5 Local Beers You Need to Drink This Summer

Oh, summer on Long Island. You wake up, head to the farmers market to pick up some fresh corn and locally baked bread, then stop by your fishmonger for cod caught right off the coast of Montauk. All you need to complete your day off feast is a cold beverage or two. So, you make one final stop and pick up a six pack—of beers brewed thousands of miles away? Hm, that doesn’t seem right. Instead, head to one of your local breweries and enjoy a summer beer brewed right in our backyard.

Waikiki Wheat (4.8% ABV) by Destination Unknown Brewing Company

If the name doesn’t already have you thinking of a beach, the taste certainly will. Light enough to enjoy by the pool or while manning the grill, Waikiki Wheat is an American Pale Ale flavored with hibiscus and guava. Hibiscus flowers impart a slightly tart, herbal flavor that’s balanced by the tropical sweetness of guava. While everyone else is Instagramming pictures of their rosé, get into the spirit with this vibrant pink brew.

While you’re at the brewery, check out Destination Unknown’s Gilgo series—a rotating cast of fruited sours. On tap currently is Grapefruit Gilgo, a sour gose spiked with grapefruit puree.

Blanc Grisette and Noir Black Grisette (Both 4.2% ABV) by Spider Bite

Throughout the summer, Spider Bite will occasionally be crossing over to the dark side. Two grisettes—a “traditional” version as well as one brewed with darker malts—will be making alternating appearances in the tap room. The grisette style is loosely defined, but it’s essentially a low alcohol yet full bodied saison-like beer. Though a far cry from an IPA, there is a noticeable hoppiness. The beer was originally brewed for Belgian miners to enjoy after a long hard day in the quarries, but we’d suggest these grisettes as a motivation for mowing the lawn.

Boris the Spider, a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout, doesn’t exactly scream summertime—but we’ve been known to share a bottle around a fire pit once the sun goes down. Sometimes breaking the rules is fun.

Old Walt Smoked Wit (5% ABV) by Blind Bat

Brewed with malt smoked right at the brewery, Old Walt Smoked Wit is definitely not your typical summer ale. Packaged in beach and pool friendly aluminum bottles, this small batch wheat beer is smoky and slightly sour with notes of citrus throughout. As brewer Paul Dlugokencky joked, “It should last through the summer as this is not for everyone.” It might not be a traditional wit beer, but the bright, fruity notes and rich smoke come together to create something entirely unique. For us, it’s basically a seaside bonfire in a glass.

The Goddess (3.2% ABV) by Barrage Brewing Company

At just over 3% ABV, The Goddess is a true session beer—a beverage you can enjoy throughout the day without embarrassing yourself at the family BBQ. Though light in alcohol, the flavor is anything but. Sweet strawberries flavor this refreshing, slightly sour Berliner Weiss. The tart yet fruity combination makes The Goddess a great option to share with someone who “doesn’t like beer.” Just tell them it’s a crazy new style of wine cooler.

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, take home a growler of Tribal Cow—a rich milk stout flavored with caramel and toasted coconut.

NoFo Farmhouse Ale (5.5% ABV) by Long Ireland Beer Company

We recently rediscovered this funky farmhouse ale. More accurately, Alicia enjoyed a pint after running the Long Island Summer Classic at Long Ireland. Kevin also enjoyed a pint, as he was parched from photographing the event.  It was so perfect for a hot summer night, we went home with a six pack. Notes of clove, coriander, lemon and yeast strike a perfect balance and the beer never feels too sweet or tart.