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Craft Beer Summer Six Pack 2013

Author // Jeff Wharton

A few weeks ago our friends over at Thrillist Boston contacted us for our top two beer recommendations for summer. It was a hard choice and made me realize just how many awesome options there are for the hot weather! Many people decry summer as a time of mediocre golden ales, but we’re here to tell you that this ain’t so! From easy drinking cream ales to crazy, tart German-styled brews we’ve got you covered for any cookout, camping/beach trip, stoop drinking (for you city folks like me) or what have you.

Craft Beer Summer Six Pack

So come join us in drinking these delicious summer libations! And, if you’re not in the New England area, we’re trying to help by providing a style to look for and we’d love to hear your suggestions! Finally, if you're in Boston for July 12 & 13, come down to Drink Craft Beer Summerfest (at Space 57 in Downtown Boston) to sample 80+ summery beers from 25 of New England's best brewers! Get the info here.

Grey Sail Flagship Ale - The All Day Drinker

Grey Sail Flagship Ale

When you think of a lower alcohol all-day drinker, this is it. A cream ale is similar to lager in taste, clean and crisp, and this one fits the bill. It’s got a mild aroma with a grainy character that says, “this is just a beer.” It’s going to go great with a burger or bbq chicken…plus, it’s low alcohol enough that it won’t mess up your ability to play yard games!

Can’t get this one? Try a few different cream ales. What do you suggest?

Mayflower Summer Rye - The All Day Drinker, But More Interesting

Mayflower Brewing Summer Rye

If you’ve been reading Drink Craft Beer for any length of time, you know of our love for this beer! We were going to select it for our Thrillist recommendations, but the wise Suzanne from Craft Beer Cellar beat us to it. This was the surprise hit at a buddy’s wedding a couple years ago, with craft beer lovers and grandparents who drink nothing but lager all going back for more! Slight Belgian-influenced, it’s got fruity/citrusy notes, a wheaty, minerally dry body and carbonation that keeps you asking for more. And, again, low alcohol makes it great for the heat!

Can’t get this one? Try some Belgian Wits. It’s not identical, but they’re close. Or do you have other ideas? What do you suggest?

Mystic Brewery Table Beer - The Fancy Beer

Mystic Brewery Table Beer

So you need to fancy up that cookout? Everybody is going to sit around a table together, all formal-style? Well then grab a couple of these corked and caged beauties from Mystic Brewery and you’re good to go! You can tell your friends this is basically what Belgian farmhands drank after a hard day in the fields…very similar to a leisurely day at your place, right? Crisp and complex, this one derives everything from the yeast isolated by the fermentation geniuses over at Mystic (seriously, founder Bryan Greenhagen has a PhD in fermentation). It’s a little spicy, just a touch of apples and a hint of banana…but it’s all so restrained that it’ll go great with whatever you’re serving.

Can’t get this one? Try a few different saisons! Almost every region has at least one brewer making one now. What do you suggest?

Mystic will be at Drink Craft Beer Summerfest in downtown Boston on July 12 & 13. Get your tickets and come on by to try more than 80 beers by them and 24 other New England brewers!

Wormtown MassWhole Hefeweizen - Traditional, Yet Different From Your Normal

Wormtown Brewing MassWhole Hefeweizen

Someone once said, “there aren’t enough Hefeweizens in craft beer!” OK, that someone was me. But it’s true. Check this one out and then tell me it’s not. Banana and clove are in your nose as you bring the glass to your mouth. It’s effervescent, minerally  and dry from the wheat. It’s full on your tongue, yet doesn’t coat it nor is it overwhelming. This may be the perfect hot weather beer! Interesting, yet it doesn't get in the way. And this particular version is chock full of local ingredients, including wheat from Valley Malt, in Hadley, MA which we love! The local grain gives an especially neat distinctive component to the flavor.

Can’t get this one? Try a few different hefeweizens! Almost every region has at least one brewer making one now. What do you suggest?

Wormtown will be at Drink Craft Beer Summerfest in downtown Boston on July 12 & 13. Get your tickets and come on by to try more than 80 beers by them and 24 other New England brewers!

Founders Brewing All Day IPA - The All Day Drinker, Plus Hops

Founders Brewing All Day IPA

OK, OK! We hear you, you want hops! Well if you like citrusy, juicy, flavorful hops without an overwhelming bitterness, then this is your cookout beer of choice my friend. It smells like a bucket of those delicious flowers that give beer its bitterness and flavor, yet, it’s not 1000+ IBUs. Honestly, I just want to go get another one now because it’s so good. Tropical fruit flavors will cascade down your tongue as you drink this elixir. “But,” you say, “there’s tons of great IPAs…why this one?” Well, because it’s only 4.5% abv. Which makes it great for hot weather and outdoor drinking over long periods of time. Am I right?

Can’t get this one? Try a few different pale ales! It’s a fairly ubiquitous style...just watch the alcohol as it can rise quickly! What do you suggest?

The Tap Intergalactic Acid - And Now for Something Completely Different

Tap Brewing Company Intergalactic Acid

2013 is a year that will go down in history here at Drink Craft Beer…it’s the year that The Tap Brewing Company in Haverhill, MA started bottling their amazing berliner weisse. This is a beer that Devon and I usually go to the brewpub every summer to drink by the pitcher (it’s only 3% abv, so we each get one), then we bring several growlers home. This beer means summer here at Drink Craft Beer! And now you can drink it at home. It’s mildly tart and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. We’ve heard of this style being sold as “Belgian Lemonade” at some brewpubs in other areas and, with the acid, slight citrus notes and tartness it makes sense. Traditionally you can put raspberry of woodruff syrup into the beer to temper the tartness, but we say try it plain!

Can’t get this one? You might be out of luck...this style is rarely made. Have you had a good local version? What do you suggest?

The Tap will be at Drink Craft Beer Summerfest in downtown Boston on July 12 & 13. Get your tickets and come on by to try more than 80 beers by them and 24 other New England brewers!

Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale - Bonus Beer!

Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale Stovepipe Can

Yes, we know this is the seventh beer in a six-pack article. Consider it a baker’s six-pack? Or a bonus beer. Basically, we know we don’t need to tell you have great Dale’s Pale Ale is. It’s bitter, it’s grapefruity hoppy, it’s delicious! If you like IPAs then this beer is for you. We’re not here to tell you how good it is…we’re here to point out that they have a new stovepipe can! Almost 20oz of this brew, all for you. Yeah, sometimes you just want a big can of hops to the face while you’re walking around the yard on a 90° day. And, when that happens, this is the one you should check out.

Let’s be honest...almost everyone can get Dales Pale Ale. If not, there are several other local IPAs in cans throughout the country. But you may be hard pressed to find it in a stovepipe can.

So what are your summer suggestions? Live in New England, well then what did we miss? Live somewhere else? Let us know some alternatives, what’s in style for our recommendations? Cheers, and enjoy the heat! And, if you're in Boston for July 12 & 13, come down to Drink Craft Beer Summerfest (at Space 57 in Downtown Boston) to sample 80+ summery beers from 25 of New England's best brewers! Get the info here.