Even in chilly San Francisco, a fruit-flavored brew pairs perfectly with a lazy Saturday afternoon in June. All around the country, in fact – especially in places that actually have seasons – flavored beers are the ultimate warm-weather beverage of choice, which means we’re never going to kick that summertime day drinking habit. They’re easy to drink, typically low-ish in alcohol and some of the best varieties have that Millennial-loved quality of being totally unique.
Adding flavor to beer isn’t new, but it is on the rise. Nielsen, a firm that measures consumer habits, used to track only two pumpkin beers back in 1995. Now it tracks 80, and the number of flavored beers on the shelves has shot up by 80 percent over the last five years.
When we look at the people who love flavored beers and those who don’t, pretty clear lines are drawn between the genders and different age groups. Flavored beers are more attractive to Millennials, and among young women only 8 percent said they don’t like flavored beers. That’s in sharp contrast to the 72 percent of older men who indicated that they don’t like flavored beers.
And even without the pumpkin beer numbers, more than half of all the nation’s beer drinkers said they are interested in fruit flavored beer. This number is continuing to grow with the plethora of beer options available on the shelves.
Numbers don’t matter really, though. All that matters is that fruit flavored brews taste like perfection when they’re hugged by a coozie and gulped greedily under a beach volleyball net or in the haze of a backyard cookout.
With so many options available, we thought you might need some guidance. Here are a few of the most refreshing fruit beers summer has to offer:
The brewery describes this beer with a cliche that we can’t deny: “Summer in a can.” It’s a crisp wheat beer brewed with real watermelon, and it’s refreshing as hell.
San Diego’s Ballast Point is known for its Sculpin IPA. For this refreshing variation, they took all the tart citrus flavor they could grapefruit and infused it with a hoppy west coast IPA. The result is another masterpiece.
Lime zest, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves give this German-style beer a unique lime flavor that’s a far cry from Budweiser’s attempt. It should be served exactly how you’d expect: Ice cold on a hot day.
This beer from Shiner, Texas is brewed with prickly pear fruit from the native cactus plant. It has a rosy hue and a tang that’s completely unique and yet exactly what you wanted.
Juice from local strawberries is added to this lager that has just enough fruit to be aromatic and crisp without being too sweet. It’s a perfect day drinking thirst quencher.