15 of the best summer beers made for the beach

The best summer beach beers

Just what summer is all about. Photo: Aubree Plodinec/Twenty20

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.

RELATED: 5 of the best beers to take on your next camping trip

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 IPA

Founder's All Day IPA lineup. Photo: Courtesy of Founder's Brewing

Founder’s All Day IPA lineup. Photo: Courtesy of Founder’s Brewing

The 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.

2. Summertime Citra Ale

A classic summertime beer from a classic brewery. Photo: Courtesy of Narragansett Beer

A classic summertime beer from a classic brewery. Photo: Courtesy of Narragansett Beer

The brewery: Narragansett Beer — Providence, Rhode Island

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.

3. Down To Earth Session IPA

This monkey knows how to live. Photo: Courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery

This monkey knows how to live. Photo: Courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery

The brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery — San Francisco, California

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.

4. Grapefruit Sculpin

If you're not a fruit-in-the-beer kinda person, don't let this one slide past your blinders. Photo: Courtesy of Ballast Point Brewing

Even if you’re not a fruit-in-the-beer type of person, don’t let this one slide past your blinders. Photo: Courtesy of Ballast Point Brewing

The brewery: Ballast Point Brewing — San Diego, California

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. Summerfest

The archetype summer beer. Photo: Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing

The archetype summer beer. Photo: Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing

The 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 Ale

One of San Diego's finest. Photo: Courtesy of Saint Archer Brewing

One of San Diego’s finest. Photo: Courtesy of Saint Archer Brewing

The 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. Jammer

Sixpoint brought back the Gose and more breweries should do so. Photo: Courtesy of Sixpoint Brewery

Sixpoint brought back the Gose and more breweries should do so. Photo: Courtesy of Sixpoint Brewery

The 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 Ale

Brooklyn has the know-how of what you need on the beach. Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn has the know-how of what you need on the beach. Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery

The 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.

9. Summer Love Ale

Nothing sums up summer like Summer Love Ale. Photo: Courtesy of Victory Brewing

Nothing sums up summer like Summer Love Ale. Photo: Courtesy of Victory Brewing

The brewery: Victory Brewing — Downington, Pennsylvania

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.

10. Anchor Summer Wheat

The golden goodness that is Anchor Summer Wheat. Photo: Courtesy of Anchor Brewing

The golden goodness that is Anchor Summer Wheat. Photo: Courtesy of Anchor Brewing

The brewery: Anchor Brewing — San Francisco, California

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 Ale

Follow the Long Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Long Trail Brewing Company

Follow the Long Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Long Trail Brewing Company

The 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 Especial

Central American beaches, in a can. Photo: Courtesy of Grupo Modelo

Central American beaches, in a can. Photo: Courtesy of Grupo Modelo

The 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 Lager

"Hawaii's Original Beer." Photo: Courtesy of Primo Brewing

“Hawaii’s Original Beer.” Photo: Courtesy of Primo Brewing

The 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 Ale

Summer in the sun with Oberon Ale. Photo: Courtesy of Bells Brewery

Summer in the sun with Oberon Ale. Photo: Courtesy of Bells Brewery

The 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 IPA

Jockamo IPA is a hidden gem from an environmentally-friendly brewery. Photo: Courtesy of Abita Brewery

Jockamo IPA is a hidden gem from an environmentally-friendly brewery. Photo: Courtesy of Abita Brewery

The 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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