Summer is (gleefully for me) upon us. As the heat rises, innovators need fuel of all types—but perhaps most especially the beer type. At least that’s the way I see it. But not all beers fit the mold, so to speak, for what I have in mind: to be innovation beers, they need to be really full-bodied, yet light—so they don’t slow you down, and so you can drink more of ‘em on a nice hot day, or even keep working.
So I roamed far and wide over the past few months to look for, and personally sample of course, beers that those in the innovation communities around the Xconomy network could really enjoy when summer hits full on. Here are my criteria:
Less than 5.0 percent ABV (Alcohol by Volume)
That’s it. I put a premium on smaller, craft breweries, but didn’t rule out larger ones that are more mass-market. So what follows in this slide show are my 8 top picks. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a list of beers I have personally tried and approved—from my home base in Cambridge, MA, to Milwaukee to the San Francisco Bay Area. For each brew, I have given you my rating, which truth be told varies a bit depending on my mood, the weather, etc. That is followed by the ratings from BeerAdvocate (Note: there are usually two of these per beer. The first one is the BeerAdvocate Overall Score. The second is the rating given by BeerAdvocate founders and brothers Todd and Jason Alström.)
Honorable mentions — These beers are good and well worth it, just didn’t quite make my cut:
Sum’r Summer Ale –Uinta Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Adams Boston Lager — Boston Beer Co., Jamaica Plain, MA
UFO Hefeweizen – Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall, Boston, MA
Ruled Out — Here are a trio that fit the bill and got good ratings from Beer Advocate that I just don’t like that much:
Anchor California Lager — Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA
Radeberger Pilsner – Radeberger Exportbierbrauerei, Germany
Yuengling Traditional Lager — Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville, PA
I look forward to your comments—and to suggestions of others I should try. Cheers—and Happy Summer!
Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 617.500.5926.