Even though I’m an adult, I still dread the end of summer. I get the same terrible, ominous, sinking feeling that I got as a kid. It doesn’t matter how old I get, that strange end of summer feeling never goes away. (On a side note: I also still have stress nightmares of forgetting to go to class until the last day of the semester.) Maybe there’s something more complex going on there and a trip to a therapist might be in order, but for now… YOLO, because the summer isn’t over just yet.
Included in my “maximize summer” agenda, is an agreement with my liver to try every wheat beer, pale ale, gose, lager, IPA, and shandy I can get my hands on from May to September. Soon, we’ll be inundated with Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin ales, and eventually stouts and porters and I know I’ll miss this season desperately. If drinking is part of your own agenda, here is a list of our favorite summer beers to drink before the weather turns.
Troegs Sunshine Pils
The folks at Troegs are fairly well-known for Nugget Nectar and Mad Elf, but the summer is when the Sunshine Pils shines the brightest. This 4.5 percent pilsner might be available year-round, but the summer months are the best time to drink it. The hot weather is perfectly suited for this refreshing, slightly hoppy brew.
If you’re only going to drink one wheat beer this summer, make it an Allagash White. The Portland, Maine-based brewery makes a lot of great beers, but the best is this wheat ale. Allagash’s version of a Belgian-style wheat beer is perfect for the end of summer because it’s light and hazy with subtle spices. It’s been a summer staple since its inception in 1995.
Firestone Walker Lager
In recent years, lagers have begun to make a comeback in the craft brewing world. that means that it’s the perfect time for your Yuengling drinking dad to say, “I told you so.” You can thank him by drinking this 4.5 percent Helles-style lager for the rest of the summer. It’s simple and perfect and gets its flavor from a combination of German Pilsner and North American Pale malts.
Many beer fans believe that the launching of Bell’s Oberon means that summer has officially begun. That doesn’t mean that as the summer nears its nadir we can’t keep imbibing this 5.8 percent American wheat ale. Late August evenings were made for this well-balanced beer fruity, subtly spicy beer.
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice
Anderson Valley has garnered a strong following because of its gose-style beers. But between sour ales, drinkers should grab a bottle of Summer Solstice — a 5 percent, sweet, malty, sessionable summer refresher. The term “crushable” was practically invented to explain this beloved brew.
Brooklyn Bel Air Sour
This limited-release sour beer was so popular last year that the brewery decided to add it to its core group and make it available year-round. But even though you can buy this winner in the winter, the best time to drink it is in the hazy summer months. This tart, crisp, 5.8 percent sour ale is the perfect compliment to grilled chicken, burgers, and all of your favorite summer salads.
Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner
Made to honor the famous mermaid parade that takes place on Coney Island every spring, this 5.2 percent pilsner is a not-to-be-missed summer beer. That’s because it’s light, crisp, and refreshing with a subtle rye backbone. Like Coney Island itself, this beer should be a summer staple year after year.
Narragansett Fresh Catch
If the giant lobster on the can doesn’t make the point clear, this is a true summer beer for the NE set. This 4.2 percent blonde ale is dry hopped with Citra hops to create a surprisingly complex, refreshing, light drinking experience. Plus, they come in tall boys and are the perfect companion to a summer afternoon game of horseshoes or cornhole.