What exactly makes a beer a summer beer? Maybe it means the lightest beer you can drink on a patio, or in your backyard. Maybe it means whatever you can backpack away to drink on a hammock in the sun. Or maybe it means just your favorite beer, whether that be hoppy and dark or fruity and light.
Whatever it means to you, we’re here to share with you what our favorite beers are for the warmer temps. With Cat Footwear HQ based in Beer City USA itself (Grand Rapids, Michigan), we we had no problem committing to the idea of testing out some of our neighborhood favorites.
1. Fuzzy Pink Unicorns (Nitro), Imperial Pale Ale, 6.6%- City Built Brewery
Our first stop was to City Built Brewery, a growing staple in downtown GR. We admit, we were first drawn to the Fuzzy Pink Unicorn for the name, but after one sip of this Nitro beer, were sold on the taste. A pineapple and vanilla Imperial Pale Ale, it pairs perfectly with the Delancey boots- sweet on the outside, but a punch of attitude once you slip it on.
2. Russian Imperial Stout, 11.8%- Atwater Brewery
Just a short walk down the street from City Built, you can find Atwater Brewery– an extension of the Detroit founded brewery that hopped across the state to this Grand Rapids location. When you think of a summer beer, a dark stout might not be your first thought. But after we took a sip of the Russian Imperial Stout, there was no doubt that this thick, syrupy, sweet, burnt marshmallow 50th batch was well-suited for your slow nights around the campfire. The Quark sits comfortably right next to this darker drink, with the rich, low-cut dark leather blending with the marshmallow white bottom.
3. M43 Juicy IPA, 7.2%- HopCat
If you’re a big craft beer drinker, you might be into IPA’s. Known for their hoppy and somewhat stronger taste, they aren’t everyone’s top pick- especially when it comes to a summer beer. But by far one of the most popular choices at Hopcat this summer is their M43 Juicy IPA, a New England-Style American IPA, which is a toned-down version of a standard IPA. With a “juicy” quality, there’s less of a bitter taste, with notes of fruit. Like this unexpected IPA, the Charade boot might not be the first thing you run to when you’re thinking of a summer shoe. But this boot has a side slit and heel that’s perfect for every summer occasion. Go grab this beer (and the Charade) before they sell out!
4. Calabazas Blanca, Sour Artisan White Ale, 4.8%- Jolly Pumpkin
If you prefer a Sour beer sitting in the sun, we’ve got the right pick for you this summer. The Calabaza Blanca from Jolly Pumpkin is one of their best Sour Artisan White Ales available right now. With notes of Coriander and Orange Peel, you’ll find it refreshingly tart. We might be biased to this pick for the summer, but you can drink it year round. With the same seasonality, the Abe Canvas II can transition from your fall wardrobe all the way into your summer outfits.
Now go out there and do some taste testing of your own, and let us know what you think. Cheers!