Leave the Gatorade to the kids and the iced tea to Grandma. Next time you hit the pony keg, grab a six-pack of local beer. One part thirst-quench, one part cool-down, and two parts flavor ka-boom, here are our favorites for every concert, game, pool, and park. Whether you lean toward tart and fruity or lawn jockey macho (or somewhere in between), crack one of these open and savor it while you can—like summer, they won’t be around much longer.
1. Nine Giant ImPeachMint, Peach Apricot Mint Gose → Skip the flagships, rotate beers with insane frequency, and take chances with fresh fruits and herbs—this is Nine Giant’s credo. This lightly salted, tart wheat beer is their latest winner: Apricot boosts fresh peaches and a hint of mint adds balance. Try it soon—it might outlast POTUS. But don’t bet on it. Nine Giant, 6095 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 366-4550, ninegiant.com
2. Rhinegeist Puma Pilsner → If pilsners are the true test of taste and talent, then Rhinegeist gets an A+. Crisp and refreshing, this craft lager is drinkable all day—but with enough body and backbone to stand up to dinner, thanks to its floral hops and malty aroma. The pinnacle of the perfect summer pilsner, Puma will hit shelves and taps in early July. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-1367, rhinegeist.com
3. Braxton Summertrip, Passion Fruit Berliner Weisse Style Ale → A kettle sour packed with the punch of passion fruit, Summertrip is tart but not pucker-sharp, sweet but not cloying, beautifully balanced and boldly flavorful. It’s a solid summer brew and your must-drink staple of the season. Braxton Brewing Co., 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, (859) 261-5600, braxtonbrewing.com
4. Taft’s Ale House Nellie’s Key Lime Caribbean Ale → A nod to William’s leading lady, Nellie’s combines the distinctive flavor of key limes (fresh from the islands) with a dash of coriander and the perfect pinch of hops. A summery brew to crave all year long—you can bring home this taste of the tropics no matter the season. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 334-1393, taftsalehouse.com
5. Mt. Carmel Blueberry Hibiscus Blonde Ale → Summer was made for the tart burst of fresh blueberries, so why not add them to a popular blonde ale? Then kick it up a notch and steep hibiscus tea right in the tank. The result—this easy-drinking ale—is balanced on sweetness and low on bitterness. Clean, crisp, delicate, and dry. Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, 4362 Mt. Carmel-Tobasco Rd., Mt. Carmel, (513) 240-2739, mtcarmelbrewingcompany.com