be the same without crushing a few of their seasonal brews. That’s why we make sure we have at least one of their variety packs at our summer get-togethers, no matter how big. Apparently the brewery wasn’t content to limit their experimentation to their beer, because you can now turn their variety pack into a cooler. That also means you don’t always have to lug out a big plastic monstrosity if you want some cool, refreshing Sea Quench. Link

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Unzip your coat and have some mulled wine on the house—you’ve arrived at your final gifting destination: The Holiday Gift Guide. It’s like your friendly neighborhood one-stop holiday shop, except instead of balsa wood ornaments, ours is packed with thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Future heirlooms, small-but-significant stocking stuffers, and gear for getting out there (or staying in)—are all right here. There’s no music playing in the background though, so you’ll just have to hum Bing Crosby while you click around instead.

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