The dog days of summer are nearly upon us. And, one of the most effective ways to beat the heat, has to be, in our humble opinion, with a crisp, cool beer. Sure you could mosey on down to your corner liquor store for whatever macro beer is sitting in the fridge. But, we like to stock our coolers with something crafted with a bit more care. That’s why we put together a list of the best beer to drink in summer 2021.
If you’re in a pinch, you can’t go wrong with something widely available like Allagash White or Firestone Walker Pivo Pils. Though we’d also recommend checking out what your neighborhood brewery has to offer.
And, if you still need help making a summer selection, look no further. We’ve asked several of our favorite craft brewers to share what they’ll be sipping on this summer.
The Best Beer for Summer 2021
Young & Wild Fontan-Elle
“Lambiek Fabriek’s Young and Wild will be the summer of 2021 beer for me. I drank this with Tommy from Finn’s Manor while brewing a collab together. It knocked our socks off. It had balanced acidity, amazing aged hop funk, and just a touch of ocean minerality. We could have been drinking it all day, so refreshing and complex.” – Jan Chodkowski, Head Brewer, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co.
“This Key Lime and Coconut Gose from Finback is one of the most refreshing beers to ever cross my palate. I had the supreme pleasure of trying this beer for the first time last year, during one of the worst summers in recorded human history, and it still blew my mind. It’s easy to overdo a beer like this, but the team at Finback absolutely nails it. Sour and salty without being puckering, sweet and juicy without being cloying, and most importantly, coconut without being suntan lotion. I love this beer, and if I could get a pallet of it, I would easily drink it all summer long.” – Travis Lancaster, Head Brewer, The Drowned Lands
Modern Times Beer
“I’m forever a pils drinker but even more so in the summer. For me, Foamer from Modern Times is everything I am looking for in a summer beer – it’s floral and crispy but above all is dangerously easy to drink on a hot day.” – Luke Schmuecker, Partner / Director of Marketing, Shacksbury
“This wheat beer is perfect in so many ways that it’s even got its own special day from the company. It’s celebrated by beer lovers even after being brewed since the ’90s. At only 5.8% this iconic beer is arguably sessionable, and I’m guilty of buying the mini-kegs for the beach. I was first introduced to Bell’s back at my Brick Store days and it’s a brewery that puts out quality with each release. Oh and shelf life? 6 months. So you can buy it in late August and drink it in February to remind you of warmer days.” – Todd DiMatteo, Head Brewer, Good Word Brewing & Public House
Fine Line Kölsch
Suarez Family Brewery
“We plan on brewing a lot of Kolsch this summer. When I’m not drinking ours, I plan on stocking up on Suarez Family’s Fine Line. This beer is just so damn good, as Dan [Suarez, founder of Suarez Family Brewer] puts it, it’s a “Joy Bringer.” Any one of his beers could fit this bill, but for me of late, Fine Line reigns supreme. My favorite beers are those that look back and forward at the same time, balancing you in the present. A bracing minerality with some left-of-center blue-green citric character. Any hot summer day with an ice-cold can of Fine Line is a good day.” – Matt Levy, Head Brewer, Threes Brewing
“The perfect beer in my opinion. Incredible balance between a full malty mouthfeel and crisp and crushable. If I had to drink one beer for the rest of my life that would be it.” – Chris Tropeano, Head Brewer, Resident Culture Brewing Co.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
“We’ve been fairly obsessed with the cans of Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales whenever the weather gets warm. It’s the perfect level of tartness, a hint of funk and spice, and leaves you wanting more refreshment sip after sip. I can’t get enough. We even modeled a soon-to-be-released collab after it! So excited to share that with people.” – Lisa Boldt, Co-Owner and Blender, Primitive Beer
Banded Brewing Co.
“As someone practically allergic to the heat, a proper summer beer has to both quench thirst and extinguish a sweltering summer day. For me that means something dry, effervescent and endlessly drinkable; Wicked Bueno, a Mexican-style lager by our friends at Banded Brewing Co. in Maine ticked those boxes for me recently. The craft resurgence of Italian and Mexican style pilsners has blessed my summer fridge the past few years and I’m excited to keep exploring the styles.” – Joe Connolly, Director, Springdale Beer Co.
East Rock Brewing Co.
“My summer go-to beer is going to be an East Rock Brewing Co. Pilsner. This is a great beer for the summer. Easy drinking, with just enough aromatic notes of herbs and spices.” – Alisa Bowens-Mercado, Owner / Brewmaster, Rhythm Brewing Co.
Golden Arm / Sowing the Sun
Piece Brewery and Pizzeria / There Does Not Exist
“If you know me well, you know that I am a big fan of the German classics and one of my favorite styles to drink in the summertime is the beer of Cologne (Köln) known as Kölsch Bier. When I’m in Chicago, I always stop by Piece Brewery and Pizzeria in Bucktown / Wicker Park for a glass or two of Golden Arm Kölsch. They have been turning out this perfect pizza pairing beer since 2001 and it’s a spot-on, award-winning interpretation of the style. Back here in California, I’ve found another amazing Kölsch brewer recently – There Does Not Exist in San Luis Obispo. TDNE is brewing a beautifully balanced and clean version of the beer called Sowing The Sun – Kölsch. They even serve it in the proper 200ml, tube-shaped glass exactly as it would be in the motherland. They are canning this beer regularly as well. Nothing quenches thirst quite like a clean and lightly fruity aromatic Kölsch and you can enjoy a few in the sun since they are bright, low hopped, low alcohol sessionable crushers.” – Matt Bryndilson, Brewmaster, Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Oxbow Brewing Co.
“I recently had Oxbow’s Trisky Pivo Pilsner, a double-decocted pale lager. There’s no other way to put it than that it was delicious. And on the subject of summer beers, after not really getting out to any breweries (other than our own) last year, I’m very much looking forward to getting together with brewer friends and sharing some of the new beers they’ve undoubtedly brewed since the last time we got to hang out.” – Jason Perkins, Brewmaster, Allagash Brewing Co.
Roaring Twenties Radler
Tucker Brewing Co.
“The Radler, or shandy as it’s more commonly known, is a summer staple for European drinkers. But, outside of Leinenkugel’s the beer/lemonade hybrid just hasn’t really taken off. Sure it’s not as refined as a delicately crafted pilsner or saison, but it is by far one of the most thirst-quenching beverages on a hot summer day. Georgia’s Tucker Brewing Co. recently released their seasonal offering Roaring Twenties Radler and I was immediately sold. A blend of German Helles lager and freshly-squeezed lemonade, Roaring Twenties is a touch sweet and uber-refreshing.” – John A. Paradiso, Managing Editor, Cool Material