The Essential Beers To Chase Down In May

best new beers may 2018

Welcome to May! It’s officially backyard bbq season and there’s a whole lotta summer of fun, sun, and beer ahead of us. That means it’s time to talk about some great beers getting released this month. Now’s the time to check out some new craft lagers, IPAs, and sour beers and find the new beer that’ll get you through the next few months of warm summer days.

Below, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the best beers being released and available this May. Some of these are easier to find, with larger distribution; some you’ll have to travel for and do a bit of sleuthing to uncover. Either way, a good beer is always worth the trouble!

Happy hunting!


The Hemperor HPA is a new kind of beer from New Belgium. It’s made with hemp seeds mixed into the malt and infused with hemp for maximum dank-ness. The overall taste is like an ultra-smooth IPA with a very rich amber hue. There’s a definite pine-resin bitterness that’s balanced with a unique albeit light maltiness.

The beer is getting a wide release on May 20th. New Belgium has partnered with Willie Nelson to support the legalization of hemp agriculture across America. Part of the profits from the sale of the beer will go to Willie Nelson’s Hemp 4 Victory. So you’ll be able to enjoy a dank beer while supporting a great cause with this one.


Okay, okay, this Seattle classic is available year round. The reason it’s here is less about release dates and more about flavor. Elysian’s Dayglow IPA just feels like a warm spring day in a bottle. The Mosaic, El Dorado, and Centennial hops bring a sunny tropical fruit vibe to the beer that makes it shine. It’s super refreshing and packs a pretty solid 7.4 percent ABV wallop.

This is the perfect slow Sunday backyard BBQ beer.


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New can, same amazing beer. #HealTheBayIPA

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Heal The Bay IPA is another year-round beer that’s perfect right now. It’s a very tropical fruit juice forward IPA with a real freshness to it that screams ‘take me to the beach immediately!’

Also, 10 percent of the brewery’s proceeds are donated to L.A.’s Heal The Bay organization when you drink the stuff. Heal The Bay aims to keep the waterways around Los Angeles county clean and safe — and you drinking a great beer can help them do that.


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Lime-y Vice is a Gose sour beer. The star of the show here is the almost creamy citrus tartness that leans salty/briny. This is the perfect beach beer or backyard BBQ beer for a very hot day in May. It’s refreshing turned up to eleven.

Add in the low 4.7 percent ABV and you’ve got a beer you can drink all day.


Cigar City’s Tampa-Style Lager is a great beer to stock up on until summer wanes into fall. The lager is a very German hop-forward beer with a focus on the bready malts. There’s a lightness here — and a low 4.5 percent ABV — that makes this one super easy to drink during every BBQ you have between now and Labor Day.


Right now, Upslope is releasing their Colorado take on the classic German Kölsch (a west German lager). Their take on the style amps up the hops and adds in local honey and sage giving the German beer a distinctly American vibe. It’s a super satisfying beer that’s light and bold at the same time. Stock up on as much as you can before June.