Summer is creeping up on its halfway point, with the corresponding creep of the forecast towards at least The Seventh Circle of Hell levels. One must drink strategically in these conditions, and so we’ve put together a six-pack of local beers to accompany various methods to beat the heat. So, whether you’re wrapping up weekend lawn duties or have holed up in your own A/C igloo, there’s half a dozen tasty ways to keep your cool. Grab all six wherever delicious beers are found.
Post-Lawn Duty: HighWheel Beerworks Betty Kolsch
Drinking a coldie after mowing the lawn is a natural necessity, but it’s generally unadvisable to go too avant-garde after bagging an acre of grass clippings. Instead, try the Betty, a kolsch brewed by HighWheel Beerworks. Golden? Yes. Effervescent? A little. But unlike your grandad’s fizzy yellow lager, Betty offers the weary yardbird a crisp sip with personality.
Betty offers a bready, biscuity malt profile, trimmed with floral traces and a clean finish — and at 6.1 percent ABV, it’s got enough oomph to help you unwind. It’s the perfect pint to take down after an edge-and-hedge. Find it on tap at The Luxury, B&D Ice House and The Friendly Spot.
Mind Over Mercury: Southerleigh Texas Uncommon Ale
After a certain number of days of triple-digit thermometers, the battle to stay cool can become psychological. Besides visualizing yourself lying in the bathtub under a pile of paletas, you can also imbibe the Texas Uncommon, Southerleigh Brewery’s mint-infused take on the California Common. If beer and mint sounds as appealing as toothpaste and orange juice, take heart: the Texas Uncommon is the sud that refreshes.
Texas Uncommon pours a clear copper, with a handsome finger or so of head. The mint sticks to the perimeter of your palate, buttressing the malt-centered, easy-drinking character of the style, as if the bartender smuggled a few sprigs straight into your glass. Pretty cool. Find it at
A/C All-Nighter: Freetail Local Coffee Stout
For the night owls out there, the best way to take the heat is to avoid the sun altogether. If you want to double down on staying buzzed and staying awake, Freetail’s Local Coffee Stout has got you covered. Blended with a cold-brewed toddy from Merit Roasters post-fermentation, it’s got good legs and is the color of a strong cup of Joe.
Merit’s El Origen beans marry to layers of chocolate and caramel, with just enough java acidity to give the roof of the mouth a little zing. This is a beer to linger over even as you binge-watch Hallmark movies — and if you luck across one of the bourbon barrel-aged editions, you’ll be set for the ultimate Christmas in July.
Lakeside Sip: Guadalupe Brewing Gruene Session IPA
If you’re one of the lucky ducks for whom summertime brings a summer break, chances are you’ve cut a rug or two to celebrate. Named after the little Hill Country town with the world-famous dancehall, New Braunfels’ Guadalupe Brewing offers up a session IPA for that hop-lovin’ two-stepper in your life.
Citra and El Dorado hops are the key elements in these cans, offering a balance of floral ease and zesty bite. Gruene drinks easy (at 5.6 percent ABV, it’s just a few clicks above the average longneck) and finishes clean, ensuring drinkers keep coordinated enough to scoot their boots until last call.
Sweetness And Light: Ranger Creek San Antonio Lager
In childhood, the dulcet tones of “Turkey In The Straw” signaled that the ice cream truck and its cold, sweet cargo were just around the corner. Now you are an adult and marginally too dignified to run down the street waving dollars and screaming for Bomb Pops. Ranger Creek feels your pain, and so we have the San Antonio Lager.
The lager pours golden with a robust head and slight citrus aroma. Unexpected (and delightful) smidges of vanilla and hints of tangerine pop up, riding the crest of an equally surprising creamy mouthfeel. Married to standard lager smoothness, it recalls nothing so much as a Dreamsicle — and at 5.3 percent ABV, it certainly qualifies as what the youths call “crushable.”
Cooler States of Consciousness: New Braunfels Brewing Company Cosmic Dancer Saur Weizenbock
If all else fails in your crusade to stay cool, take the mind over matter approach: maybe the heat and humidity are just an illusion. If that’s your path, New Braunfels Brewing Company has a few Vedic-themed beers to aid your enlightenment, including the Cosmic Dancer.
Another variation on the Shiva’s Tears saur weizenbock, Cosmic Dancer spends a third of the year in oak barrels, then re-ferments with residual and added sugars. The result is a beautifully opaque weizenbock to satisfy your sweet tooth: it smells and tastes like toasted grain and sugarcane, yet balanced with dry, balsamic vinegar tart and a jammy fruit finish. Hold me closer, Cosmic Dancer.