Article Title
Article Title

The Beers of Summer

by Matt O'Connor

It’s that amorphous time in April when we’re really just not sure what season it is out there. A few weeks ago here in Boston, I walked out my door with shorts and boat shoes, but this morning I had on a sweatshirt, jeans, and a raincoat. So, even though Mother Nature hasn’t figured out the weather yet, breweries have bombarded the shelves with summer beers. So, let’s oblige them and get a head start on summer. Here are a few great beers you should seek out as the weather warms:

Bitburger Premium Pils, Bitburger Brauerei (Bitburg, Germany). One of Europe's many fine pilsners. I have enjoyed this beer several times, but most notably at New York’s Standard Biergarten. There’s just something about drinking at a picnic table, outdoors, over sausages. ABV: 4.8% [photo]

Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, CA). Hops! To the #1 selling IPA in the state of California. Not everything on this list is a simple pilsner or wheat beer. There are amazingly tasty IPAs that can be summer satisfiers. The IPA from Lagunitas is one of them, an amazing hoppy aroma complimented with crisp mouth bitterness and a dry finish. ABV: 6.2% [image]

Sam Adams East-West Kölsch, Boston Beer Company (Boston, MA). This one was new in the summer mix-pack in 2011 and I’m glad it’s back for 2012. A Kölsch is a German style of beer traditionally brewed in Cologne. It’s a light and refreshing beer brewed with a specific type of ale yeast that, due to its genetic makeup, gives you the fruity flavors of an ale with the clean and crisp taste of a lager. Sam Adams’ take on it also incorporates aging the beer with the fragrant jasmine flower from Asia. This is a great beer. ABV: 5.0% [image]

American Darling, Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project (Somerville, MA). This is the anti-lawnmower beer. Unlike some other American lagers, this uses all malted barely; no rice or corn in the mix. It’s fermented for several weeks at cold lager temperatures and then filtered for a delicious, clear, refreshing beer that’s surprisingly high in alcohol. In fact, you might want to avoid the lawnmower entirely. ABV: 7.0% [image]

Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, Paulaner Brauerei (Munich, Germany). I have yet to do a proper full-length review on a wheat beer. I promise I’ll remedy that soon with the warm weather approaching. For now, just be aware that Paulaner makes fantastic beers and this wheat is no exception. It’s fuller in body than a lager, but refreshing with a nice aroma of banana and clove (no, really, banana). ABV: 5.5% [image]

Summerfest, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, CA). This is another easy drinking pilsner and probably my favorite amongst the summer seasonal beers from the largest of America’s craft brewers. I prefer this lager to some other summer ales: Anchor Summer Beer, Sam Adams Summer Ale, and Brooklyn Summer Ale. ABV: 5.0% [image]

Image courtesy of the author


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Matt O’Connor lives in Boston and is a proud graduate of Boston University. Explore beer with him as he quits his job in the sciences and starts law school. Send any requests, beer, or job offers to him at: matt.oconnor[at]