You Don’t Have to Drink Mic Ultra: Summer Beer Recommendations

by Travis Prinzi on May 31, 2010

I’ve heard it lots of times: “During the summer, when it’s hot, I just like a Bud Light or a Mic Ultra.” Here’s the good news: You don’t have to drink crappy beer just because it’s hot! Here are a few basic recommendations for excellent beers that go down easy at hot summer barbeques. This will be especially helpful for Rochesterians, or anyone who lives near a Wegmans, as they have specialty beer shops.

Sam Adams Summer Ale: I bring this one up first, because you can get it almost anywhere, often on tap at restaurants. This is a wheat beer that has a nice citric taste, with a bit of lemon zest. Look for it on tap when you go out for dinner.

Magic Hat #9: It’s not brewed specifically for summer, but this is a great beer for summer time. Very light bodied (though not a “light beer”), this is a dry beer with an apricot essence, but it’s not overly fruity or too sweet. Nicely balanced, and goes down just a little too easy.

Southern Tier Hop Sun: This has become my favorite summer ale. It’s a wheat beer that’s a little hoppier than other summer ales, but not overwhelmingly so. I’ve had this in my fridge since it showed up on shelves this year. Tip: Get this on draft with a dozen Buffalo wings. If you’re in Rochester, it’s on tap at MacGregor’s, and their wings are decent.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager: This is a very crisp pilsner with lots of flavor and a nice hop/malt balance. Great and refreshing for summer parties. After drinking this, you’ll laugh whenever you hear a TV commercial talking about “great pilsner taste” in reference to Miller Light or Bud Light. This is a great pilsner taste.

Speaking of a great pilsner taste, Sam Adams did a great pilsner for their Spring offering. If you live near a Beers of the World type store that is still carrying some Spring stuff, pick up a 6 pack of Sam Adams Noble Pils. It would also work as a great summer beer.

Rohrbach’s Summer Wheat: This one only works if you live in Rochester, as Rohrbach’s doesn’t bottle. But stop by their restaurant or brewery and get their yearly summer offering. It’s always citrusy goodness that goes down easy and is very refreshing. Their Bluebeary ale, a year-round offering, is spectacular for hot days, especially at the Red Wings ballpark, where it’s on tap.

That should get you started. Others you might like: Leinenkugel’s “Sunset Wheat” and Magic Hat’s “Circus Boy” (a hefeweizen). I wouldn’t bother with Blue Moon’s Honey Moon. I plan to try a few more in the next couple weeks, including Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat and Summertime ales.

But please, whatever you do, stop settling for light beers because it’s summer. You don’t have to drink that stuff. There’s great taste and refreshment to be found in good beer!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley June 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks for the recommendations, Travis. My fiancé and I are planning on trying a couple of these out next week when I go to visit him. I’ll let you know what we think! :)

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2 Ashley June 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

We got to sample the Sam Adams Summer Ale and the Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager. Out of the two, I think I like the Sam Adams best. I picked up a last night that I like really well called “Wild Blue Blueberry Lager.” It’s light bodied, but not a light beer. It has a slightly sweet blueberry flavor with a crisp finish. The alcohol content is a little higher than most beers at 8%, giving it a good bite. I think it might qualify as a good summer beer, too.

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3 Travis Prinzi June 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

I tried the wild blue … is that the one that’s actually blue? I wasn’t a big fan of that, but I might need to try it again. I think it was too sweet for me.

I do like Blue Point’s Blueberry a lot. I think Southern Tier also makes a blueberry that’s good.

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4 Ashley June 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I drank it from the bottle so I’m not certain of its color. I think it is actually blue though. It is sweeter than most beers I’ve sampled, which I prefer anyway, although I do enjoy a good pilsner, too.

I’ll have to look for the Blue Point Blueberry. I wanted to try the Southern Tier you mentioned in this entry, but can’t seem to find it. I guess I’ll have to check their website to find a retailer.

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5 revgeorge June 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Finally…a useful blog post! 😉

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6 Mr Pond June 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

What you said, revgeorge. Think there should be a cross-post to HH?

Sadly, I don’t know if any of these are readily available in the Chicago area. But then, you don’t seem to have Goose Island or Black Toad, either.

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7 Travis Prinzi June 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Yeah, we have Goose Island. It’s on the shelves at Wegman’s. I’m going to try to 312 Urban Wheat or the Summertime next week.

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8 Ashley June 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm

No Blue Point, Goose Island, or Southern Tier anywhere near me. Boo….

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