The Best Summer Beers To Chase Down This July

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We’re in the throes of summer now. The heat is on and that means it’s time for a light, refreshing beer to battle back the long, scorching days. July beer releases are dialed into being juicy thirst quenchers with a relatively low ABV (alcohol content). Smooth sippers meant to be sessioned all day long and well into the night.

The eight beers below are our picks for what’s great to drink this month. We’ve compiled a list of funky Berlin Weisse, light kölsch, and sea-breeze-infused ales to help you get through the dog days of summer. Some of them will take a little longer to hunt down, others will be in your corner liquor store. Don’t be scared of the effort, traveling to find a world-class beer is always worth it. Even in the heat.

Notorious P.O.G. Berliner Weisse — Stone Brewing

Stone’s Notorious P.O.G. is all about funk and fruit. The “P.O.G.” in this case refers to passion fruit, orange, and guava that’s used in the mix to amp up the juiciness of the sour ale. The beer is very reminiscent of a warm Hawaiian day with a nice dose of honey sweetness, big tropical fruit notes, and a sharp tartness cutting through it all.

Kölsch — Alaskan Brewing Co.

Kölsch — a light lager style specifically from Cologne, Germany — is the perfect summer sipper. The light beer has a clear and malty base that’s wonderfully balanced with a nice hop bite. This is one of those beers that goes down almost too easily on a hot summer day.

Tea Shandy — Upslope

Out Colorado way, Upslope is rocking the summer game well with an Arnold-Palmer-inspired brew that takes “summer refresher” to new levels. Tea Shandy is brewed with fresh lemons and black tea. The tartness of the lemons shines alongside the slight malt sweetness. Then the bitterness of the black tea comes into play, adding a nice depth to the sudsy sip.

Peche ‘n Brett — Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

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A big Belgian Saison is always a solid play when looking for the ultimate in refreshing beer to sip all summer. Peche ‘n Brett from Oregon’s Logsdon Farmhouse is packed with one-and-a-half pounds of organic local peaches per gallon of beer. That adds a summer orchard full of peach sweetness to the brett yeast sour funk of the saison base.

Be warned, this pour has a ten percent ABV, so maybe consider splitting this one with a friend.

SeaQuench Ale — Dogfish Head Brewing

Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale is the quintessential summer ale. The beer is a mash-up of three German classics: Kölsch, Gose, and Berliner Weisse. Next, black limes, sour lime juice, and sea salt are added to the mix, amping up the sour, tart, and savory nature of the beer.

This is a sip that’s been specifically dialed into the be as refreshing as possible.

Porch Rocker — Samuel Adams

Samuel Adam’s Porch Rocker is made for long, lazy summer days sitting the shade. The beer is a helles (German lager) spiked with fresh lemons to add a sweet/tart dimension to the malty beer. Imagine a classic shandy (a mix of lager and lemonade) but with the saccharine nature of the soda taken away and the tart nature of the lemon left behind.

Saison Rosé — Brewery Ommegang

Brewery Ommegang brews up some of the most interesting beers in America. Their summer sipper, Saison Rosé, blends the lightness of a Belgian saison with Chardonnay grape juice and hibiscus flowers before mellowing the concoction in oak.

The end result is a tart, sour, vinous delight with a clear intersection of dry white wine and slightly malty and funky yeast-forward beer.

INT’L PICK OF THE MONTH: Augustiner Helles — Augstiner-Bräu

Nothing screams summer more than whiling away the day under a shady tree in a beer garden. The best beer to drink while doing just that is the Bavarian classic, Augustiner Helles. The beer has a rich cereal malt base with a slight peppery edge. The hops are subtle-yet-present enough to add a nice refreshing factor.

There’s a crispness here that makes this one of the most quaffable summer sips you can drink right now.