Best Summer Beers

Published on May 10th 2024 by SNBC

Pull off the grill cover, put on a tank, and rejoice over summer’s return. The sun hangs high and lazy, its toasty rays full of promise: music festivals, rooftop parties, and coolers loaded with summer craft beers whose refreshing flavors are prime for the season.

Summer beer styles

Sometimes light and refreshing summer beers are the ticket, and traditional lagers are champions of crisp. Lush fruit is also a summer staple, and Hazy IPAs often taste like a juicy harvest. And hops are so versatile, the wide world of India Pale Ale can always tame hot temps.

So keep an open mind: both a low-ABV session beer and a bold Torpedo could be the summer beer styles you’re after.

The best beers for summer

Whether it’s for a beach day, the rec kickball team, or a chill BBQ, scan our picks for the most refreshing summer beers to bring along.

  1. Summerfest Lager
  2. Hazy Little Thing IPA
  3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  4. Non-Alc Trail Pass Brewveza
  5. Cold Torpedo IPA
  6. Tropical Little Thing IPA

Summerfest Lager

Cool down with the best summer beer for hot weather.

Available April–July

Cans of Summerfest beer in an ice-filled cooler

Soak up the rays with Summerfest’s perfect balance of malt sweetness and floral, spicy hops. It pours golden bright, serving up hints of biscuity bread and lemon zest, leading into a dry and refreshing finish. With an easygoing 5% ABV, Summerfest is your cold snap for any heat wave.

Find Summerfest


Hazy Little Thing IPA

Juicy & silky smooth, the top Hazy IPA for summer.

Available year-round

Pouring a can of Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA into a custom Hazy Little Thing glass.

Take in its hazy, golden glow. Those foggy depths are a jackpot of juicy hop flavor, like tasty bites of ripe citrus or sweet-tart slices of pineapple.

And while Hazy IPAs can be easy drinking, their creation is rather complex. With Hazy Little Thing, our brewers obsess over the hops and malt making it the most refreshing summer beer. That’s because certain grains — picked for their proteins, beta-glucans, and other beer-nerdy specs — interact with hop compounds called polyphenols to help generate that smooth, refreshing and fruity haze.

But hey, we take care of that tricky science; you just soak up the Hazy summer.

Find Hazy Little Thing


Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

It tastes like summer camping, basically.

Available year-round

A hand holding a can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, looking out from a camping tent

When he launched Sierra Nevada on “glorified home brewery equipment,” founder Ken Grossman knew he wanted to feature exclusively American ingredients in his flagship Pale Ale. But at the time, American hops fell short — until a newbie changed everything.

“Cascade came out and it was just different than all the rest of them,” Ken says. “We wanted unique and distinctive, and so the Cascade fit that bill.”

Cascade’s famed aroma of pine, citrus and spice define Pale Ale, which promptly started the American craft beer revolution. Almost a half-century later, Pale Ale remains the gold standard for the style, balancing caramel malt and bold hops, and having a magnetic pull toward coolers destined for outdoor adventure. Pitch the tent, then reach for Pale Ale.

Find Pale Ale


Trail Pass Brewveza

Non-alc that tastes like summer beer. Period.

Available exclusively in the Trail Pass Variety Pack

The four cans in the Sierra Nevada non-alc Trail Pass Variety Pack

Start a non-stop adventure with our non-alc Trail Pass Variety Pack, featuring two exclusive releases: the beach-ready Brewveza and juicy Hazy IPA. Enjoy the refreshing flavor and crisp finish in non-alc Trail Pass Brewveza, a blonde ale brewed with just a hint of lime. From bike trails to backyard hammocks, Brewveza is perfectly crushable anytime.

Buy Trail Pass Now

Direct shipping Trail Pass to the lower 48 states except GA, ID, MI, MS, TN, AND WV.


Cold Torpedo IPA

Our Cold IPA to crush hot days.

Available exclusively in the Torpedo IPA Pack

Torpedo IPA Pack sitting on a bar with each of the 4 varieties of bottles sitting in front of the packaging.

A variety pack release you won’t find anywhere else, Cold Torpedo hits a steep 7% ABV yet it drinks crazy crisp. That’s because the Cold IPA brewing process keeps the malt character light and bright, letting hops run the show.

Lager yeast, fermented warmer than usual, gives Cold Torpedo its super clean body — the launchpad for explosive hop flavors and aromas from juicy varieties like Motueka and El Dorado. When it’s scorcher outside, take a Cold Torpedo plunge of pine, citrus, tropical fruit, and even hints of watermelon.

Find Torpedo IPA Pack


Tropical Little Thing IPA

Savor this tropical summer escape while you can.

Available exclusively in the Hazy IPA Pack

A can of Tropical Little Thing surrounded by hops and tropical greenery

Ditch the mainland with Tropical Little Thing, a hazy island getaway hopped for ripe aromas and flavors of mango, papaya, and passion fruit. And is that…a hint of coconut from Sabro hops? Really bringing the summer vacation vibes! Track down Tropical, only in the Hazy IPA Pack.

Find Hazy IPA Pack


Beer and BBQ

Beer and BBQ make for a good, chill time — the food is sizzling and your friends are lounging. You can’t go wrong with Pale Ale, Hazy Little Thing, and Summerfest in the cooler; both the hopheads and lager lovers are covered. Plus if you can spare a few precious ounces, beer can dial up the flavor on the grill.

Pale Ale Bratwurst Recipe


Hazy Grilled Shrimp Skewers Recipe


The Ultimate Summer Beers for Outdoor Adventures

For some, it’s a hammock nap at a quiet campsite. For others, it’s ripping singletrack or kayaking some feisty waters. Relish those outdoors adventures, whatever they are, and bring along summer beers fit for the moment.

Maybe it’s Torpedo IPA — explosive flavor after intense action — or it’s Tropical Little Thing to match your tranquil state of mind. And our non-alcoholic Trail Pass is for those who thirst for exploration. Pack the full craft flavor of Trail Pass IPA and Trail Pass Golden, or the Trail Pass Variety Pack with two exclusive releases: the lime-infused Brewveza and juicy Hazy IPA.

Buy Trail Pass Now

Direct shipping Trail Pass to the lower 48 states except GA, ID, MI, MS, TN, AND WV.



This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate.

Loading …
More Stories