Best Beers to Beat the Summer Heat

Big Wave Golden Ale
Photo credit: JayW51

It’s finally summertime!  The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brightly, and it is getting hot outside. Nothing feels better than a cold, refreshing beer to combat that summer heat.  There’s no better time than now to learn which beers are best for the summer.


You might ask: Isn’t all beer refreshing in the summer?  That’s a good question.  Ever drink a dark, malty beer like a doppelbock with its thick body and malty, sticky, and syrupy mouthfeel?  I definitely don’t want that feeling when its 90 degrees and my mouth is looking for something smooth and crisp.


So first let’s go into what qualities make beers, and drinks in general, feel refreshing.


One of the qualities you’ll want in a refreshing beer is carbonation.  Carbonation gives you that cool, refreshing popping sensation on your tongue and mouth.  It causes a mild, nerve stimulating feeling on your tongue in which the mind interprets as refreshing.


This one seems fairly obvious but is worth mentioning.  Since you are trying to beat the heat, the coldness will help bring your body temperature back down to an ideal level.  When cold beer hits your tongue, you’ll feel an instant cooling sensation encompass your head which is definitely what you want during the summer heat.

Citrus / Floral Aroma

Citrus and floral aromas can create a refreshing effect as well.  Acidic drinks like lemonade stimulate salivation, giving your mouth the impression of hydration whenever you drink it.  You’ll get a similar effect when you drink anything that has a citrus or floral aroma, as the mind correlates those effects with those flavors.

Great! You now know the qualities that lead to the most refreshing beverage.  So when picking a beer to beat the summer heat, you’ll want one that is well carbonated, extra cold, and possibly have a nice citrus / floral aroma (depending on your taste).  Since you now know what to look for, let me give you some of my favorite beers for this summer:

Best Summer Beers

Kona Brewing Co.: Big Wave Golden Ale

This beer is a smooth and easy drinker.  It has a light golden soft body and has a good carbonation level.  It has a nice light flavor combining a slight sweet malt with floral and citrus hops.  The finish is crisp, smooth and clean.  This is a great beer to take to the beach and enjoy in the sun.

Boulevard Wheat

This is a classic wheat beer from the Midwest.  It has the light cloudy yellow body of all wheat beers and has good carbonation.  It has a smooth wheat flavor combination of banana, bread, lemon, pear, and pepper with a slight tartness.  It sits around 4.4% ABV so it is very light and served best extra cold.  One of my favorites for the summer.

Victory: Prima Pils

Pilsners are a great refreshing beer and this beer highlights the genre’s best aspects.  It has a clear, golden, pale soft body and is very well carbonated.  Its flavor is light and crisp with a slight fruity and malty character.  It also has a bit more hops than a standard pilsner which shows with a nice floral hoppy spiciness.  This beer is great for the summer if you want the refreshing qualities of a pilsner with an added hop kick.

Founders Brewing Company: All Day IPA

This beer is great if your in the mood for an IPA on a hot summer day.  It is well carbonated and has a nice floral, hoppy flavor and bite.  It has a lower ABV than the standard IPA which makes it lighter and more refreshing.

Harpoon Beer Company: UFO Big Squeeze Shandy

This shandy is great if you’re in the mood for something fruity and citrusy on a hot summer day.  It presents a pale, hazy, soft, and slightly pink body that is mildly carbonated.  It has a substantial grapefruit flavor that gives it a nice bitterness.  It is very crisp and not too sweet so it is very sessionable. I think a little more carbonation would make it even more refreshing.

Magic Hat: Pistil

Pistil is great summer pilsner to sip any time of day. It has a nice soft hazy pale body.  Its taste blends herbs, a bit of grass and floral, and lightly sweet malt.  The combination of a good carbonation and subtle flavors make it extremely drinkable and refreshing on any really hot day.

Bell’s Brewery: Oberon Ale

This is a great summer American wheat ale.  Its light hazy yellow body carries a great flavor combination of strong citrusy hops, light wheat malt, and a crisp, fruity, and bitter finish.