Did you know that the day before Independence Day is also a holiday? July 3 is National Beer Run day, meaning you have even more reasons to head to your favorite neighborhood beer store and stock up for not one but two holidays this weekend. Whether you’re in a mountain town dreaming about winter or in the big city and thinking about booking a ski vacation for six months from now (do it!), be sure to enjoy a few cold ones this July 3rd and 4th. Here are six of the best summer beers we think you should try this weekend and beyond.
Best Overall for Independence Day: Stone Enjoy by 7/4/21 Tangerine and Pineapple IPA
California’s Stone Brewing is known for incredible IPAs, and their “brewed-to-be-enjoyed-now” series demands the drinker get maximum freshness. The Independence Day edition of this series is a double IPA brewed with tangerine and pineapple. While the Simcoe, Mosaic, Magnum, and Citra hops definitely rule the palate, the juicy tangerine and pineapple layers add both a tartness and a sweetness that linger in the best way. With a 9-percent ABV and 90 IBUs, this beer is intense in a lot of ways, but very much worthwhile to enjoy by July 4, 2021.
Enjoy by 7/4/21 Tangerine and Pineapple IPA Info
- Style: Double IPA
- Flavor notes: Intense hops, fresh-squeezed tangerine, pineapple upside-down cake
- Hops: Simcoe, Mosaic, Magnum, and Citra
- ABV: 9 percent, IBUs: 90
- Fireworks Equivalent: The Big Show
- More info: StoneBrewing.com
Best Conversation Starter: WeldWerks Rocket’s Red Glare
WeldWerks Brewing, located in Colorado, is known for heavy-duty juicy IPAs and crazy beers based on iconic flavors from your childhood. Rocket’s Red Glare is definitely in the latter category as it’s a Berlin-style sour ale that is actually brewed with Rocket Pops—yes, the red, white, and blue popsicles that still are a critical part of Fourth of July for kids and kids at heart—plus blue raspberry, lemon, and milk sugar. Brewed in collaboration with Southern Grist Brewing, Rocket’s Red Glare is best enjoyed in a glass (it’s blue!) and will be sure to mentally light some cherry bombs with how drinkable and enjoyable it is. To get the most Rocket Pop flavor, start with this one before moving to more hoppy beers.
WeldWerks Rocket’s Red Glare Info
- Beer Style: Berlin-style Sour (or Fruited Berliner Weisse, if you’re fancy)
- Flavor Notes: SweetTarts, Blue Raspberry candy, Rocket Pops, childhood sugar rush
- ABV: 4.1 percent, IBUs: N/A
- Fireworks Equivalent: Bottle rockets
- More info: Untappd
More WeldWerks: FitBits IPA
Best Easy Drinker: 10 Barrel Pilsner
Celebrating the 4th of July is a day-long affair, so you’re going to want to pace your beer drinking. Be sure to mix in some waters, plus the occasional American-made Pilsner from Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing. The brewery’s latest light-bodied year-round edition is made for summer, with a crisp taste with just a tiny hop tickle. 10 Barrel Pilsner is very clean and easy to drink, meaning you’re going to probably want an extra six-pack because they’ll go quickly once they are discovered in the cooler.
10 Barrel Pilsner Info
- Beer Style: Craft German-style Pilsner
- Flavor Notes: Beer-flavored beer, clean finish
- Hops: Noble
- ABV: 5-percent, IBUs: 38
- Fireworks Equivalent: Snakes
- More Info: 10Barrel.com
Get Something Similar: Beer-Flavored Beer
Best Hoppy Explosion: Lagunitas Super Cluster
Whether or not you’ve got a fireworks show on the Independence Day agenda, you can put some hoppy explosions in your mouth with Lagunitas Super Cluster Double IPA. Lagunitas brewed Super Cluster with a ridiculous amount of Citra hops, resulting in an explosive mouthfeel that will outshine the actual fireworks this weekend. If you’re a hoppy beer fan, you need to get this double IPA lickety-split.
Lagunitas Super Cluster Double IPA Notes
- Beer style: Double IPA
- Flavor notes: Hops, pine trees, pine resin, banging drums (with a very catchy beat)
- Hops: Citra (like, a lot)
- ABV: 8 percent, IBUs: 60
- Fireworks Equivalent: A roman candle that just won’t quit
- More info: Lagunitas.com
Lagunitas Also Makes a Great NA IPA: Best NA Beers for Skiers
Best American Classic (West): Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Leave those boring red and whites on the shelf and reach for a craft American beer this Independence Day. If you live in the west, you can’t go wrong with the Oskar Blues classic Dale’s Pale Ale. The iconic red, white, and blue can holds a pale malt-forward pale ale that is still very hoppy, but a few ticks below most IPAs on the bitterness scale. This was Oskar Blues’ first breakthrough canned beer and helped put the brewery on the national scene not long after it was released in 2002. If you haven’t had it lately, use the holiday as an excuse to revisit a tasty classic.
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale Notes
- Beer style: American Pale Ale
- Flavor notes: Malty hoppiness, just a touch of sweetness
- Hops: Comet, Cascade, and Centennial
- ABV: 6.5 percent, IBUs: 65
- Fireworks Equivalent: Firework fountains that are surprisingly awesome
- More info: OskarBlues.com
How about Oskar Blues for Breakfast? Or Breakfast for Après?
Best American Classic (East): Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale
If you’re looking for a brew that has some saltiness to help replace all the electrolytes you’ve lost in your sweat during the recent heatwave, crack open a SeaQuench Ale and taste instant refreshment. This beer combines elements of an easy-drinking Kölsch, a salty Gose, and a tart Berliner Weisse at its base, and then adds black limes, lime juice, and sea salt. The result is a beer that’s almost a margarita, and even more refreshing.
Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale Notes
- Beer style: Sour ale
- Flavor notes: Salt, lime, ripe citrus, expensive margarita mix
- ABV: 4.9 percent, IBUs: 10
- Fireworks Equivalent: A street-corner fire hydrant opened up for cooling off
- More info: Dogfish.com
More Dogfish Head: This East Coast Hazy IPA Puts Oat Milk In Your Après (and You’ll Like It)