By Marty Rosenbaum

Back in January, I put together a list of my five favorite winter beers. While they still taste darn good today (and year round for that matter), it’s hard to beat these five summer brews on a warm day.

In no particular order, here are my go-to beers to enjoy on a beautiful summer day in Chicago.

Goose Island – Summertime

This was the first beer I fell in love with. As someone who doesn’t enjoy sour our fruity beers, this German-Style Kölsch offers a fantastic blend of sweet and savory tastes to find a happy medium. Here’s a fun fact about the beer, Goose Island recommends you pair it with Buffalo Mozzarella cheese. If that’s not a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is. Read more about the beer here.

Lake Effect Brewing – Shimmering Lake Saison

Located in the Northwest side of the city in Old Irving Park, Lake Effect puts out a ton of great beer. Their Shimmering Lake Saison is only available May-August and contains a tasty mix of citrus and spice. Plus, part of the proceeds from this beer a for a good cause. Part of the sales from the beer funds restoring the north shore ravines, ravines that start in Winnetka and extend into Wisconsin providing Illinois’ only drainage system flowing naturally to Lake Michigan. Read more about the beer here.

Bell’s – Two Hearted Ale

While the Two Hearted Ale is an IPA, it doesn’t have the overly hoppy taste that steers people away from IPA’s. Instead, it uses hop aromas like pine and grapefruit to give it a much sweeter flavor than your standard IPA. Two Hearted is available year round, but is a great drink to have by your side when you’re manning the grill. Read more about the beer here.

Ballast Point – California Kölsch

Yet another Kölsch makes the list (sensing a trend here?). Ballast Point hails from San Diego and was founded by Jack White. No, not THAT Jack White, but a man who still us a darn good product! An extremely smooth tasting beer, the California Kölsch is a reliable beer if you’re looking for an outdoor companion. Read more about the beer here.

Miller High Life

No, it’s not a craft beer, but it’s my favorite and conjures up excellent summertime memories. Created in 1903, High Life is a light beer that is a must-have in anyones cooler. Bonus points to anyone those I shared one with in the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well lot. Read more about the beer here.

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