We’re seeing new glimpses of the arrival of summer ’19 with each passing day. Even though temperatures have been a little lower than normal in much of the country, we’ve still seen random hot, sunny days that make us want to play hooky from work to sip on an ice-cold beer, sitting on a dock with our feet dangling in the water. This time of year, the dog days are so close we can taste them and winter is still a recent enough memory as to leave us longing for the hot, steamy, sweaty weather ahead.
When summer finally arrives, there’s sure to will be quite a few days where we’ll be glad we have air conditioning. It’s going to get hot in parts of the country. Like really hot. On those days, nothing will quench our thirst like a frosty brew. Bartenders agree. That’s why we asked some of our favorites to tell us their go-to beers to drink on a truly hot — we mean scorching — summer day.
Montauk Watermelon Session Ale
Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Moxy Time Square in New York City
When I’m hot and, on the beach, a cold Montauk Brewing Company’s Watermelon Session Ale, followed by their Summer Ale, are my ideal summer drink choices. The Watermelon Session Ale is so full of flavor while still super refreshing, and the Summer Ale is basically summer in a can. You can’t go wrong with either.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
Brock Schulte, bar director at The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge in Kansas City
The closest and coldest beer is gonna be what I grab for. Which generally is a gose or yard beer. On occasion, I’ll drink IPA’s like Lagunitas or Boulevard. Or if I’m having a few, Bell’s Two Hearted is always a favorite.
Mark Ferguson, bartender at Davio’s in Irvine, California
My favorite summer beer would undoubtedly be Stella Artois. There is no getting away from the fact that I have been loyal to this brand and beer for most of my life. Sitting in a British beer garden by the river on a day when the sun is warming your face, there is no better complement to the sunshine than a chilled chalice of Stella Artois.
Phil Testa, beverage manager at of Dream Midtown in New York City
If it’s really hot out, I prefer to have Pacifico in-hand because of how refreshing and light it is. Otherwise, I tend to reach for a cider on ice to help combat the heat. Side of club soda and lime, please.
Amanda Britton, bar manager at Bardo in Charlotte, North Carolina
My go-to beer on a hot day has always been Bell’s Oberon. I want a beer that is refreshing without sacrificing body. Oberon is light but has a great mouthfeel.
Pamela Wiznitzer, mixologist at The Lookup in New York City
On a hot day, my favorite beers are Tecate or Victoria Lager. Those two Mexican beers are guaranteed thirst quenchers and are great with a dash of hot sauce, squeeze of lime and some salt.
Ilan Chartor, bar lead at KYU in Miami
Bud Light. I got to be honest – I love Bud Light. Crisp, light, and refreshing. Nothing pairs better with some ribs or a burger on a hot day than a Bud Light.
Wicked Weed Passionfruit Lychee Burst
Chase Voight, head bartender at Saint Stephen in Nashville
Favorite beer to drink on a summer day? Any of wicked weeds sour beers. At the moment, it’s their lychee passionfruit burst. While sour it quenches your thirst and still has a little sweetness to it.
Yann Bouvignies, Head Bartender of Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London
It’s very classic but one of my all-time favorites is an ice-cold Corona. Simple, refreshing, and perfect.
Miller High Life
Dylan Knox, bartender at Vol. 39 in Chicago
Favorite beer for a hot, steamy, summer day? I can’t argue with a cold Miller High Life when it’s really hot out. Clean, light, and cold.
Steve Tsatas, bartender at MB Steak in Las Vegas
Pfriem Pilsner is great to drink on a hot day. I just recently came across this beer after doing a tasting for MB Steak’s new beer list and fell in love with this bottle. Notes of flower and honey make it refreshing on even the hottest summer day.
Josh Cameron, head bartender at Boulton & Watt in New York City
“Pour me something tall and strong, make it a hurricane before…” Wait, my bad. That’s a cocktail and those are Alan Jackson lyrics…I think. When it comes to summertime and humidity, I reach for (and recommend) the smoothest and easiest sippers. Right now that is House Beer’s Lager. It’s a classic beer that doesn’t get in the way.