A Quick and Frothy Guide to the Best Beers of Late Summer

Food & Drink

If we had a dollar for every person that told us that the real Oktoberfest actually takes place in September in Germany, we’d have a pile of cash higher than a German Alp. We get it, you’ve been to Europe, Griswold. We would also use that cash to buy delicious seasonal beers, because that’s always a sound investment strategy. Man Crates is synonymous with beer gifts for men. Check the thesaurus. So we’ve put together a late-summer drinking menu for your swigging pleasure.

This is a tough job that required exhaustive research and extremely dubious expense reports. We’ve even explored the beer festival scene. You deserve the best, so no pint glass will go untilted, no bottle will be left empty. Plus, these pretzels are making us thirsty.

Five sensational beers for late summer
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s don’t-leave-anything-plastic-in-your-car hot right now in much of the country. You need a frosty summer brew, friend. And not that stray, skunky PBR or Heineken that’s been in the fridge since Fourth of July, 2013. We can do better. And don’t drink from a dusty glass, get yourself a proper pint glass, like these, and drink in style.

Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, Kailua Kona, HI
Some beer snobs will tell you this Hawaiian beer isn’t strong enough or is too commercial or probably wasn’t even bottled in Hawaii. Do not listen to these beer truthers. This is a heavenly tasting ale with a delightful hint of caramel. It goes down so smooth, you’ll feel like you can drink 10 in one sitting and then go for an intense session of light hammock swinging. Also, be sure to try the new Wailua Wheat, which was just released this year and tastes like liquefied banana bread—and we mean that in a good way.

Allagash White, Portland, ME
Imbibing this Belgian-style witbier says to the world, “I care about what I’m drinking, but not so much that I’m going to make you listen to my opinions on it like a pretentious person that uses words like ‘imbibing.’” And that’s a perfect balance to strike. Sweet, with a twist of orange and a rather cloudy appearance, it makes you wonder, “What’s going on in this beer?” What’s going on is a party and you’re invited. Allagash White is arguably the finest thing to come out of Maine since Stephen King’s earlier works. No offense meant to Murder She Wrote.

Mondos Surf Brew Blond Ale, Ventura, CA
Light, yet creamy, malty and still packing some kick (5.0% ABV), Mondos is a bit of a paradox. But more importantly, it’s summer in a bottle. An American Blonde ale from Ventura, CA, it was a silver-medal winner at the 2012 LA County Fair. When you conquer the fair circuit, you’ve reached pretty prestigious territory, folks. Mondos goes really nicely with pizza. But, not deep dish pizza, because that’s not really pizza.

El Guapo, Flat Tail Brewing, Corvallis, OR
We are jumping it up a notch with this spicy selection. Someday everyone must conquer their own El Guapo and this El Guapo just happens to be a very refreshing concoction with a plethora of cucumber, lime and habanero. Don’t let the citrusy aftertaste fool you, El Guapo will slap you about the face and ask questions later. We knew we would not get through this post without an obscure Oregon brew.

Duckfoot Double White IPA, San Diego, CA
The brewmasters at Duckfoot are not kidding around with the term “double,” this comes in at 8.0% ABV, and somehow it’s gluten-free. This was possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to San Diego until Bartolo Colon hit this majestic home run.

Micro Brewed Kit

If a guy is somehow not satisfied with these brilliant beers, it means he is a true connoisseur (read: beer snob). We have just the thing(s) for him: Not one, but two home brewing kits.

Home Brewed Kit

It’s easier than you think to brew in the basement, garage or center of the living room, and these make the perfect gift for the men in your life.

Remember, always drink responsibly. By that we mean, don’t be irresponsible and drink crappy beers. And, yes, also don’t drink and drive, Captain Obvious.