Warm-weather Brews

12 best Austin beers to drink during the hot, hot summer

12 best Austin beers to drink during the hot, hot summer

Zilker Brewing Company Parks & Rec pale ale
Raise a glass to summer. Zilker Brewing Company/Facebook

As temperatures reach the 100-degree mark, it's time to reach for an ice-cold beer. Broken down by style and flavor, here are our favorite hot-weather Austin brews, best enjoyed cold during the heat of summer. Unless otherwise noted, these beers can be found on tap and in cans.

Lager
Hops & Grain Brewing's River Beer

This "premium American lager" was brewed for hot summer afternoons spent on the water. While not as bold as other Hops & Grains beers, the lightness is balanced out with a crisp maltiness.

Pilsner
ABGB's Rocket 100

Rocket 100 is ABGB's interpretation of lagers brewed by German immigrants before Prohibition. That may sound oddly specific, but the result is a classic, award-winning pilsner that is so popular it became one of the brewpub's year-round mainstays — but you can only find it at ABGB.

Pale ale
Zilker Brewing Company's Parks & Rec

Zilker teamed up with Austin Parks Foundation to craft a new beer honoring Zilker Park's 100th birthday. Parks & Rec is a well-balanced pale ale that has just the right amount of malts and hops.

IPA
(512) Brewing Company's (512) IPA

The (512) IPA is incredibly smooth for this style of beer, especially considering it's dry-hopped (extra hops are added during the fermentation process). The bitterness is balanced out by a sweet malted barley flavor. (512) is only available on draft; find your closest tap here.

Session IPA
Oasis Brewing Company's MetaModern

Session IPAs are interpreted in different ways by different breweries, but usually it's an IPA with lowers alcohol content without sacrificing the hops. Oasis uses the word "juicy" to describe MetaModern, and we couldn't agree more. The delightful, citrusy drink can be enjoyed by anyone, even those who shy away from typically bitter IPAs.

Saison
Adelbert's Hibiscus Saison

A saison is a kind of pale ale that features fruity flavors, high carbonation, and a higher alcohol content. Adelbert's pink brew is a tropical escape with hints of hibiscus, citrus, and hoppiness.

Blonde ale
Circle Brewing Co.'s Alibi

Blonde ales (like pale ales, but with more lager-like flavors) are reliable, approachable, and well-rounded. Some feature sweeter additives like honey, but nothing embodies the classic blonde ale profile like Alibi.

Witbier
Celis Brewery's Celis White

Witbiers are also known as wheat beers or white ales. Pierre Celis' original witbier recipe, which just returned to town, helped popularize Belgian wheat beers and inspire the craft beer revolution in Austin. Celis White, available only on tap for now, offers a flawless blend of spice and citrus.

Berliner weisse
Austin Beerworks' Einhorn

Austin Beerworks' super funky Berliner weisse, a German-born subset of the lager witbier category, is low in alcohol but high in sour flavor. Enjoy it while you can, because the Einhorn only visits in June and July (don't fret; it will be followed by the Super Awesome helles in August).

Hefeweizen
Live Oak Brewing Company's HefeWeizen

You can't make a list of summer beers without giving a nod to Live Oak HefeWeizen. It's iconic, not just as the perfect example of a Bavarian-style hefe, but as a symbol of the local beer scene. Expect a classic wheat beer that's heavier on the malts and spicier notes.

Kölsch
South Austin Brewery's Kol'beer

South Austin Brewery takes the kölsch tradition and adds its own flair (and some German pilsner malts). The result? Kol'beer, another balanced brew that is pale in color and perfect for warm weather.

Gruit
4th Tap Brewing Cooperative's Sun Eater

Gruit is the general name given to an herb mixture used in the brewing process in lieu of hops. As a result, Sun Eater is a great option for people who don't like bitter beer, because there are no hops. Instead you'll taste rosemary, lemon, and sorghum cane.