Let’s just get right to it… I’m a man who loves his craft beer (as my stretch pants can attest to). I also love to get outdoors in the Summer and soak up the sun and fun. Heck I don’t even mind mowing the lawn and doing yard work… as long as there is some good refreshing beer involved. The best way to do this is to have some nice canned craft beer handy.
Beer in cans and craft beer is a beautiful marriage that actually took a bit to take off. There was a stigma attached to beer in cans about it being only for “crap beer.” This was justified back in the day as the cans weren’t lined and the aluminum would oxidize and impart off flavors in the beer. Now cans come with a lining that keeps beer away from the aluminum, eliminating that old metallic taste. They’re also completely lightproof, meaning the beer won’t get “skunky” like some of your bottled beers. They seal up with very little air in the can too, keeping the beer fresher longer.
So now a current trend is that more and more craft brewers are canning, and why shouldn’t they be? The cans recycle very easily and cut down on shipping costs (see: less energy used). For the consumer they’re lighter to carry, pack flat, cool quickly and are just damn convenient. Also you can enjoy them in places where bottles just aren’t practical… camping, boating, hiking… etc. Lastly, you can’t impress the lovely ladies in bikinis smashing bottles on your forehead, although the EMTs might be in awe.
So if you’ve never considered sucking your Summer suds from a can I want to offer you some suggestions and try to cover several good styles. The beauty is that for every one I’m going to suggest there are probably 10 I’m missing because beer has become so regional that despite my attempts, I’ve not tried every beer in the world yet. So have fun searching for your own 12 oz. Summer pals, but if you see these tiny aluminum kegs of deliciousness by all means check them out.
- Tallgrass Brewing Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat – New this year, and you need a nice unfiltered wheat for all that sweaty yard work.
- Stevens Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat – The name alone tells you not only where to drink it, but how to dress for the hot days.
- 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer – If only this had seeds in it that I could spit at my sisters it’d be perfect.
- O’Fallon Wheach – I haven’t seen this in cans yet, but they say it will be and I love the mix of peach and wheat in the bottled version from this St. Louis area brewery.
- Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yellow Pils – A very solid Czech Pilsener from a great brewery that doesn’t miss.
- Southern Star Bombshell Blonde – A very nice, light, refreshing blonde, and who doesn’t like a bombshell blonde on their boat?
- Big Sky Montana Trout Slayer Ale – Classified as an “American Pale Wheat Ale” it’s got a great, easy-to-drink flavor. Necessary to slay trout? Quite possibly.
- Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale – An excellent year-round brown ale.
- Harpoon Summer Beer Kölsch – You need a nice Kölsch on your list as the style just screams “drink me” hot Summer days.
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – Maybe not THE top dog, but one of the standards by which pale ales are measured.
- Caldera IPA – This is on my list of favorite IPAs as I’m a hop-head and this is 94 IBUs.
- Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat – A very solid sweet stout.
- Shiner Bock – Always a good, easy to drink go-to brew from the little brewery in Texas.
- Maui CoCoNut Porter – I have to admit that I haven’t found this one yet. But they are canning it I’ve heard and it’s a quality brewery while that name alone makes me thirsty for it. But please, don’t put the lime in the CoCoNut (and mix it all together).
- Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale – One of my favorite pale ales period. But be careful because at 6.5% ABV you may get buried in the sand.