Summer is winding down, but there’s still time for plenty of backyard barbecues. You’ve seen these beer lists before, but as long as your friends throw backyard bashes, you will need to come equipped with a smattering of great beverages. Here’s your guide to an all-star six pack of the best beers to keep the flavors of summer pouring strong.
Station 26 Cream Ale
Resting masterfully in that pocket between an ale and a lager, this approachable treat offers a hint of sweetness, full mouthfeel and a touch of hop presence on the back end. At just 6% ABV, this is effortlessly drinkable and will remind grandpa why he started drinking Genny Cream or Lil Kings way back when. (Look for the tangerine version out now, if creamsicles are your thing.)
Avery Liliko’I Kepolo
I’m shocked this wit doesn’t sit higher on more top beer lists. Immensely flavorful, the traditional Belgian wheat style gets its script flipped with huge tropical notes from passion fruit, a refreshing tart kick, and perfect dry finish. Just wow.
Epic Los Locos Mexican Style Lager
Leave the Coronas, limes and salt shakers for all those pretty people on Central American beaches and Manhattan rooftops. Your friends at Epic have done all the work for you. Bright lime flavors meld with salty goodness in a crazily drinkable, sub-5%-ABV beer that will appease the lager drinker and gose hunter alike. An all around great summer beer.
Melvin Hubert MPA
Straying just slightly north of Colorado, this Wyoming Pale Ale is better than most IPAs in the country right now. It’s everything you want in a bold American pale ale—big citrus and grass on the nose with a remarkably refined, balanced flavor. I still have yet to display the willpower to drink just one and, sitting at 6% ABV, I don’t feel bad about it. Seriously, my next dog will be named Hubert.
Odd13 Hawaiian Bartender
Love sour beers? Can’t get enough goofy packaging that somehow grows on you? Think subtle flavors are for the birds? This treat from Odd13 Brewing is the perfect pairing for you. Pineapple and mango give your palate a Mrs. Doubtfire-esque drive-by-fruiting, and you will thank them for it. I believe the cool kids will call this one “crushable.”
Stem Ciders Remedy
I didn’t forget about all the celiacs out there. Sorry, O’Doul’s, but Stem Ciders’ Remedy should be what beer drinkers drink when they’re not drinking beer. A dry-hopped cider with massive floral notes for your olfactory pleasure, this slightly tart, wickedly refreshing cider isn’t just dry—it’s arid. This also has more alcohol (6.7%) than any other offering in your sixer. If honkin’ hop aroma isn’t your thing, their Branch and Bramble is a delicately, raspberry-kissed cider with a gorgeous pink hue and immensely pleasant flavor.
All photography by Lucy Beaugard.