Summer's warmest days are coming, so you might as well start stocking up now on great beers to cool down with. While we'd never judge anyone for cracking a sub-zero can of High Life after mowing the lawn — we certainly have — there are abundant craft options that can quench a thirst as well as any fizzy light lager.
There are dozens of beer styles that make amazing summer beers — German hefeweizens, Belgian blondes, even Irish stouts — but two of our absolute favorites are the German pilsner and American pale ale. Neither typically runs too heavy for hot days and both offer a crisp, refreshing finish of hops.
The German pilsners exported to our shores, like Radeberger, Jever, and Bitburger, are all fine options, but for the sake of freshness (and our love of hops), the first cold lager we'd reach for is Victory's Prima Pils. This Pennsylvania brew uses traditional German barley and hops, but amplifies the floral, citrus hops flavors compared to its overseas brethren.
When you talk about American pale ales, you have to start with Sierra Nevada's. It defined the style, and remains one of the best beers in America all while the Chico, California–born operation scaled up and grew to the third largest craft brewer in the U.S. It offers an exquisite balance of toasty barley and American hops that finish with a crisp kiss of grapefruit and pine.
Frankly, we'd be happier than a beer nerd with a case of Pliny to enjoy either brews on a sunny summer day, but let us know your favorite.