Summer Beer



It’s summer in Chicago.  Not technically, per the calendar, but this town is heating up, and one of the first signs of the season for me is all of the summer seasonal beers that we’ve been putting into rotation the last month or so.

When people typically think beer and summer, there are two things that instantly come to mind: mowing the lawn and watching baseball.  While Old Style does say Chicago Cubs to the average North-sider, good beer during the warm weather can be much more than that.  It can serve as a good companion to everything from standard barbecue fare to a more haute meal eaten al fresco on the patio.  It can be something savored sitting on the deck or balcony watching the sun set.

Some beers that I think compliment the warmth of summer in our beautiful city include the following: 

Goose Island Summertime (6 pack $9.29, 12 pack $9.29) A hometown favorite – this is a Kolsch-style beer. It’s hoppy, but not overly-so, and goes great with traditional barbecue foods like brats and hot dogs. 

Sierra Nevada Summerfest (6 pack, $9.99) This one’s a Pilsner, and is hoppy without being heavy.   

Saison Dupont (750ml $9.99) Not technically a “summer seasonal”, nonetheless this is the quintessential summer seasonal beer.  Originally brewed to be served to farm workers during the summer harvest, this is a crisp and refreshing beer that is the perfect compliment to finishing up some outdoor work.

Something a little different

These beers don’t fall in the technical beer category like the ones above do.  To some, they are more of a mixed drink, because they include fruit juice in the form of lemonade.  Regardless, they are excellent for the summer, and deserve to be mentioned here.

-Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy  (12 pack bottles $15.69, 12 pack cans $14.99, 6 pack bottles $8.99, 4 pack 16oz. cans $7.99)
Rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the Chicago land area during the months of summer, this beer’s name says it all.  A wheat beer blended with lemonade, this has become very popular with people that want to drink beer without the “beer taste”.  It’s definitely a light-flavored beer, and it really does go well with outdoor activity. 

-Stiegl Lemon Radler (16.0oz. $3.49) 50% lager and 50% lemon soda, this is very similar to the Summer Shandy in concept.  You can smell the overtones of the lemon when you pour it, and the soda adds crispness to the beer when you drink it.  The Lemon Radler is much sweeter than the Summer Shandy, but this is another one of its qualities that make it such a good beer on a hot day – cold lager and sweet lemon flavor combine to make a very refreshing drink.

With that being said, I send you all into the weekend well armed to stock up and battle anything from mowing the lawn to laying back in a lawn chair and soaking up rays.    As always, if you have any questions about anything I’ve written, or even general questions about anything else, please feel free to email me at, tweet us: @vasforemost, or give us a call at (773) 278-9420.

Thanks again! See you all next week!