Red, White & Brewed | Best Beers For Summer

Now officially one week into summer, it's time to focus on some beer that will carry you well through the season.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn
Photo: Elinor Harari / EyeEm.

Now that winter is firmly in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start directing our attention toward summer. It’s never too early to start figuring out which beers to imbibe throughout the summer (and even into fall).

Also: Red, White, and Brewed | I Love L.A. Beer

We are looking at lighter beers, some with a fruity presence. These are the kind of beers that you can enjoy while you stand next to a grill on a sunny, humid day. They are the kind of beers that can be enjoyed in handfuls (as long as it’s Saturday and you have nowhere else to be). These are the best beers for the hot, humid, sunny-filled days of the summer.

Ninkasi Spring Reign

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Ninkasi Brewing Company

This 6% ABV American Pale Ale is made in the style of easy-drinking British pales. This beer has a subtle toasted malt flavor from 2-Row Pale, Biscuit, and Kilned Amber malts. It’s finished with a crisp dose of citrus because of Santiam, Simcoe and Ahtanum hops. True to the style of Ninkasi, this beer bridges the gap between beer styles. It pairs well with fresh, seasonal salads as well as various hearty cheeses and grilled chicken.

New Belgium Citradelic

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New Belgium Brewing

One of the newest offerings from New Belgium, Citradelic was launched in January, just in time to hit shelves around the country for spring/summer consumption. At 6% ABV, this is definitely an easy-drinking beer that is perfect for summer BBQ’s and outdoor gatherings. Full of citrus zest flavor because of the abundance of hops, including Nugget, Crystal, Centennial, Azzaca, Cascade, Citra, Chinook, Galaxy, Mandarina Bavaria and Simcoe as well as Pale and Caramel 120 malts. The Citradelic flavor isn’t limited to hops, though. It also comes from the addition of tangerine peel. This refreshing and seasonal brew is one that you will find yourself coming back to again and again.

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

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Ballast Point Brewing Company

One of the most refreshing spring/summer beers out there today, Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin is 7% ABV and is the same as their well-known IPA, but with the addition of grapefruit. The citrus presence is subtle and palate-pleasing. Sculpin fish are known for their poison spikes, yet delicious meat. This beer is similar to the fish, nice bite of citrus followed by a tasty beer that pairs perfectly with grilled salmon and various light cheeses.


Other great beers for the summer:

• Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Tropical IPA
• Narragansett Summertime Citra Ale
• Sam Adams Porch Rocker
• 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon
• Ommegang Glimmerglass
• Dogfish Head Aprihop
• Magic Hat #9