We are living in a great time for beer. In fact, there may never have been a better time for beer. Next time you have an argument with your dad, take a moment to realize the poor guy didn’t have the same opportunities as you. He had, like, four beers to choose from.

Beer drinking is a year-round job, but summer is arguably the season for beer. Something about the way the sun stays up longer, throwing slanted afternoon rays through tavern windows, illuminating the amber pint sitting there on the bar before you like some golden chalice. You notch your elbows in the familiar grooves and inhale the hops that complement the aromas of sun-baked summery fields blowing through the windows. The hike, the mountain bike ride, the surf session…they’ve led you here, dirt-caked scrapes and all, to that holy hour the Scots call “the gloaming” when the trees are silhouetted out there in the West and the livin’ is easy.

So what’s on tap? Your humble servant here at EDGEtv Network has undertaken the grueling task finding Five Summer Brews worth imbibing…

1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company


Sure, Sierra Nevada offers a great summer-specific brew called Summerfest, but this is the one that will go down in history. Whole-cone American hops release piney and grapefruit notes that magically transport you to that tranquil river valley depicted in Sierra Nevada’s iconic logo (which could make for a rad tattoo). You’ll find Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap in bars around the world, yet it still somehow feels honest to the small-batch craft tradition.  This beer is like your best friend –  not new, but always has your back.

2. My Wife’s Bitter, Burleigh Brewing Company



According to the blokes at Burleigh Brewing Company, the apostrophe is possessive (the brewer invented it for his wife, who loves it). The smooth, malty flavor makes for a nice English session ale after surfing the notorious Burleigh Heads. Delivers a nice, creamy head.

3. Baden Baden Red Ale Especial, Cervejaria Baden Baden Brewery, Brasil


So there’s this big sporting event in Brasil in August, and beer pairs well with watching sports. If you find yourself in Rio this summer, look for Baden Baden Red Ale Especial. This English Barleywine-style red delivers fruity, earthy, citrusy taste and pours with a beautiful reddish-amber hue. Watch out, this baby is 9.20% ABV.

4.Citizen Beer Diplomat Czech Pils, Boston Breweries, South Africa


Nothing like a cold, golden lager after a J-bay surf session. Notes of dusty straw and hay, with a light peppery finish. Sometimes a big IPA is too much for a summer day and it’s nice to get back to an honest, working(wo)man’s lager. 5.5% ABV makes for a solid session beer.

5. Saint Archer Pale Ale, Saint Archer Brewing Company, San Diego, CA


With beer ambassadors like Jeff Johnson, Taylor Steele, and Todd Richards, Saint Archer Brewery has deep roots in the boardsport community. And their pale ale is delish. A perfect balance of hops keeps it interesting, but not overdone, which makes it the perfect session beer for a summer day. Extra points for the cans; way easier to pack in and pack out of the backcountry.










Summer Suds

About The Author
- Jeff McElroy is a Ventura and Mammoth Lakes-based writer. His surf/coast-inspired short story collections, CALIFORNIOS and CALIFORNIOS 2 have received awards and accolades within the boardsport and literary communities. He writes about adventure athletes and the wild places for EDGEtv Network. When he's not writing, he's surfing, backpacking, snowboarding, and trail-running with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier.

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