Summer, more than any other time in the year, is synonymous with beer. Outdoor activities just seem to be that much better with a cold one in hand. And where better for those summer chill sessions than the beach.
Beach drinking isn’t for amateurs though. In many places, it’s illegal to drink on the beach (we’re looking at you San Diego), so you have to do your research before partaking. Insulated growlers from companies like Patagonia, Mizu, Hydroflask and more are one way to conceal your beverage, but do so at your own risk.
Another hot tip: cans are definitely the way to go. Bottles are clunky and difficult to get rid of. Cans on the other hand stack neatly and can be crushed when finished. Whenever looking for portable drinking options, cans should be your first option.
We’ve rounded up 15 of the best beers for beach time this summer, all available in a can to optimize your drinking experience. And remember, don’t drink and drive.
1. All Day IPAThe brewery: Founder’s Brewing — Grand Rapids, Michigan
The lowdown: One of the ultimate Session IPAs out there, the crisp finish and not-overly-hoppy mix create something we could drink all day.
The lowdown: A golden blonde ale that’s as easy drinking as there is, this summer classic is low in alcohol and comes in that traditional 16 oz. ‘gansett can.
The lowdown: Afternoons on the beach are meant for leisurely drinking — you don’t want to do yourself in by 3 p.m. The low alcohol content lets you sip a few of these pristine Session IPAs for as long as the sun is up.
The lowdown: How do you improve upon one of the hoppiest IPAs known to man? You add a hint of grapefruit to mellow out the bitterness. No, this isn’t a fruity, shandy type of beer — this is beer first with a hint of grapefruit. But beware, this one’s ABV rings in around 7% so you won’t want to be downing too many of these on the beach.
5. SummerfestThe brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing — Chico, California
The lowdown: Spicy floral hops add a bit of bite to this twist on the traditional style Pilsner lager. Sierra Nevada typically does things quite well, and their Summerfest exudes all the emotions that summer evokes.
6. Pale AleThe brewery: Saint Archer Brewing — San Diego, California
The taste: If there’s anywhere in the world that has a year-round summer, it’s San Diego. Summing up all that is San Diego, the surfer/skater-owned Saint Archer Brewing’s best offering is this classic Pale Ale that is no frills.
7. JammerThe brewery: Sixpoint Brewery — Brooklyn, New York
The lowdown: Not many breweries have resurrected the Gose-style beer, but in 2015 Sixpoints added it to their offering and we’re glad they did. Gose beers use salt water and special souring techniques to create a uniquely tart beer that’s oddly refreshing.
8. Summer AleThe brewery: Brooklyn Brewery — Brooklyn, New York
The lowdown: Smooth and light, Brooklyn Brewery’s most notable offering packs just enough bitterness to keep you moving but is a sunny pale ale that doesn’t hit you hard enough to put you face-down on the sand.
The lowdown: Summer Love is called a light, golden ale but it’s more like an IPA cross-pollinated with an ale. It's a bit deceiving at its 5.2% ABV, because the German hops play off the pale malts so well that it does pack a bit of initial bite that then goes down smooth.
The lowdown: Producing a head that’s similar to meringue (as in lemon meringue pie), this summer classic has been pleasing people since 1984 and will please you in 2016 just as well.
11. Long Trail AleThe brewery: Long Trail Brewing Company — Bridgewater Corners, Vermont
The lowdown: When it comes to outdoorsy beers, Long Trail and their Ale led the way for all others to follow back in 1989. Now, over 25 years later, Long Trail Ale is still one of the best beers around for any activity in the outdoors.
12. Modelo EspecialThe brewery: Grupo Modelo — Mexico City, Mexico
The lowdown: The golden foil on top of the bottle is one of the most notorious signs of summer’s arrival. Just as good in the can, it’s one of the best Central American beers made. Refreshing in the heat of summer, it’s a nice beach companion to have.
13. Primo LagerThe brewery: Primo Brewing — Los Angeles, California
The lowdown: “Hawaii’s original beer”, Primo definitely brings the feeling of Aloha in alcohol form from the Islands. These days, owned by Pabst, the Primo that is sold in Hawaii is actually still brewed on Kauai at the Keoki Brewing Company, which still adds sugar cane to each batch.
14. Oberon AleThe brewery: Bells Brewery — Kalamazoo, Michigan
The lowdown: Spicy hops and mild fruit aromas give Oberon Ale a classic summer feel that you’ll want to hang onto way past summer is over.
15. Jockamo IPAThe brewery: Abita Brewing Company — Abita Springs, Louisiana
The lowdown: Despite being a little heftier at 6.5%, Jockamo is one of those beers that makes you want to have another as soon as you finish one. The red-hued IPA is a perfect compliment to the likes of New Orleans spicy cuisine and Abita’s brewery is actually one of the greenest in America.
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