Our review team clearly has summer on the brain, since the big winners for this past month err on the refreshing side. Think: crisp, complex sours designed to quench your thirst and low-ABV session beers that you can sip on all afternoon without getting woozy in the summer heat. A few of these are even designed to be compatible with your beach bod plans—this is one of the only times a low-cal, low-carb beer has made the list and the month’s top scorer is packed with enough electrolytes that you can justify downing a can after a workout.
82: Dogfish Head’s Slightly Mighty IPA
“As far as low-cal IPAs are concerned this is the best in what is becoming a crowded market,” writes Tucker Anders of this uncommonly satisfying light beer that contains just 3.6 grams of carbs. And while “no 95-calorie session IPA is going to hold a candle to the full-bodied real thing” this comes close thanks to “hops bring resinous pine and bright pineapple” and an aroma with “distinctly hoppy with herbal and fruity notes you can pick up by leaning in real close to the glass.” Overall, “If I want a hoppy beer when calories or carbs are a chief concern, this is the beer I’ll grab.”
83: Independence Brewing’s Cucumber Redbud
“Each sip delivers cucumber crispness with only a little lip-smacking to follow. It is a perfect summer sipper no matter how you look at it: low ABV, a cooling element packed right in the ingredients, and a flavor that’s never faint, but never overpowers either,” Nathan Mattise writes of this easy-drinking seasonal Berliner weisse that has “has rightfully become a staple of Central Texas life every summer since” it was introduced in 2016.
86: Odd Side’s Shamone
“A well-made kettle sour will make your palate sweat like you’ve just eaten a pack of Starburst in a single sitting. A well-made hazy IPA will slick your cheeks with fresh juice. Shamone manages to do both,” says Jerard Fagerberg of this unconventional hybrid that’s “a bit strange” but “ultimately wonderful melding of PH and IBU.”
93: Springdale’s Art Dekkera
“This beer is, by far, one of the best barrel-aged sours I’ve come across,” raves Jessie Bussard of this “masterpiece” with robust aromas of ripe fruit, berries, lactic acid, and a slight barnyard ‘funk.’” “Bright, bold notes of berry and stone fruit hit your tongue and are followed by a soft, yet notable acidity” but “the beer finishes refreshingly clean and leaves me wanting more.”
95: Boulevard’s Easy Sport
“This is the type of beer I always want in my fridge,” write Tucker Anders of this recreation ale that “smells like someone cut a beer with lemon-lime Gatorade” and is meant to be “slammed straight from the can.” Yes, it’s still a boozy beverage, but at 4.1% ABV it goes down easy and packs in “potassium for hydration and recovery; magnesium for muscle, nerve, and apparently brain function; and sea salt for balancing blood sugar and pressure. It’s a beer you can—kinda—feel good about drinking.”