There is nothing better than slurping on a cool, refreshing beer on a hot, summer day. And although most beers are pretty wonderful in the sunshine, light, bright brews tend to have the edge.

“When the sun’s out I often turn towards something cold and fizzy,” notes writer, photographer and podcaster Matthew Curtis, author of Modern British Beer and co-founder of Pellicle Magazine.

“There are some incredible British-made lagers out there, like Lost & Grounded Keller Pils and Braybrooke Helles as two prime examples. There’s something about a well-made pint of lager that just seems to taste better in a beer garden. Generally though, lighter in colour, easy drinking styles are my summer go-tos.”

Keller Pils gets the nod from drinks writer Emma Inch too, who’s been working on a new book collaboration with other writers, called World’s Greatest Beers – 250 Ales & Lagers From Pilsen To Portland, which is due to be published in August.

“It’s obviously got to be thirst quenching,” she says.

“As most beer typically consists of around 90-95% water, it has the edge on many other alcoholic drinks when it comes to providing refreshment. Lager can be an excellent thirst-quencher – and it certainly doesn’t have to be bland. Utopian Brewery, based in Devon, is a relatively new brewery producing a range of lagers made entirely from British ingredients. Their Premium British Lager is clean and crisp, whilst their British Pilsner has a tightly bitter finish.”

What you want is drinkability, insists Melissa Cole, author of The Ultimate Book Of Craft Beer.

“Blondes are really good quality. Lagers, American Pale Ales, and some of the Belgian wheat beers all seem to feel right in summer.

“Their styles work well chilled and they tend to go with lighter foods. Beers like Hopback Summer Lightning, which is an absolute classic, is brilliant. I really love Roosters Twenty Four Seven, then there are also great, more widely-available beers, like Camden Pale Ale.

"Smaller breweries like Big Smoke Electric Eye is a personal favourite, and you’ve also got breweries that do really interesting beers as well, for example, Williams Brothers’ Fraoch, which has heather-y notes to it. It’s very low in bitterness as well. So if you find bitterness in beer challenging, maybe give that one a whirl."

“Also,” she says, “one of the really important things to remember, is it doesn’t always have to be an alcoholic beer. There are some top-quality non-alcoholic beers out there that will really hit the spot. My go-tos tend to be people like Big Drop [Brewing Co] and Brooklyn Special Effects, Athletic Brewing, Thornbridge Zero Five and Adnams Ghost Ship as well.”

And Inch adds that she enjoys a Lucky Saint when she fancies a day off from alcohol – a pilsner-style lager with only 0.5% alcohol.

Fruit beers can also work well in the warmer months. Bright berry flavours served cold can glide down very easily, though mixing it up with a slightly sour tang, can taste even better.

“I personally tend to lean towards the sour, when I’m going for fruited beers, so things like a Fruited Berliner Weisse or a Gose,” says Cole. “For me, that almost Haribo Tangfastic-like element that they have, really works in summer. It’s bright and fresh and clean, and very enjoyable.”

Macclesfield’s RedWillow recently released a damson sour beer in big 750ml wine bottles, which Curtis suggests rivals any wine or cider when chilled down and sipped slowly.

“For something a little more fun, I might look to one of North Brewing’s Triple Fruited Goses, or perhaps The Big Fruit Heist from Reading’s Double-Barrelled Brewery,” he continues.

“But the masters of fruit beer have always been the Belgians, and Boon Kriek, a cherry beer from the Zenne Valley just south of Brussels, is an all-time classic.”

When it comes to drinking beer, however, all our experts agree there are no rules. “Drink beer however you like: from the can, poured into a glass, put ice in it… The most important thing about your beer experience is that you make it your own,” confirms Curtis.

“We’re going between the cost of living crisis, rising costs of everything and everybody having to work so hard,” adds Cole. We’ve just been through two years of a pandemic – if you want to stand on your head and drink it through your nose, it’s up to you. You paid for it, do what you want with it!”

10 top summer beers to stock up on now…

1. Boon Kriek Lambic Cherry Beer, £1.80, Tesco (

2. Beavertown Lunar Haze, £8 for four cans, Tesco (

3. Brewdog x Candy Kittens, £3.25 (

4. Taste The Difference Summer Ale, £1.65, Sainsbury’s (

5. Very Berry Sour Beer, £3, M&S (in store only)

6. Adnams Blood Orange Session IPA, £22.99 for 12 cans (

7. Fruli Strawberry Beer, £1.80, Tesco (

8. Vault City Triple Fruited Mango Sour Beer, £3.50, Tesco (

9. Raspberry Royale Pale Ale, £3, M&S (in store only)

10. Helles Lager, £1.80, M&S (in store only)

…And 3 low/no alcohol picks

1. Beavertown Lazer Crush Alcohol Free IPA, £1.60, (

2. Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5%, £1.30, Sainsbury’s (

3. Lucky Saint Unfiltered Alcohol Free Lager, £1.80, Sainsbury’s (