If you’re trying to be stylish this summer, you’ll have to do better than jogging on the beach in a Speedo and Crocs. Luckily for you, you’re reading about the summer beer batches that will match our ensuing sunny skies. With fruit flavors and crafty concoctions you never thought possible, we’ve got something to fog your vision no matter how clear the sky. Because if there’s one thing we know here at Mandatory, it’s how to make things uncomfortable both on a warm summer day and cool summer night. As always, drink responsibly. And by that, we mean get blasted and call an Uber.
Dogfish Head Birra Etrusca Bronze
Available: May through July (Limited)
An ancient ale developed overseas and influenced from 2,800-year-old drinking vessels of Rome, Dogfish Head’s summer specialty beer honors heritage, privilege and commitment to the craft of brewing. Collectively built from a recipe of heirloom wheat, two row barley, tree resin, pomegranate and hazelnut powder, the dedicated family of Dogfish Head brewed Birra Estrusca with bronze — strips of pots and pans during fermentation — to give a bite of authenticity to their Etruscan era invention. Like carefully skilled Italian witches in the Tuscan Hills of Italy, Dogfish Head offers you a beer that belongs next to pasta as much as any wine, and it’s pretty strong too.
Beachwood Brewing System of a Stout
ABV: 11.2% (22 oz.)
Available: June 6
Long Beach’s Beachwood Brewing is growing with belligerent beer-loving enthusiasm, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Their latest summer specialty is System of a Stout, a sharing and pairing of Armenian Imperial Coffee Stout and the boldness that lies within. Carefully crafted together with rich molasses, green cardamom and bold Armenian roasted coffee, this stout touts a well-mannered buzz after aging in brandy oak, served up as a potent brew that will replace your morning joe with a new kind of early buzz. God help them if the name is a reference to your least favorite ’90s band.
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Available: March through July
Whether by sunny stoop or sandy beach, Brooklyn Brewery’s Summer Ale is made for any sunny occasion. With two rows of barley, German and American hops, whose bitterness is perfectly offset by its floral attempts, and a mountain of golden sunshine delivered in each bottle and can, Brooklyn puts a little New York swagger in your summer drink. Just don’t let us find you passed out our stoop this summer.
Buffalo Bill’s Orange Blossom Cream Ale
Available: February through August
Orange? Blossom? Cream? Ale? Buffalo Bill? What’s not to like? The warm weather summer brew from Buffalo Bill comfortably squeezing together sweet orange peel, orange flower and honey into a delightfully sweet, satisfying summer seasonal filled with hopes and dreams and not the least bit of creepy film references. This beer is every summer honeybee’s wet dream
Boulder Beer Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat
Available: April through August
Don’t worry about getting the guts of Oregon’s finest blueberries when you sip on Boulder Beer’s summer wheat beer, as the organic blueberry puree is added to the already fermenting wheat ale. Along with honey and pale malts and Mt. Hood hops, the blueberry is a refreshingly clever move for a summer strain. It may seem obvious now, but Boulder is one of the few beer companies with the balls to do it. Must be those cool Colorado mountains.
Great Divide Showdown Rye IPA
Available: June (Exclusively)
The Showdown Rye from Great Divide is another relished summer beer from the Colorado cooler, but this IPA comes in four packs because folks can’t seem to handle too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to the delicate balance of rye and IPA. Just look at what we’ve done with alcohol. Between the piney American hops and the spice of rye, no man will ever have to choose between the two again. Luckily, Great Divide is nice enough to cut us off after four beers. Unless, of course, we buy two packs.
Odell St. Lupulin
Available: May through September
Part of the summer montage variety twelve pack, Odell offers a balanced specialty beverage with the right frequency of hops and malts for just the right bitterness and drinkability. St. Lupulin will loop you in with the delicious yellowy resin of its bitter hop flowers — lupulin — giving off a dry taste, floral aroma and crisp finish. We’re uncertain if St. Lupulin is a real saint, but if not, maybe there should be.
Available: May through September
Who says cocktails have all the fun when Abita is mixing beers — Strawberry spring seasonal and Andygator — like a bunch of drunken psychos? Strawgator is the marriage of a deliciously refreshing fruit strain and the German swamp beast of their big beer collection. With 8 percent alcohol and a fruity twist on German dryness, you’ll either enjoy Abita’s big summer beer or you’ll buy a sixer of their root beer and make yourself a float. It’s a win either way.
Available: June (specialty)
The name sounds philosophical — rightfully so — without uttering a single word. The marriage of pilsner and pale pale, fruit and spice, as well as two “proprietary” yeast strains, Confluence is an Allagash June specialty that will leave a soothing feeling in your mouth, as though you had just brushed your teeth with brilliance and refuse to return to the land of common beer drinking. Lengthy aging and golden in appearance, Confluence is truly the king of beers, despite whatever shitty domestic claims to be.
Samuel Adams Porch Rocker
Available: June through August
We wouldn’t leave you without a classic summer brew that not only cools you down but quenches your thirst and gets you swinging — drunkenly — in the breeze. That’s right, Porch Rocker is the new water, if you want to know what’s styling this summer. A dirty twist on the hearty beer and lemonade — Bavarian Radler — Sam Adams himself has developed a summer sweet treat of golden ale mixed with a lemony blend to get the taste buds wide awake for some summer fun and terrible decisions. And it’s light enough you could just drink them until your liver gives out, but we trust you’ll adhere to our responsible drinking policy.