Red, White and Brewed: The Best All-American Craft Lagers For a Socially-Distanced Fourth
To say this is the strangest summer of our lives is the understatement of the century. If you had to pick a TV show that best sums up our contemporary lives, it would be Stranger Things. We live in a world where summer is coming on strong with high temperatures, seemingly endless sunny days, and a constant desire to sip on a beer while you sit in a lawn chair near a large body of water. But, while summer is here, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is gone. It’s going to be a summer of social distancing, staying safe and healthy, and it all starts with the Fourth of July.
Even though you’re not likely to see a sanctioned fireworks display this Independence Day, you still might attend (or throw) a socially distanced, mask-adorned Fourth of July gathering. And, if you are, you’re going to need to bring the right beer for this odd summer.
If you ask us, there’s no better summer style than the classic, refreshing lager. That’s why we’ve decided to forego the IPAs, pale ales, and wheat beers in favor of crisp lagers this Fourth. Check out some of our favorites below and pair them with grilled meats and good times (while you stand 6 feet apart) with your friends.
Photo: Javier Zayas Photography (Getty Images)
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Cigar City Lager
Tampa’s Cigar City has made a name for itself as one of the best breweries in America in the last decade. You’ve probably heard of Florida Cracker or Jai Alai. But, you definitely shouldn’t sleep on Cigar City Lager this summer. This German-style helles is thirst-quenching, light, and sessionable.
Photo: Cigar City
Montucky Cold Snacks
With a name like Montucky Cold Snacks, you sort of know what you’re going to get. This is an over-the-top beer brand, but the beer itself is crisp, refreshing, and totally crushable on a hot, summer day.
Photo: Montucky Cold Snacks
North Coast Scrimshaw
This pilsner from North Coast pays tribute to the German style of making lagers with its Hallertauer and Tettnang hops and Munich malt. It’s crisp, well-balanced, with a pleasing background hop presence.
Photo: North Coast
Saint Archer Mexican Lager
If you’re grabbing a lager on a hot day, it’s hard to beat a Mexican beer like Corona or Modelo. But, if you’re patronizing an American brand, it’s tough to beat the refreshing, crisp, all around drinkable nature of Saint Archer’s tribute to Mexican lagers.
Photo: Saint Archer
Schlafly Summer Lager
St. Louis’s Schlafly makes one of the best lagers to drink all summer long. At 4.5 percent ABV, it’s sessionable, highly crushable, crisp, sweet, and subtly hoppy.
Two Roads Cruise Control
Two Roads came onto the scene a few years back and became a household name quickly. Its summer German-style helles lager Cruise Control is slightly sweet, well-balanced, and refreshing.
Photo: Two Roads
Jack's Abby House Lager
No lager list is complete without a beer from Jack’s Abby. The German-style helles lager is sweet, golden in color, and full of malts. At 5.2 percent, you won’t feel bad about drinking more than one during the celebration.
Photo: Jack’s Abby
Tröegs Sunshine Pilsner
With a name like Sunshine Pilsner, you can bet we’ll be throwing these bad boys back on a hot, summer day (specifically the Fourth of July). This beer is a perfect balance of bitter hops and rich malt. It’s the perfect accompaniment to summer yard games.
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