Summertime activities don't always merit cracking open an 11% ABV Barleywine or a 13% ABV Russian Imperial Stout. So we have compiled a list of lighter, more easily quaffable craft beers that still offer tons of flavor and will allow you to retain your beer geek status.
A refreshing, medium to strong fruity/spicy ale with a distinctive yellow-orange color, highly carbonated, well hopped, and dry with a quenching acidity. ABV: 5-7%
Ommegang Hennepin, Saison Dupont, Goose Island Sofie, Boulevard Tank 7, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Bruery Saison Rue, Stone Saison Du Buff
A medium-light to medium bodied style that typically focuses more on hop character and less on yeast flavor than its German cousin, the Weissbier. ABV: 4-5.5%
Commercial examples: Bell's Oberon, Three Floyds Gumballhead, Pyramid Hefe-Weizen, Widmer Hefeweizen, Sierra Nevada Wheat, Anchor Summer Beer
An easy-drinking, approachable, malt-oriented American craft beer. ABV: 3.8-5.5%
Commercial examples: Victory Summer Love, New Belgium Somersault, Deschutes Twilight, Shipyard Export, Redhook Blonde, Widmer Brothers Blonde, Bell's Third Coast
Low gravity, low alcohol levels and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking beer. Drinkability is a critical component of the style. ABV: 3.2-4.6%
Commercial examples: Fuller's London Pride, Goose Island Honker's Ale, Young's Special, Surly Bitter Brewer, Anchor Small Beer, Rogue Younger's Special Bitter, Newcastle Summer Ale
A refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate-strength wheat-based ale that often utilizes additional spices like coriander and orange peel. ABV: 4.5-5.5%
Commercial examples: Hoegaarden Original White Ale, Allagash White, Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Avery White Rascal, Ommegang Witte, Harpoon UFO White
A very pale, sour, refreshing, low-alcohol wheat ale that was referred to as the "champagne of the North" by Napoleon's troops in 1809. ABV: 2.8-3.8%
Commercial examples: Bell's Oarsman, New Glarus Thumbprint Berliner Weiss, Dogfish Head Festina Pêche, Bruery Hottenroth, Bear Republic Tartare, Grand Teton Snarling Badger
A harmonious marriage of fruit and beer, some styles are brewed with actual fruit, while others utilize extracts and syrups to maximize fruit profile.
Commercial examples: Magic Hat #9 (Apricot), Abita Purple Haze (Raspberry) New Glarus Serendipity (Apples, Cranberries, Cherries), Dogfish Head Aprihop (Apricot), Unibroue Éphémère (Apple), 21st Amendment Hell Or High Watermelon