Friends toasting with beer
We’ve narrowed down our favorite sips for the summer months. (Photo: Ezequiel Giménez/Stocksy)

Beat Your Summer Beer Boredom with These 9 Innovative Brews

It’s hot, you’re sweaty, and a crisp, refreshing beer sounds really nice right now. Here are our favorites.

Friends toasting with beer

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The time is right to crack a cold one. Take a swig after gardening, atop a fourteener, once you’ve crossed the 5K finish line, or while firing up the grill. Honestly, what would we do without beer? After chatting with beer lovers and brewers, and looking at lists from restaurants across the country, we’ve narrowed down our favorite sips for the summer months, including nonalcoholic, gluten-free, and low-ABV (alcohol by volume) options that hold their own against the real thing.

Saison

Ratio Beerworks King of the Carrot Flowers

Location: Denver, Colorado

A farmhouse ale made with freshly pressed organic carrot juice and dry-hopped elderflower? It’s unusual, yes, but this dry saison is vibrant, balanced, and versatile—not to mention a great conversation piece. It’s perfect for a backyard barbecue. 5.9 percent ABV

Hazy IPA

Athletic Brewing Co. Free Wave

Location: Stratford, Connecticut

These days you can’t have a discussion about beer without someone mentioning Athletic Brewing Co. The suds are that good—even better when you realize they’re nonalcoholic. This hazy IPA, jammed with Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic hops, is for those easy-breezy days when you just want to crush a juicy brew. 0.05 percent ABV

American Pale Ale

Half Acre Beer Co. Daisy Cutter

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Hints of pine, citrus, papaya, and mango combine with light carbonation for a seriously refreshing sipper. The pale ale drinks dry—but that just means you’ll go back for another. 5.2 percent ABV

Kölsch

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Lawnmower

Location: Houston, Texas

With a name like Lawnmower, this classic German-style kölsch has got to be a quintessential summer beer—and it is! Slightly fruity and clean, the ale was expertly built to offset the Texas heat. 4.9 percent ABV

Sour

​​Scratch Brewing Company Maypop

Location: Ava, Illinois

OK, so you won’t be able to source this one as easily as others on this list. But if you find yourself near Shawnee National Forest, pull over at Scratch for brews made with local and foraged ingredients like mushrooms and dandelions. Don’t miss Maypop, a sour flavored with wild southern Illinois passion fruit. 4.6 percent ABV

Lager

Sunday Beer Light and Tight Anytime

Location: San Francisco, California

We all need an everything beer: something to grab while doing yard work or after a long bike ride. This light, crisp, and low-ABV lager is just the refreshing thing to stock your fridge with, so you’ll always have one on hand. 3.9 percent ABV

Golden Ale

Blackberry Farm Brewery Goat Hill

Location: Maryville, Tennessee

Blonde beers are defined by their easy, everyone’s-a-fan drinkability; this Belgian-style golden ale is no exception. With a Noble hop finish, Goat Hill is plush yet a still thirst-quenching beverage. 5 percent ABV

Blonde

Holidaily Brewing Company Favorite

Location: Golden Colorado

This brew is gluten-free and oh so worthy of inclusion on this list, thanks to millet and buckwheat malts that provide an impressively smooth mouthfeel, with lemony and light hop notes. 5 percent ABV

Pilsner

Russian River Brewing Company STS

Location: Windsor, California

The ideal pilsner is refreshing and crisp—the very definition of summer drinking. The STS German-style pilsner, dry-hopped with European hops, is just that, coming in with a zippy finish. 5.35 percent ABV

Lead Photo: Ezequiel Giménez/Stocksy

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