We spent a suds-soaked session taste-testing all the summer brews we could lay our hands on. Three days later we woke up and wrote our reviews.
1. Anchor Brewing Summer Beer (San Francisco), 4.5% Alcohol by Volume
Given its bright, refreshing flavor, you wouldn’t know this was a wheat beer, but the thick, frothy head is a dead giveaway.
Tester’s take: “This would be the perfect beer to drink at the ballpark while screaming horrible things at the visiting team.”
2. Newcastle Summer Ale (Newcastle, UK), 4.4% ABV
Grassier than a ball field and more floral than a lei, this English offering is positively smashing, we say.
Tester’s take: “This delicious ale gives me a Big Ben–size beer boner.”
3. Bohemia (Monterrey, Mexico), 4.7% ABV
Every sip of this staff favorite is a Bohe¬mian rhapsody. And while it may hail from Mexico, you’ll want to skip the lime.
Tester’s take: “ I want it with sausages and barbecue. Now.”
4. Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale (Brooklyn, NY) 5.0% ABV
A light English-style ale made from American and German hops. It’s like World War II never happened!
Tester’s take: “Light, smooth, and tasty. I’d drink this all day, then call my Dad and yell about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn.”
5. Bud Light Platinum (St. Louis), 6.0% ABV
When typical 4.2% Bud Light won’t do the trick, hit the platinum.
Tester’s take: “Perfect pregamer. More, please!”
6. Chimay Tripel (Belgium), 8.0% ABV
Now celebrating their 150th anniversary, the venerable Belgian brothers at Chimay offer up this heavyweight white ale.
Tester’s take: “Awesome! Great head on it, great flavor. The monks bring the funk!”
7. Goose Island Summertime (Chicago), 4.7% ABV
A traditional German-style Kölsch beer tweaked for the summer months.
Tester’s take: “Frothy, clean, and sweet. It’s light enough to drink all day but has fun complexities that make my tongue happy.”
8. Shock Top Lemon Shandy (St. Louis), 4.2% ABV
Is a shandy a beer? Sure, why the hell not? The reimagined beer-citrus hybrid makes for an excellent summer refresher.
Tester’s take: “Surprisingly good! Not too sweet.”
9. Tröegs Sunshine Pils (Hershey, PA), 4.5% ABV
Hoppier than Bugs Bunny on Ritalin, this award-winning pilsner pairs up perfectly with seafood.
Tester’s take: “A little bit bitter and dry, much like my wife. Please don’t print that—she reads this.”
10. Victory Brewing Summer Love Ale (Downington, PA), 5.2% ABV
The summer of love was filled with the pungent aromas of Miss Mary Jane. No wonder this seasonal offering is so herbalicious.
Tester’s take: “I liked this, although it tasted a bit like weed (not that I know what weed tastes like).”