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Summertime, and the Sipping's Easy

The late English author Gilbert Chesterton once wrote: "Let a man walk 10 miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented." He's right, of course — there's something about the combination of the warmest season and an ice cold brew that just works. No matter what your summer involves, we've found a selection of beers that will help settle that warm-weather parch. Cheers!

Related: 17 Cheap American Beers That Locals Love

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Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

ABV: 4.2%
This beer — often called a "Leinie" — won't be near the top of any beer snobs' list of summer's best beers. But ask a few friends and the shandy will almost certainly come up, with comments such as "Drinking it means time at the lake!" It's not strictly beer, but a crisp Weiss blended with lemonade, which makes it extra refreshing in hot weather. Not a lemon fan? It comes in other flavors, including grapefruit, orange, and berry.

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Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty

ABV: 4%
Need a beer you'll feel comfortable quaffing in your swimsuit? At just 95 calories, the Slightly Mighty is what Dogfish calls its "lo-cal" IPA. The secret? Monk fruit, which gives the beer a sweetness while keeping it low on calories and carbs. Its hoppy flavor is further complemented by notes of "pineapple, coconut, mango, and citrus." Low-calorie craft beers were widely forecast to be a 2019 trend, and this entry is just the first of a handful on this list.

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Firestone Walker Rosalie

ABV: 5%
Another predicted 2019 trend? Wine-forward beers. And this one, Rosalie — which appeared on a number of "best summer beers" lists — is one worth picking up. Firestone Walker blends Chardonnay and other grape varieties with pilsner and white wheat malts and a "dash of hibiscus flower." Men's Health called Rosalie "dry and delicately acidic, with a moderate alcohol content designed for day dissolving into evening."

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Saison Dupont

ABV: 6.5%
Rated consistently four or five stars, Dupont's Belgian saison farmhouse ale was introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s, and its popularity hasn't faded. If anything, it's had a renaissance after saisons became popular with craft brewers again a few years back. Beer-ranking site the Beer Connoisseur calls the Dupont a thirst-quencher "with no equal."

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Harpoon Rec League

ABV: 3.8%
With a lower-end ABV and just 120 calories per can, Rec League is another brew that slid into a number of "best summer beers" rankings. An American pale ale, it's described as both "fluffy" and "crisp," with summer-inspired notes of grapefruit, orange, mango, and papaya.

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ABV: 4%
A lot of beers on this list have fruit notes — it is summer, after all. But Suncrush — a new label from the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery team — goes all in with the fruit focus. It's a cold-conditioned sparkling ale made with matcha green tea and fruit, and it comes in four flavors: tangerine, ginger lime, grapefruit, and cranberry, and it's the embodiment of another 2019 beer trend — the low-ABV, fruit-flavored beer. As of now it's availability is limited mostly to the Southeastern U.S.

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Rodenbach Fruitage

ABV: 4.2%
If you can't find Suncrush in your area, this Flanders red ale with the added juice of cherries and elderberries is a nice alternative with consistently high ratings on beer review sites. Said one review on BeerAdvocate: "Surprisingly very drinkable. Although there's a fair amount of sweetness to this, the light body, low ABV, and the small serving size could all combine to help convince me to have two or three in a session."

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New Belgium/Cervecería Primus Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza

ABV: 4%
New Belgium collaborated with craft brewing company Primus Cerveceria to brew this homage to Mexico's agua frescas, or fruit drinks, served typically in street food markets. Mural surprises those who drink it with its deep pink hue, as well as bright notes of watermelon, lime, hibiscus, and agave. One reviewer on BeerAdvocate notes that the brew gives "hints of all of summer ... without punching you in the face. It's a beer that would be good on the beach or after a race."

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AleSmith/Maui Hi Hoaloha

ABV: 5.3%
Another collaboration, AleSmith worked with Maui Brewing to develop this "pale ale with authentic Japanese Koshihikari rice along with fruit-forward Galaxy hops." One reviewer noted that the "use of rice ... really lightens up the body and makes it very easy to drink." Look for notes of citrus, passionfruit, and mango.

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Southern Tier Swipe Light

ABV: 4%
A light lager with lemony and herbal hop notes, Swipe Light is a recent entry in the category of "light beers," bridging the gap, says, between "craft beer flavor and lower calorie, easier drinking beers." It comes in a slim can, each serving up just 110 calories.

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Great Lakes Buckin' Mule-Moscow Mule Ale

ABV: 6.5%
Clearly not for the beer purist, this recently introduced brew is riding in on the back — get it? — of the popular mule trend. It's infused, of course, with flavors of ginger and lime but, just like with its namesake, at 6.5% ABV you won't want to drink too many too fast.

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Left Hand Wheels Gose Round

ABV: 4.4%
Jackie Dodd, the face behind The Beeroness website, recommends goses for the warm weather months. "The tartness, with a hint of salt, just tastes like summer," she says. While Dodd is stocking her fridge with Kulshan Brewing's Cherry Gose this summer, the brew may not be available outside the Pacific Northwest. For a tasty alternative, try Left Hand's gose, ranked one of the best 2019 summer beers by Outside Magazine.

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Russian River Ron Mexico

ABV: 4.5%
Session ales are another recommended summer beer because of their low ABV. A "sessionable" beer is so named because of its low alcohol content, meaning you can have a few over the course of a day without too much buzz. This particular session ale is what Dodd is drinking this summer, but it's a pub draft only in certain parts of the country. An alternative if you can't find it? Lagunitas Brewing's DayTime Session IPA came in high on Men's Health's list of best summer beers.

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Sierra Nevada Sierraveza

ABV: 5%
Looking for something a bit stronger? And less fruity? This widely available Mexican lager made it onto Dodd's and Men's Health's best summer beers lists. Dodd says: "There is a nostalgic quality to a Mexican lager, and since craft breweries have been doing a great job at creating them, I'll do a great job at drinking them."

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Samuel Adams Summer Variety Pack

ABV: 4.5% to 5.3%
Sometimes you don't want to hunt good beer down, and that's especially true if you're throwing a party. For times such as that, pick up a couple armfuls of this variety pack from nationally distributed Sam Adams. The pack contains Sam 76, a lager/ale hybrid, the citrus wheat Summer Ale, Porch Rocker, a tangy radler, and the brewery's original brew, the Boston Lager.

Related: 19 of the Oldest Breweries in America

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Reissdorf Kölsch

ABV: 4.8%
Brewed in Cologne, Germany, where the Kolsch style originated, Reissdorf's version has been around a long time and is widely available. What makes a Kolsch a Kolsch? The brew is fermented with ale yeast, then finished with lagering, leaving a light beer with a clean, crisp finish — perfect for summer. And, indeed, the Reissdorf version was once named "The Perfect Beer for Summer."

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Victory Summer Love

ABV: 5.2%
The name says it all, and Victory follows that up by claiming its golden ale is "a taste of sunshine." With "earthy and citrusy hop flavors of lemon and pine," it's not overly fruity. The brew gets consistently solid scores on BeerAdvocate. Says one reviewer: "Pleasant, tasty, and drinkable ... looking forward to picking this one up again."

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Shiner Light Blonde

ABV: 4.2%
Another veteran on this list, Shiner's blonde debuted in 2011. Though it's available year-round, the brewery says it is "the perfect complement to a really well-tied rope swing" — in other words, it's perfect for summer. And, at just 99 calories per bottle, it's perfect for those who may be watching their summer weight.

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