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We Asked Bartenders To Name The Best Wheat Beers For Summer 2020

Way before the rise of hazy New England-style IPAs (and other hazy contemporary beers) on the domestic beer scene, there were wheat beers. These brews are perfect for summer because they’re refreshing, full of flavor, and easy to drink on a hot, July day. Sessionable, in other words.

Before you crack one open though, a few notes on the category. Wheat beers include Weissbier (the German style) and Witbier (the Belgian style). There are also Berliner Weisse and lambic-style beers in this category. No matter which you select, you can bet it will be well suited for warm weather drinking — these aren’t heavy and they’re never overly bitter.

We asked a handful of well-respected bartenders to tell us which wheat beers they’ll be drinking this summer. Check their answers below.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sondre Kasin, principal bartender at Cote in New York City

Sierra Nevada is one of my all-time favorite beer brands and their Kellerweis is an excellent wheat beer. Fresh, crisp without too many spice notes. Wheat beer sometimes has a tendency to be too heavy on the banana notes, this one is not.

Bell’s Oberon

Ian Campbell, assistant general manager at Gansevoort Hotel Group in New York City

I’d go with the Oberon from Bell’s Brewery – It’s a great beer as it begins with light citrusy notes, and ends with a rather spicy finish, so it’s like the best of both worlds.

Rahr & Sons Summertime Wheat

Nancy Conaway, bartender at Cassidy’s in Fort Worth, Texas

Rahr & Sons Summertime Wheat. It’s refreshing and light bodied with full flavor. These guys won a gold medal in Germany for their beers, so I’m pretty confident in what they put out on a constant basis. After all, it’s name is “Summertime Wheat”!

Blue Moon Belgian White

Larry Day, beverage manager at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in For Lauderdale, Florida

Well in Florida, spring, summer and winter are the same, so we pretty much drink the same beers in every season. But as wheat beers go, Blue Moon can’t be beat. It’s hazy, sweet, and endlessly refreshing.

St. Clair Brown Honey Wheat Ale

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Lazy Sunday.

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Sammy Norris, bartender at EVO Entertainment in Schertz, Texas

St. Clair Brown Honey Wheat Ale is the perfect combination of fruity ale. It is the perfect summer drink – you get the taste of grapefruit and apricot with nectarine right at the back end of your first sip.

Golden Road Mango Cart

Eva Al-Gharaballi, bartender at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida

Golden Road Brewing’s Mango Cart Wheat Ale has come with me every time I’ve gone to the beach. Inspired by the fruit vendors in Los Angeles, this beer is light and refreshing with mango flavors throughout.

Upland Wheat Ale

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Trying out a new beer. #uplandwheatale

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Sarah Fackler, bartender and manager at Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington, Indiana

Upland Wheat Ale for sure. It’s made in the traditional Belgian-style and brewed with coriander and orange zest. The perfect refresher on a hot day, after a bike ride or a dip in the pool.

Avery White Rascal

Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

Avery Brewing makes White Rascal and it has always been a summer favorite. Nice hazy pour with a medium body and some great banana and clove notes. Perfect for an afternoon at the beach.

Allagash White

Billy Cox, bar chef at Ocean Prime in Boston

My go-to wheat beer is Allagash White. It’s #1 on the Beer Advocate’s Belgian Witbier rankings for a reason. It’s cloudy, refreshing, a summer classic that never disappoints.

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

Thomas Nesselhauf, manager of Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. It is the best wheat beer for any season, or the best wheat beer to bridge the gap between any seasons, or… just the best wheat beer altogether! Anyone that disagrees hasn’t had one. It’s pretty much the most classic, old-world, full-flavored wheat beer you can buy.

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