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The Best Craft Beer Releases To Chase Down This June

Summer is officially here and that means it’s time to chase down some refreshing and crushable craft beer. Beer release schedules are an every-turning wheel of unique styles and flavor profiles that help you keep things seasonal and fresh. Right now, we’re deep into the summer releases. We know summer only really started over Memorial Day weekend and doesn’t technically kick off until the 20th of June, but as far as beer goes we’re about six weeks away from pumpkin ale and fall beers.

Meaning that now’s the time to indulge in the fruity, refreshing craft entries that are dropping right now. The sort of brews that hit the spot after a long hike, a day on the boat, or an invigorating surf session.

Hopefully, the eight beers we’re giving love to this month will pique your interest and inspire you to explore exciting breweries in your neck of the woods. These picks represent regional craft beer releases from breweries that we vouch for (with tasting notes from the brewers themselves if we didn’t get to taste the beer yet), along with some seasonally released bottles that we’ve been looking forward to trying again.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST DROP: Alaskan Brewing Icy Bay IPA

Alaskan Brewing

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: $10.99 (six-pack)

The Beer:

Alaskan always has a refreshing beer at the ready. Their Icy Bay IPA has just enough kick to keep you going back for more all summer long thanks to a blend of Summit, Bravo, Calypso, Apollo, and Cascade hops mixed with pale ale malts and that signature glacier water from Alaska.

Tasting Notes:

This is a pretty classic West Coast IPA with big notes of dank (almost cannabis tasting) floral and piney hops on the nose and on the palate. The taste lets the hops do their oily thing while leading you towards hints of citrus, more pine, and plenty of sticky resin with a slightly caramelized malty underbelly.

Bottom Line:

This is a bold one that’ll wake up your palate after plenty of light lagers.

SOUTHWEST DROP: Stone Enjoy By 07.04.21 Tangerine & Pineapple IPA

Stone Brewing

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $18.99 (six-pack)

The Beer:

Stone continues to drop crushable seasonal brews with their “Enjoy By…” series. This edition is a fruity IPA that’s been spiked with a hefty amount of tangerine and pineapple. The end result is a robust double IPA with nine percent ABVs that feels like a tropical fruit punch.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a bit of a battle between the resinous and floral hops against the big citrus and tropical fruit notes throughout this sipper. The beer really leans into the tart yet sweet tangerine citrus to the point that you feel like you’re straight up taking a bite out of the fruit, skin and all.

Bottom Line:

Get this as cold as you can and crush it. It’s so damn refreshing, like drinking a boozy Orange Crush with a hop background. Though be warned, that nine percent ABV is no joke.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN DROP: LeftHand Moscow Mule Ginger & Lime Pale Ale

LeftHand Brewing

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $11.99 (six-pack)

The Beer:

LeftHand is one of those crafty breweries that’s pretty much perfected the fruity summer crusher. This brew is a classic pale ale base that’s inspired by the equally classic Moscow mule cocktail. The beer is made with lime juice, lime peels, and chunks of fresh ginger in the tank, giving the final brew a summer refresher vibe from top to bottom.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a subtle warmth thanks to that ginger that creates a pleasant throughline on this sipper. The lime juice edges from tart to sweet to almost bitter as the ginger heat attaches to the lightly dank and floral hops. The overall experience is slightly sweet, a little bit dry, and 100 percent will remind you of a lime-forward, spicy mule.

Bottom Line:

There are a lot of summer refreshers on this list. This might be the most “ah…” inducing. The flavor profiles are dialed to what the can is selling and really stay light without forgetting it’s still a beer.

SOUTHERN DROP: Rahr & Sons Paleta de Mango, Mango Chile Beer with Lime

Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10 (six-pack)

The Beer:

Rahr & Sons is another craft brewer that has mastered the art of adding fruit to beer. In this case, a kölsch (light, sessionable German lager) is amped up with Mexican Pequin chili, lime juice, and mango. The end result is pure Texas craft by way of strong German foundations.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

Palate: pleasing juicy and tropical flavors of ripe mango, fresh lime, and Mexican Pequin chiles.

Bottom Line:

Rahr & Sons never lead you wrong when it comes to taking old European beers and playing around with them for seasonal drops. This is sure to be a summer fav.

MIDWEST DROP: Bell’s Oberon Ale

Bells

ABV: 5.8%

Average Price: $9.99 (six-pack)

The Beer:

It’s not really summer until Bell’s drops their wheat beer, Oberon. The beer is has become a modern classic that coaxes spice, fruit, and richness from yeast, malt, hops, water, and nothing else.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a slight tingle of rum spices (think clove and anise) next to a light and almost cold orange juiciness with pops of citrus oils. The body of the beer is velvety smooth with deep notes of that spice popping back in.

Bottom Line:

This is a very crushable wheat beer that feels like a warm summer day was brewed into every sip.

NORTHEAST DROP: Samuel Adams/New Belgium Love Conquers Ale

Samuel Adams/New Belgium

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $16 (16-oz. four-pack)

The Beer:

Samuel Adams teamed up with New Belgium to create a beer that directly supports GLAAD for Pride this month. The beer is a fruit-gose that’s cut with blackberry juice and lime. More importantly, Samuel Adams is donating $16 from every four-pack sold in June to GLAAD.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

Bright fruit notes like blackberry and lime, coupled with a light purplish to pink color give this beer something to celebrate. It’s a tiny bit tart, slightly salty, and deliciously refreshing.

Bottom Line:

Good summer beer for a good cause? That’s a win-win.

WILD CARD DROP: Upslope Mexican Style Dark Lager

Upslope Brewing

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $9.99 (six-pack)

The Beer:

This summer brew from Colorado is inspired by the Vienna lagers that came to dominate the Mexican beer scene. There’s a touch of flaked corn in the mash with plenty of Vienna malt to make this a light yet very drinkable summer lager.

Tasting Notes:

Those malts really shine through with a warm Southern biscuit vibe next to a drizzle of caramel, thanks to that sweet corn. The beer stays very effervescent while keeping the hops in the background — they read more as floral than anything else.

Bottom Line:

This is the perfect summer sipper. It’s a soft dark lager that is all about being refreshing. Drink a few ice cold on a hot day.

INTERNATIONAL PICK OF THE MONTH: Mönchsambacher Lager

Brauerei Zehendner GmbH

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: Varies

The Beer:

This kellerbier from Bamberg is goddamn summer in a bottle. This beer is the epitome of what makes Bavarian lagers so popular worldwide. It’s light yet full of deep flavors. It’s easy-drinking but you will feel it after having a few. It’s made with the simplest ingredients (water, yeast, malt, and hops) yet packs nuance and greatness.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a bit of dark German rye crust that leads towards a slightly floral hoppiness and dried straw feel. Those malts sweeten towards fresh and floral summer honey as the hops gently ease into a light lemon citrus buzz with a touch of bitter pith. A touch of clove arrives late and is counterpointed by an almost mossy earthiness that helps keep this one light and fresh.

Bottom Line:

You’re going to have to go to a really good beer shop (or beer bar) to find this in the US. Still, it’ll be worth the hunt for a unique and absolutely quaffable summer session beer from one of the most important beer cities on the planet.

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