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The Best Beers To Bring To The Beach, According To Craft Beer Experts

There are few summer pastimes more memorable than a day at the beach. I spend many a frigid winter day dreaming about it, and once it’s warm enough I take any chance I can get to spend a summer day with my feet in the sand. While the perfect day includes a comfortable chair, an umbrella, and a good book, we also need a cooler stocked with summery food and frosty, easy-drinking beer.

But you can’t just bring any beer to a day at the beach. The conventional wisdom would tell you that lighter beer is the way to go, the lighter the better, and Chris Pinns, tasting room manager at Societe Brewing Co in San Diego agrees.

“Beach beers for me are all about drinkability,” Pinns says. “I want something low in alcohol, but not lacking in flavor. Clean, crisp lagers or bright, citrusy session IPAs are my go-to beach beers.”

Courtney Servaes, owner of Servaes Brewing Company in Shawnee, Kansas opts for fruity, juicy IPAs.

“Since I enjoy IPAs so much, if I’m headed to the beach, I’m taking one with me.” Servaes adds, “With a little twist. Tired Hands Brewing Company out of Ardmore, Pennsylvania makes some of the best Milkshake IPAs you can find. The twist on an IPA by adding fruit and lactose makes it perfect for the beach.”

Lagers, pilsners, IPAs, blonde ales, and are well-suited for a beach day. In the hopes of finding the best of them, we turned to the professionals for help. This week, we asked a few notable craft beer experts and brewers to tell us the one beer they always bring to the beach. Keep reading to see all of their picks.

Modelo Especial

Modelo Especial
Modelo

Eric Boice, senior head brewer at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Atlanta

ABV: 4.4%

Average Price: $8.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Modelo Especial is a hard-to-beat beach beer. Abundant, cheap, and available everywhere, so I don’t care if my can gets sand in it. It also happens to be one of the few beers I will put fruit into. Try it with a lemon instead of a lime. Crushable, crisp, and perfect for a hot day.

Drake’s Denogginizer

Drake’s Denogginizer
Drake’s

Jeremy Marshall, brewmaster at Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California

ABV: 9.75%

Average Price: $14.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

This one is tough because I kind of live on a beach. Everyone pictures a sunny, warm perfect beach like San Diego, but Northern California beaches are unfortunately more like being sandblasted in an arctic tunnel. The waves are all neck snappers, and the great white sharks are there waiting. Therefore, as much as I want to say that any beer is a beach beer if you bring it to the beach, I always need something a little meaty and mean for my beach — and that means a Drake’s Denogginizer. It’s a double IPA literally designed to help keep your head from blowing away—well, perfect for our beaches up in NorCal, and also a superb medley of the American C hops and maybe some Amarillo or something kind of like resinous berries.

Sonoma Springs El Valiente

Sonoma Springs El Valiente
Sonoma Springs

Eric Espinoza, bartender at Signia by Hilton in San Jose, California

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $10.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Sonoma Springs El Valiente is an amazing beach beer. It’s very crisp and gently bready. Such a refreshing and easy-drinking Mexican-style lager. I love bringing this one to share because it’s not one of the usual suspects. My friends are always surprised to see something other than the heavy hitters we all expect to see in the cooler.

Bitburger Pilsner

Bitburger Pilsner
Bitburger

Justin Tisdale, head brewer at Rejects Brewing Co. in Middletown, Rhode Island

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $9.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

While the state of Rhode Island has its opinions on what liquids are permitted on their beaches, most brewers will readily admit they’ve found a way to quietly imbibe, and I’m certainly no exception. If I’m playing a round of ‘secret beers’ near the ocean, It almost always involves failing miserably at surf-fishing, and discreetly getting through a handful of Bitburger Premium Pilsners. It’s the benchmark for the style and one of my all-time favorite beers.

Tripping Animals No Mames

Tripping Animals No Mames
Tripping Animals

Nancy Lopetegui, taproom general manager at Wynwood Brewing in Miami

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $11.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

No Mames by Tripping Animals. It is a Mexican-style lager with low ABV, refreshing, and pairs perfectly with beach snacks. When picking a great beach beer, I always tend to lean towards crisp, easy-drinking lagers and No Mames definitely fits that bill.

Narragansett Del’s Shandy

Narragansett Del’s Shandy
Narragansett

Mike Kelly, senior brewer at Harpoon Brewery in Boston

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Narragansett Del’s Shandy is a perfect beach beer for its juice-like profile and crushability. An ice-cold Del’s shandy on the beach will keep you hydrated and refreshed. It’s like a mixture of beer and a lemon ice. What could be more refreshing on hot beach?

True North Cerveza

True North Cerveza
True North

Dan Lipke, head brewer at Clown Shoes Beer in Boston

ABV: 4.3%

Average Price: $8.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

True North Ale Company’s Cerveza is a perfect beer to bring to the beach. At only 4.3% ABV it’s a Mexican-style lager and a great example of their crispy refreshment perfect for a hot day at the beach. Light and super clean with mild juiciness from the El Dorado hops.

Wynwood La Rubia

Wynwood La Rubia
Wynwood

Marshall Hendrickson, co-founder and head of operations at Veza Sur Brewing Co. in Miami

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Wynwood Brewing Co. La Rubia is my go-to. This beer is a Miami classic. It was brewed by Miamians for Miamians, so it goes without saying that this beer is perfect for a hot day on the beach. Just make sure you bring a cooler full of ice to keep them cold all day long because you’re definitely going to want to put down more than one.

Bagby No Hype

Bagby No Hype
Bagby

Adam Hall, brand manager at Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Bagby Beer Company No Hype Helles (German-style Light Lager). When you’re going to take a beer to the beach, it’s probably best if it’s brewed close by. Enter Bagby Beer Company in San Diego. The team at Bagby is known for world-class beer and No Hype is no different. Light and easy and liquid gold, No Hype is the perfect beer for a skip day at the beach. Refreshing and thirst quenching but also containing a fine amount of fuss-ability (the qualities in beer that allow one to spend excessive concern or time with it). I may have made that word up, but I think it applies here.

Red Stripe

Red Stripe
Red Stripe

Ty Nash, head brewmaster at Little Dry Creek Brewery in Denver, Colorado

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $7.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Red Stripe is my go-to beer for a day in the sun. This is the perfect beer to drink during long days at the beach. Its light body and flavor make it refreshing while still enjoyable as an easy-drinking beer. Light, malty, flavorful, and crushable. A seemingly perfect beach beer.

Cruz Blanca Palm Shade

Cruz Blanca Palm Shade
Cruz Blanca

Emily Kosmal, brewer at Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Cruz Blanca Palm Shade (Tropical Hazy IPA) is a great beach beer. This beer was made beach ready. With a tart, dry finish and tropical hop aroma, characters like passion fruit, pineapple, and a hint of melon as well as citrus and pine flavors that balance with a nice bitterness and a teeny bit of dank, it’s super refreshing on a hot beachy day.

Writer’s Pick:

Rogue Newport Daze

Rogue Newport Daze
Rogue

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

One look at this beer’s can and you can tell this hazy pale ale is meant to be enjoyed on a beach. This year-round beer is loaded with hazy, juicy tropical fruit and citrus flavors. All with a healthy hop backbone. It’s the kind of beer you’ll want to bring every time you go to the beach.

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