Better Summer Beer: Sam Adams Summer Ale or Bell’s Oberon?

summer beer

It's the first weekend of summer, which is a hell of a fine reason to crack open a cold beer. There's certainly no off-season for enjoying a sudsy brew, but nothing quite matches the bliss of pale ales around a grill or a cooler of pilsners at the beach.

Yet despite beer's place as a summer essential (for us at least), few ales or lagers vie for the title of the Beer of Summer. So we're asking you to pick from the top two craft beer summer seasonals: Bell's Oberon and Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Both brews have built up loyal followings of imbibers waiting all winter to dig into a six-pack. In Michigan, there's even a beer holiday (Oberon Day) for it's annual release. The duo are also both wheat beers, and distinctly American. They may take cues from the banana bread-like hefeweizens of Germany, and Belgium's perfumey witbiers, but both use American yeasts that let the barley and hops speak for themselves.

Oberon, at 5.8 percent alcohol, uses just barley, wheat, and hops to achieve its spicy character. The 5.3 percent Sam Adams Summer Ale, however, is brewed with lemon peel and aromatic grains of paradise for its sun-soaked flavor. Neither approach is better, that is unless you have a clear favorite between the two beers. Let us know which you prefer.