Summer in the South is based on two things: enjoying the sunshine and recovering from the sunshine.
Weekends are packed with days by the pool, BBQs and all kinds of other outdoor activities subsequently proceeded by soaking up blasting air conditioning on a comfortable couch. You know what is almost as good as air conditioning? Ice cold beer. No one understands this better than southern brewers, and below are some of my favorites for both indoor and outdoor summer fun.
Gose / Decatur, GA – Ok, to be honest, I originally took this beer home because of packaging. The can is killer. Turns out it was a great decision, because this beer is good. It’s mostly pilsner-y tasting with just a touch of sour citrus and lemongrass. Plus it’s only 4% ABV, which is practically begging for a pool.
Birmingham, AL – If your travels bring you through Birmingham this summer, be sure to pick up a six pack from local favorite, Good People. I like their IPA the most. It’s aggressively hopped and herbal, which is thirst quenching in that perfectly bitter beer way.
Euro-Style Pilsner / Decatur, GA – A well-made pilsner is a no-brainer for summer drinking. Three Taverns elevates the style with a hop presence that adds complexity to an otherwise crushable beer. It’s citrusy, a touch piney, and finishes crisp. It packs an impressive amount of flavor for only 5% ABV.
IPA / Athens, GA–Tropicàlia cans were highly anticipated in Atlanta and even after their arrival the craze continues. Understandably so, because its delightfully citrus nose and lush fruity palate are refreshing and a little malty, and the finish is just bitter enough to be considered an IPA. This beer straddles the “IPA for non-IPA drinkers” and “IPAs only please” line beautifully.
California Common / Marietta, GA–This is a home team beer. Chef Linton Hopkins collaborated with Red Hare‘s master brewer, Bobby Thomas, to create a beer that complements Hopkins’ famous H&F Burger. The result is a fresh and clean California Common, and it really is a food friendly beer. In Atlanta, summer means nights at Turner Field, and it doesn’t get much better than baseball, burgers and beers.
Session Ale / Athens, GA–RecretionAle is a hoppy, but sessionable, brew. It brings all the flavor and punch of an IPA, but can be enjoyed all day without the consequences of a high ABV. Terrapin was also kind enough to provide it in 12 pack cans so no one gets stuck with the dreaded beer run
Biere Pale / Arnaudville, LA–Bayou Teche uses Belgian malts and American hops to concoct a beer to reflect Cajun lifestyle and, most importantly, pairs with every single Southern Louisiana dish. Don’t have hot boudin or boiled crawfish at your fingertips? Fear not, spicy brats on the grill will do in a pinch.
Gose / Mt. Pleasant, SC–Nearly extinct for years, the gose is back in a huge way. Westbrook’s highly sought after take on this classic German-style sour is brewed with coriander and salt. It’s like a beach in liquid form! The savory note in this beer is almost addictive and the sour is assertive without being intrusive. Pro tip: it’s great with a shot of tequila.