FirstandMonday’s Top 8 (not super snobby) Beers of Summer 2015
Alright so we know that, for some, craft beer is only for snobs.
We’re not here to buck that stereotype. You’re free thinking, (sort of) intelligent individuals who can make your own beverage decisions. This article is simple to recommend some craft options to try, if you’d be so inclined, that are at least fairly widely available.
Bell’s Oberon (Kalamazoo, MI)
An American pale wheat ale from one of the most successful craft breweries in the country, Oberon is considered by many to be a staple of summer. Widely available in both bottles and cans, Oberon is a fantastic place to start your exploration. Deadspin just called it one of the most overrated craft beers in the country, so, that’s something.
Availability: Most states east of the Mississippi
Southern Tier Hop Sun (Lakewood, NY)
Another American pale wheat, Hop Sun will be fairly similar in to Oberon, just another breweries interpretation of a classic summer style. A little less hop bitterness (at least, for me), than Oberon, Hop Sun is easily palatable to even the least seasoned craft drinker.
Availability: Most states east of the Mississippi and the west coast
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Chico, CA)
An old stalwart of the craft beer scene, SNPA has been the entry level beer for many, many craft beer converters. Not a summer beer necessarily but rather just a refreshing, moderately hopped beer perfectly suitable for any and every warm day. The hop bitterness won’t reach IPA levels here, but expect a little bit.
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold (Cleveland, OH)
While many Americans would never be familiar with the beer style known as a “Dortmunder”, you shouldn’t let the strange term scare you away. It’s more or less a European style lager and is fairly similar in style to a Heineken just, you know, not shitty.
Availability: Mainly the northeast, as far south as Kentucky
Stone Enjoy By IPA (San Diego, CA)
Designed to be consumed for optimum freshness, each batch of Enjoy By comes with a new date, telling you when the beer should be consumed by to experience it in all its glory. A double IPA with plenty of hop bitterness with huge citrus notes as well. Extremely highly regarded, as are every IPA that Stone produces.
Sam Adams Porch Rocker (Boston, MA)
I know, throwing a Boston Beer Company brew on the list might be a little boring… But this list wants to consider accessibility and Sam Adams is nothing if not accessible to everyone. This is a solid beer with a similar (but better) flavor profile to those always shoved down your throats during the summer such as Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Curious Traveler. An ale with a lemon kick, Porch Rocker is a perfectly good beer to have when it’s hot out.
Victory Summer Love (Downingtown, PA)
An American Blonde ale, Summer Love goes down easy. I guess we could make some cheap joke about blondes going down easy too, but we’re clearly above that. It’s a fairly, well, boring style, but this is an extremely satisfying representation of it. At just 5.2% ABV, you can knock back plenty and enjoy yourself.
Availability: Widely east of the Mississippi
Dogfish Head Festina Peche (Rehobeth Beach, DE)
DFH is a staple of the American craft beer scene. Known for their innovative and experimental beers, people largely love or hate Festina Peche but you simply won’t know until you give it a try. FP is a “Berliner Weissbier” which is a traditional German style of beer that, in this case, has been bolstered with a little bit of peach flavor. You’re unlikely to see this one on every shelf, but if you see it, it’s worth a try.
Availability: DFH is widely available in the east, all along the west coast and Texas
Anyone tried any of these and would like to share your thoughts? Have a beer to add? Have anything to say at all? Discuss it on our free message board!