What’s better on a hot summer day than watching the game with your friends and enjoying a cool, refreshing beer. Every summer some of the best breweries in the country release limited seasonal beers. These beers are often fun and experimental, reflect the tastes of the season, and are one of the most important summer tailgating essentials. If you’re a beer lover, here are our top ten picks for some of the great summer beers to try at your next tailgate.
A hazy IPA is a classic summer beer. These laid back beers are light enough to be refreshing in the hot summer heat, but have a full-bodied hoppy taste. The Saturhaze Hazy IPA from Greenflash Brewing is a great option for your summer tailgate. Brewed with tropical flavors, the beer is crisp, malty, and refreshing. It has a light citrus flavor that balances against the bitterness of the hops. At 4.2% ABV it’s a great sipping beer for the game and definitely a great beer for hanging outside.
A beer inspired by the flavors of Baja, Stone Brewing’s Buenoveza Salt & Lime Lager is an excellent choice for your next tailgate. Though it’s brewed with salt and lime, those flavors do not overpower the lager. Instead, they complement them, leaving a fresh, crisp taste. Served ice cold, this beer is the perfect option to beat the summer heat. In our opinion the name of this beer says it all. Buenoveza basically translates to “good beer” and it is a good beer for summer.
Another great summer beer inspired by our neighbors to the South is the Lone Star Rio Jade. Lone Star is a classic tailgating beer and the Rio Jade offers all the cool, refreshing flavors of the classic lone star but with a lighter body. This beer is not for hops lovers as it is more malty and less bitter. Instead, it is earthy, citrusy, and slightly floral. It has an ABV of 4.5% which makes it a perfect all day sipping beer.
If you are looking for a really classic tasting summer beer, look no further than Bell’s Brewery Oberon Wheat Ale. Made with their signature house yeast, it has both a spicy hops flavor and a light citrusy finish. This beer also creates the perfect pour. It has a golden orange color and a thick rich head. We love to serve this beer with an orange wedge in the summer to really highlight the flavors. At 5.8% ABV it’s a little stronger than some of the other options on the list, so it’s best for casual drinking.
Harpoon Brewery Summer Beer is a delightfully craft Kölsch-style beer. Inspired by the owner’s trips to Cologne, Germany, this summer beer is a subtle, refreshing ale. It is a classic malty, wheat beer but has notes of citrus that create a very balanced finish. This is a great beer to wash down your BBQ because of it’s clean finish and light aftertaste. Rated at 4.8% ABV, it’s a great option for your cooler.
Fans of Leinenkugels’ Grapefruit Shandy will love the Big Squeeze Grapefruit Shandy from UFO Brewing. The Big Squeeze Grapefruit Shandy has a stronger citrus flavor than Leinenkugels with less bitterness. It’s fruity, tart, and sweet with a great mouth feel. This beer has a medium body and is very smooth. At 4.5% ABV, this is a perfect beer to help cool you down in the hot summer sun.
Summer Love by Victory Brewing Company is one of the summer beers that you wish they made all year. It has a blend of earthy, European and American hops that is finished with a classic German malt. This straw-colored beer has a light citrus finish that cools you down immediately. It’s light-bodied, refreshing, and glows in the summer sun. It’s definitely one of our tailgating essentials for the summer.
If you love to drink sour beers in the summer, the Lavenade Tart Ale from Springdale is a must-try. Kettle-soured and barrel-aged, this light refreshing beer has notes of lemon and lavender. It is tart, bright, and is the ideal sour beer to keep you cool. We love the addition of the soft floral flavor of lavender to balance against the tart lemony-sourness. It leaves a smooth finish and a great drinking experience.
If you are looking for a truly light, crisp summer beer, the Aqua Fresca Cerveza Mural from New Belgium Brewing company is perfect. Created through a partnership with Primus Cerveceria in Mexico City, this beer is both a nod to the classic aqua fresca. It contains flavors of hibiscus, watermelon, lime, and agave leaving a light, incredibly refreshing taste. At 4% ABV, it’s the perfect beer to drink all day long. We highly recommend trying this unique summer beer.
Who says that you can’t drink a porter in the summertime? The Coconut Hiwa Porter by Maui Brewing Company redefines what it means to be a summer beer. Though it is a robust ale with notes of chocolate and coffee, the addition of coconut cuts the richness leaving a dense porter that is very refreshing. This porter is light enough that you could sip on it all day in the summertime.
There is no doubt that good beer is one of the most important tailgating essentials in the summer. These limited-release beers are a great option for beer lovers to try this season. We’d love to know what beers you are stacking your tailgating cooler with this summer. Comment below or tag us on social with your recommendations, we’d love to try them and add them to our own list.