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Craft Beer Experts Name The Most Underrated Summer Beers Ever

Summer is a great time of year to be a beer fan. The only problem is that with sunny weather being perfect for lagers, pale ales, IPAs, pilsners, and other lighter beer styles, the market is oversaturated with choices. It also means there are a few overrated summer beers that get more attention than they deserve and some underrated ones that fall by the wayside.

To help us find underrated beers, waiting to be discovered, we went to a handful of our favorite craft beer experts and brewers. They were kind enough to let us in on their picks for the most underrated summer beers you should be drinking this season. Keep reading to see them all.

Port City Beach Drive

Port City Beach Drive
Port City

Josh Radigan, director of food and beverage at Viceroy in Washington DC

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Port City Brewing’s Beach Drive Golden Ale. It’s just an easy drinking ale without too much sweet malt in the finish but a balance of crisp and body. Simple, well-balanced, and perfect. A great example of how to craft a crushable summer beer.

Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier

Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier
Weihenstephaner

Karlton Graham, head brewer at Kansas City Bier Company in Kansas City

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $3.99 for a 16.9-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Any fresh Kristallweizen. They are hard to find and I hope to make one by next summer but if you do find a fresh one, you are in for a treat. Dry, but with amazing fruit and/or spice flavors. I find it to be quite refreshing on a hot day. Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier with its banana and citrus flavors is the pinnacle of the style and tough to beat on a hot summer day.

Chuckanut Pilsner

Chuckanut Pilsner
Chuckanut

Parker Penley, lead innovation brewer of Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Oregon

ABV: 5%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

This changes all the time but I have to give a shout-out to Chuckanut Brewery. I had a couple of their pilsners recently and they were drinking mighty fine. A refreshing balance between premium pilsner malt flavor and noble hops. Crushable, crisp, and great for summer afternoon drinking.

Lost Coast Great White

Lost Coast Great White
Lost Coast

Jeremy Marshall, brewmaster at Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

This is the same as my go-to summer beer. I always go with Lost Coast Great White. It’s not Blue Moon, it’s not Shock Top, but it is Humboldt County. Wheat, orange peel, and spices propel this thirst-quenching wheat beer into a different summer category. It’s a perfect, complex, flavorful beer for the summer heat.

Thin Man Minkey Boodle

Thin Man Minkey Boodle
Thin Man

Kevin McGee, president and CEO of Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Boonville, California

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $15.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Thin Man Minkey Boodle, Raspberry Sour. Warm weather and sunshine often call for kettle sours and Thin Man makes an exceptional one. With bracing acidity and plenty of luscious raspberry flavor, this beer is both delicious and also fun to order. The team at Thin Man is really creative but also have a lot of brewing skill and have this beer balanced exceptionally well.

Live Oak Hefeweizen

Live Oak Hefeweizen
Live Oak

Rob Lightner, co-founder of East Brother Beer Company in Richmond, California

ABV: 5.3%

Average Price: $8.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Without a doubt, it has to be Hefeweizen, and Live Oak in Texas makes an amazing one. Hefeweizen is a great year-round beer, but there’s something about the subtle tartness combined with the range of flavors you get from this style of wheat beer, like banana, bubblegum, and/or clove, that makes this style a go-to summer beer. With a typically low ABV, it’s an absolute thirst-quencher.

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler
Stiegl

Ian Brown, head brewer at Biggerstaff Brewing in Atlanta

ABV: 2.5%

Average Price: $10.50 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

When I think of my go-to summer beer, it’s probably going to be a Shandy. Either lemon or grapefruit. Stiegl comes to mind. Something light and refreshing for the heat. Its grapefruit shandy is low in alcohol, but high in bright, tart citrus flavor. Who doesn’t love lemonade in the summer? And you can add gin to it and take it to the next level. Who is saying no to that?

Solemn Oath Lu Kolsch

Solemn Oath Lu Kolsch
Solemn Oath

Ben Saller, founder and brewer at Burnt City Brewing in Chicago

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I’m not sure I would call it underrated, but Lu Kolsch from Solemn Oath is a beer I’ve been enjoying this summer. It’s crisp and refreshing with nice a nice, smooth grain character. If that makes it underrated then it definitely is. More people should know about this great summer beer.

Writer’s Pick:

Narragansett Fresh Catch

Narragansett Fresh Catch
Narragansett

ABV: 4.2%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Nobody would fault you for listing Narragansett Lager in its 1975 ‘Jaws’ throwback cans as an underrated summer beer. But we think the brand’s Citra-hopped blond ale is actually more underrated. Light, slightly sweet, and loaded with bold citrus flavors, it’s the kind of beer you want to drink on a hot summer day.

Writer’s Pick:

Creature Comforts Tritonia

Creature Comforts Tritonia
Creature Comforts

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $14.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

There are few beer styles more well-suited for summer refreshment than a nice, crisp, slightly salt Gose-style beer. In our opinion, one of the most underrated is Creature Comforts Tritonia with lactobacillus, lime, sea salt, coriander, and cucumber. It’s complex, flavorful, and pairs well with a hazy, sunny summer day.

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