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9 Great Summer Beers to Drink This Season, According to Drink Experts

Nine bartenders, chefs, and mixologists offered their go-to summer beers, including old standbys and new favorites.

Whether you’re serving as the pittmaster at a July 4th barbecue, celebrating a lawn well mowed, or just watching the kids chase fireflies as the summer twilight fades, a beer is an ideal summer drink. We’re not going to yuck your yum, here, and tell you not to drink what you love to drink. Do you. If you like cheap summer beer, drink cheap summer beer. But, in the interest of expanding our tastes, this summer we were hoping to move beyond our beloved and lagers, pilsners and enjoy some fresh new summer beers. Since we are firm believers in the axiom, ‘good people drink good beer,’ we decided to query several of the country’s top bartenders, chefs, and mixologists for their go-to summer beers to help freshen our beer list. In case you’re looking to try a new summer beer, here’s what they shared.

Braxton Summer Trip

Jack Keane, the General Manager of the Apothecary- themed, Cincinnati bar Sundry and Vice, recommends Braxton Summer Trip. “The passion fruit Berliner Weisse has great fruit notes, is a bit tart, and is super light,” he says. “This beer is refreshing and the perfect drink to sit on the patio with a six-pack or for being out on a boat.”

Avery Brewing El Gose

Former Palermo FC soccer star and current Bar Director at The Times Square EDITION hotel, Salvatore Tafuri’s summer go-to brew? El Gose from Avery Brewing. “It’s a sour style with notes of lime and salt, perfect with a shot of tequila on the side to recreate a nice, refreshing Margarita.”

CITRA ASS DOWN from Against the Grain Brewery

According to Joshua Pike, director of food and beverage at 8UP in Louisville, Kentucky, which features some of the best views of the city, says this is the perfect summer beer for the dad who’s only going to have one. “This IPA utilizes a unique hybrid strain of hops called Citra. Resulting in an IPA that is very hop forward but has the unique addition of citrus and fruit punch flavor and aromas,” he says. “For the man who is trying to relax on a warm summer day, at 18.2 percent ABV the Citra Ass Down is guaranteed to take a load off.”

Brooklyn Lager Summer Ale

John Onsa, who oversees the operations of Brim House and The Heights, two on-site restaurants and bars located within the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel, likes to pour a Brooklyn Lager Summer Ale for refreshment on a summer day. “One-hunded-percent British two row barley. Snappy, bright clean finish with floral aromas. A great beer to pair at BBQ’s, seafood and some light spiced dishes,” he says. “Growing up in the urban summer environments, it always reminds me of cool summer nights spent with friends over this style of beer.”

Forbidden Root Ghost Tropic

The Ghost Tropic double IPA is the called shot from Chef Jeff Vucko of  Travelle at The Langham in Chicago. He’s a big fan of all the IPAs by Forbidden Root but says this double IPA is especially crisp and refreshing. “It’s easy drinking even for the high alcohol content,” he says. “Plus, the flavor kicks butt. All summer long you will see my refrigerator stocked with this.”

New Belgium Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza

For summer, Mariena Mercer, Chef Mixologist for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, suggests the fruity New Belgium Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza. “It’s inspired by Mexican street culture and the agua frescas of the food stalls,” she says. “With notes of watermelon, lime, agave & hibiscus it is crisp and refreshing, while satiating my need for something a bit more exotic by the pool.”

Stone Delicious IPA

For Glenfiddich ambassador Allan Roth, nothing beats an IPA — not even the summer heat. “My pick is a fresh, hoppy IPA, like Stone Delicious,” he says. “I’m still a whisky drinker in the summer too, and Glenfiddich’s India Pale Ale Cask Finish pairs very well with this beer.”

Raspberry Blush from Mikkeller

Daniel Condliffe, bartender at the San Diego roof-top spot JSix Restaurant, prefers the easy sipping, fruity Raspberry Blush from Mikkelle. A raspberry berleinerweiss finished with coffee beans, the beer, per Condliffe, drinks light, tart, and very crisp. “A little bit of fruit sweetness and subtle flavors of coffee give this traditional low ABV sour style beer some complex layers but not too aggressive in any way and something you can have multiple of,” she says.

Vacation Session IPA from 4 Sons Brewing

“A proper summer beer must be many things — not only sippable, but sessionable,” says Casey Lyons, Lead Bartender at Pacific Hideaway restaurant at the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, California. That’s why he digs a Vacation Session IPA from 4 Sons Brewing, a Pineapple Session Indian Pale ale made in collaboration with reggae legends ‘The Dirty Heads’. “Lightly sweetened with fresh pineapple and crisply hopped, its perfect for day-drinking, bike-riding, or just getting lost in the beautiful summer day,” he says. “Even more perfect for Summer, at only 5 percent ABV, you might actually be able to enjoy a couple before that afternoon nap starts calling your name.”