It’s happening faster than you think. The Octoberfests are coming. The pumpkin beers, the maple syrup porters, the squash “harvest ales.” Fall beer is on its way and we’re psyched about it, honest, but there’s still enough heat in the day to justify drinking a light(ish) beer built for summer. There’s still some tubing to do. Some baseball to play. There’s still time to lounge by the pool and read something trashy. So, we say don’t give up on summer until the first leaf falls. And we’ve picked four beers that will help get you celebrate the heat until the pool officially closes. Oh, and duck floaties for your beer are a thing. Get one.
It’s hard to keep up with Stone’s release schedule because the brewery is so damn prolific. And while the lion’s share of those releases are really great IPAs. This is not a great IPA—it’s a great Berliner Weisse. Tart and puckering, with a body that disappears on your tongue before you’re through with it. But it’s all underscored by a note of sweet melon. It’s only 4.7%, and it was released earlier this summer but you can still get ahold of it.
Remember earlier when I said I don’t like beers flavored like cocktails? Ditto for cucumber beers. Well, most cucumber beers. Because cucumber, for as mild as a vegetable as it is, can be downright pushy in a beer. But have no fear: “Cucumber Wheat” sounds like summer in a can, and it is, but it’s also not terribly cucumbery, which is a good thing. The wheat gives the beer a nice, soft body and there are faint notes of cucumber throughout, so you get the sense that you’re drinking that water from spas, without feeling like you’re diving deep into one of your aunt’s cucumber sandwiches. It’s 5.2%, crisp and light, and something you should definitely drink before the weather shifts.
This is probably the coolest beer on this list. Drake’s added enzymes during the production of the beer to fully ferment the malt sugar in order to create a beer with an “ultra dry, Champagne like body.” What that means in the glass is a hell of a lot of bubbles. The beer has a huge, pillowy head and a really light, airy body. And did I mention the bubbles? The hops are incredibly floral, and there’s nothing particularly bitter or fruity going on, so it truly is a different IPA experience. It’s pretty fantastic.
When you have a birthday, you do something special. It’s tradition. For Ska Brewing’s 23rd birthday, they decided to brew a beer. Because that’s what breweries do. But instead of a barrel aged stout (which would be so obvious, right?) they went with a 6.2% Moscow Mule-flavored ale. I don’t typically trust beers flavored like cocktails—it seems a bit unnecessary, maybe even redundant—but don’t worry, this beer doesn’t taste anything like a Moscow Mule. It comes off more like a heavy-hitting gose with a shitload of lime. And I do mean a shitload. Like, this beer alone could fight scurvy. It’s incredibly tart, and the ginger doesn’t show up until the very end. If you’re looking for a beer that still has one foot in summer, this is it.