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  • Writer's pictureSean Tinney

12 Craft Beer Styles to Drink this Summer

Fun in the sun is best had with a water balloon in one hand and a cold beer in the other---a lighter beer. One that goes down easily with friends or among the aquatic mischief ensuing throughout your kids’ seasonal break from school.


Choosing a good beer for this time of year can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.


That’s why we made a curated list of craft beer styles to drink this summer on a long night out or while your children wage war with an arsenal of squirt guns and heavy water balloon artillery.


Here are the 12 craft beer styles you should try this summer:

  • Golden ale

  • Session IPA

  • Kolsch

  • Hazy pale ale

  • Wheat ale

  • Pilsner

  • Amber lager

  • Helles

  • American light lager

  • Mexican-style lager

  • Saison

  • Gose

Golden ale

Golden ales are the calm, cool, and collected beer style well-suited for any occasion, rain or shine. They do particularly well in the summer heat with their medium body, slight malty sweetness, and gentle floral hop characteristics.


Golden ale options available at Bridge City include:

  • Kona Brewing Big Wave

  • Cinderlands Clean Ways

  • Victory Summer Love

  • Southern Tier 8 Days a Week

Session IPA

The session IPA’s day-long drinkability is perfect for countless hours on the beach or by the pool. Sessions have a regular IPA's hop and malt profile but with a lower ABV (3-5%). To boot, they play nicely with most foods because of their easy-going qualities.


Session IPAs available at Bridge City:

  • Founders All-Day IPA

  • Fat Heads Sunshine Daydream

  • Helltown Slayable

  • Lagunitas Day Time

Kolsch

Kolsch, by all means, is a must-drink for the summer months. The delicate balance between hop and malt notes gives this ale-lager hybrid refreshing qualities. Kolsches have a soft body and medium-high carbonation, enhancing its subtle fruity aroma and flavor.


Kolsches available at Bridge City:

  • Früh Kolsch

  • Dancing Gnome Not Always Present

  • Back Alley Cool Shoes

  • 11th Hour Archer

Hazy pale ale

If craft beer had an icon for the summer season, it would be the hazy pale ale. Light with citrus hop notes; that’s what it’s all about. Characteristics of this style stack up to simulate freshly squeezed juices and a conducive citrus flavor guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.


Hazy pale ales available at Bridge City:

  • Cinderlands Squish

  • Troegs Haze Charmer

  • North Country Tropical Pale-Ale

Wheat ale

Wheat ales are brewed with–yep, that’s right–a lot of wheat, compared to malted barley. American wheat ales possess a medium to full body and cloudy appearance. The proteins inside the wheat offer beers in this style a strong, fluffy white head that clings to the glass as your drink it. They often include fruit ingredients like blueberry, orange, and lemon.

Wheat ales available at Bridge City:

  • Samuel Adams Summer Wheat

  • Hop Farm Stone Rhizing

  • Bells Oberon

  • Pog Whipper (Sour wheat ale)

  • Sierra Nevada Sunny Little Thing

Pilsner

The pilsner style needs a minimal introduction. Underlying spicy notes from noble hop additions shine through pilsner malt for a balanced and crisp beer. These days, breweries are pushing this lager’s limits with hop additions and varying ingenious takes with substyles like dry-hopped and New Zealand-style pilsners.


Pilsners available at Bridge City:

  • Ayinger Bavarian Pils

  • Brew Gentlemen Italian Pilsner

  • Old Thunder Pastime Views

  • Carlsberg Danish-style Pilsner

  • Pilsner Urquell

  • Penn Pilsner

Helles

Helles waltzes into the summer beer style mix with its own flavor rhythm, comprising classic German noble hop notes with adjacent and complementary bready malt notes. An infinitely welcoming beer, Helles is the style for you and your poolside guests.


Helles lagers available at Bridge City:

  • Sly Fox Helles Lager

  • Old Thunder 340 Lager

  • Weihenstephaner Original

American light lager

The ultimate beer style for the hottest summer days. It’s nearly impossible to resist the compelling, beckoning call of the American light lager as the sun scorches the back porch awning or while it reflects off the brim of your cap at a Buccos game—beauty in simplicity.


American light lagers available at Bridge City:

  • Lil’ Cinder and Lil’ Cinder Lime

  • Hop Farm Light Lime

  • Back Alley Mountain of Gold

  • New Trail Crisp Lager

Mexican-style lager

Not much more fits the summer beer-drinking bill than an ice-cold cerveza. Mexican-style lagers come in all shapes and sizes, from sweet and salty to light and crisp or all of the above. Grab one brewed with lime, or add your own—just enjoy it.


Mexican-style lagers available at Bridge City:

  • Flying Dog Numero Uno

  • Stone Buenaveza

  • Grist House El Chupa-lager-a

  • Great Lakes Mexican Lager with Lime

Gose (honorable mention)

Gose, pronounced “go-suh,” is a slightly sweet, slightly tart, and decisively refreshing ale poised to rejuvenate. The quenching qualities of this salty style make Gose the king or queen of crushability, adding it to the list of monarchical summertime craft beer styles.


Saison (honorable mention)

Saisons are the funky friends of the group. The ones that blast the music with the windows down on I-376, singing along to each word. Their array of flavors and characteristics—commonly including fruity and spicy sensations—finds the style in a class of its own for beers to try this summer.


Note that beers are available while supplies last and that Bridge City may run out of some beers on this list from time to time. Call us or ask an employee for more information about these beer styles and their availability at Bridge City.


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