Our Top 10 Canned Craft Beers for Summer

summer beach beer

In the past couple of years, there has been a growing trend among craft brewers who are making the decision to can, rather than bottle their beers.  We fully embrace this trend because we like to get outside, especially in the summer months and go places where bottles are not welcome.  This is our guide to the best beers to take to the pool, camping, floating, to baseball games or wherever you might want to enjoy a craft beer without worrying about broken glass.

Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale can


10. Sunlight Cream Ale – Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis, IN)

Sun King Brewing call this their “most approachable beer.”  We take that to mean that it goes down easy and might be a good entry point beer for people who might not regularly enjoy craft beer.  However, that does not mean flavorless.  This beer may be light in body, but it won a Silver medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup.

This is an all around great beer for a hot summer day at the pool, so what are you waiting for, grab one and go to the pool!


Good People IPA can

9. Good People IPA – Good People Brewing (Birmingham, AL)

What? An IPA is a good summer beer?  Sure it is!  Hey, us Hop lovers like to get outdoors too.  Seriously though, this is a great, smooth India Pale Ale.  It weighs in at 64 IBU’s, so it is a serious contender and will satisfy your inner hop head.

I think this may be the perfect campfire beer, but regardless, do yourself a favor and give Good People a try, they are making great beer in Birmingham, AL.


Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale can

8. Dale’s Pale Ale – Oskar Blue’s Brewery (Longmont, CO)

Well, we think it is good to pay homage to the pioneers who started something great.  When it comes to craft beer in cans, Oskar Blues started the trend with Dale’s Pale Ale.  In 2010, Dale’s Pale Ale won a Gold Medal at the World Beer championships, proving that it wasn’t only the first, but one of the best.  It comes in at 65 IBU’s, so some may call this an IPA, and it certainly blurs the line, but we think Dale’s will satisfy your thirst whether you are a hophead or not.


Upslope craft lager can

7. Craft Lager – Upslope Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)

Upslope is a relative newcomer to the craft beer scene as they have only been around since 2009.  Craft Lager is their newest offering, and we can’t imagine anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than the thought of snow melt.  Well, Upslope has us covered because they use snow melt as a water source in brewing this light refreshing lager.

Head for the Rockies has a whole new meaning in the craft beer world thanks to Upslope, so check Upslope out!


Breckenridge Summer Bright can6.  SummerBright Ale – Breckenridge Brewing (Breckenridge, CO)

According to their website, Breckenridge wanted “the perfect ale for summertime quaffing, nothing more.”  We think they nailed it.  This American Wheat Ale has a hint of citrus for a nice refreshing taste.  It is light in IBU’s and ABV, so it will go down nice and easy on a hot summer day.


Avery IPA can5. Avery IPA – Avery Brewing (Boulder, CO)

Here’s another nod to our hophead readers!  At 69 IBU’s, this IPA packs a hop punch thanks to Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial Hops.  We like Centennial Hops in IPA’s and we love Avery IPA.  Thanks to Avery for canning this creation so that we can take it fishing, floating, or really anywhere we want!


Schlafly Summer Lager can

4.  Summer Lager -Schlafly Brewing/The St. Louis Brewery (St. Louis, MO)

According to Schlafly: “Our Helles-Style Summer Lager is a bright, golden beer, perfect for summertime. The malts we use impart a wonderful, fresh grain character, reminiscent of European lagers. The German Noble hop, Mittelfrüh, lends a mild lemony, spicy flavor.”

We don’t disagree with any of that.  When sitting at a bar, we admit, a pilsner or helles would not probably be our first selection.  But when sitting at the beach, well, that can change a person’s taste.  This Lager is exactly what it aims to be, light and refreshing.  In that respect, it is perfect and that’s why we  always stock up before traveling to the beach.


21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat can

3. Hell or High Watermelon – 21st Amendment Brewing (San Francisco, CA)

Watermelon Beer?  Why didn’t we think of that?  What is more refreshing on a hot summer day than an American Wheat, well, perhaps a slice of cold watermelon.  The geniuses at 21st Amendment decided to combine these two wonderful summer treats and the result is an all around winner.  21st amendment adds watermelon in the secondary fermentation to give a great watermelon aroma and just a hint of refreshing watermelon flavor.  Absolute genius!


Ska Mexican Logger can 2.  Mexican Logger – Ska Brewing (Durango, CO)

Mexican Logger is Ska Brewing’s incarnation of the traditional Mexican Lager (think Corona, Pacifico, Sol, etc,).  What is interesting is that those Mexican beers are actually Austrian in origin and were brought to Mexico in the early 1900’s by German and Austrian immigrants.  Because of that, they have a lot in common with some of the Pilsners brewed in Germany and Austria.  OK, end of history lesson.

The folks at Ska recognized that tradition and set out to make a great Mexican style lager.  They succeeded.  The reason: Good ingredients…where Mexican macro brewers look to shave costs on ingredients, Ska doesn’t.  Specifically, Ska uses Austrian Saaz Hops to give Mexican Logger it’s smooth flavor.  In other words, they brew a better Mexican Lager than Mexican breweries do.


And Finally, our pick for the best Canned Craft Beer for Summer:

Halcyon Wheat1. Halcyon Wheat – Tallgrass Brewing (Manhattan, KS)

Ok, the owners of this website went to the University of Missouri where we were taught to hate all things Kansas, so it kills us to admit that anything good comes from Kansas, but Halcyon wheat is not only good, it’s fantastic.  There has been a recent trend to hoppier wheat beers and it’s a trend we love.  At 20 IBU’s it’s not overly hoppy, but it has great hop flavor.

What’s their secret to making such a refreshing summer beer?  Well according to their website “We start with raw Kansas white wheat in the mix to give it a nice edge, but what really makes it shine is the hops. We use “hop-bursting” late in the brewing process and this gives Halcyon its palate of tropical fruit flavors & aromas with a bright and refreshing taste like the best days of summer.”

Well said Tallgrass, keep up the good work!