Summer Beers | The 6 Best Thirst-Quenching Brews

Lighten up and stay cool with these delicious seasonal beers.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn
Photo: Mehmet Hilmi Barcin, Getty Images.

Summer is upon us like a hot, wet blanket covering us from head to toe. In most of the country, on top of the brutality of piercing sunlight, the humidity seems to be off the charts. You likely need something to quench the never-ending thirst associated with summer. Obviously, there’s no better thirst quencher than a glass of cold water. It’s a classic and will never be bested. But plain old water can get pretty boring. Luckily, some intrepid innovators decided to pair water with hops and barley and created beer many moons ago. There are many different styles of beer, but stouts, porters, and other dark beers aren’t likely to satisfy you on a hot, summer day. That’s why there are pale ales, IPAs, sour beers, and other lighter styles ready to do the job.

Here are some of the best summer beers to quench your thirst:

Ninkasi Brewing Pacific Rain

This 5.4% Northwest Pale Ale was added to Ninkasi’s Flagship Series of year-round beers this spring. It’s extremely crushable and is made with 2-Row Pale, Munich, and Oats malts as well as Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Nugget hops. Part of why it’s so drinkable is because of the balance between hops and malts. It’s a perfect combination of bready malts, citrus hops and sweetness.

Elysian Superfuzz

This 6.4% Blood Orange Pale Ale is something special in the world of fruit-based beers. Sometimes, when brewers add fruit or fruit flavoring it ends up taking over the flavor profile so much that it no longer even tastes like beer. In that case, you might as well just drink a pint of Hawaiian Punch. Superfuzz isn’t overly sweet or cloying; it still tastes like beer, but with a subtle citrus flavor. That’s because of the combination of blood oranges, German Northern Brewer, Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops, as well as Pale and Munich malts.

New Belgium VooDoo Ranger Passionfruit

Get your hands on this limited release Imperial IPA while you still can. It won’t be around forever. This 8% double IPA gets its base from New Belgium’s popular Voodoo Ranger, but adds a “helfty amount” of passion fruit into the process along with Nugget, Nelson Sauvin, and Citra hops. It’s an easy-drinking 52 IBUs and is only available until August.

DogFish Head SeaQuench

This 4.9% session sour ale is something truly unique. That’s because it might be the most thirst-quenching beer ever created. Brewed with lime peel, black limes, and sea salt, SeaQuench is like taking a gulp of ocean water (if that was actually something you could do and it tasted like beer and magic). It’s a mash-up of a Kolsch, gose, and a Berliner Weiss.

Ska Brewing Mexican Logger

This 5.2% pale American lager might be one of the most perfect summer time drinking beers ever created. It’s light, floral, and fruity with a subtle malt backbone. This refreshing brew pairs well with Mexican food and all of your favorite BBQ foods. It also pairs perfectly with a hot day in the sun. You’ll go back for a can over and over again throughout the day.

Upslope Thai Style White IPA

When you crack open one of these beers, you know you’re getting something as unique as it is refreshing. This 6.5% Thai Style White IPA is a truly global brew. It’s brewed with Belgian Wit yeast, is hopped the same way an American IPA is, and gets its flavor from the infusion of seven Asian spices. Like the Ying and Yang, it’s a perfect balance of floral citrus, malts, and Thai spices.