Kona Big Wave (640x480)Summer is at its peak in July.  What are you doing to take advantage of the season of fun in the sun?  The answer doesn’t have to involve a beach, a boat or a bikini.  Summer revelers need look no further than another “b” word found in most restaurants: Beer!

Just as restaurants adjust their menu when seasons change, your local barkeeps update their inventory to meet the demands of warm weather and alfresco dining.  Odds are good that the bar in your favorite restaurant is brimming with summer brews right now – most available for a limited time.

“Summer brews” are the antithesis of their rich, dark winter counterparts.  Usually defined as light with a clean taste and a bitter, hoppy or fruity flavor, summer brews are popping up in breweries around the country.  We encourage you to think beyond warm-weather commercial king Corona and try some of these great American summer beers with your next summer meal:

Victory Summer Love Ale

Victory Summer Love Ale: Brewed from Philadelphia, this golden ale is a light-bodied blend of German hops and pale malt with a lemony finish.  It pairs well with chicken, salad and pizza.

Kona Big Wave: This golden ale hails from Hawaii’s Big Island, so it knows a thing or two about summer.  Big Wave is a light golden ale with a tropical hop aroma and a caramel malt.  Naturally, this Hawaiian brew pairs well with seafood, light pasta dishes, salads and poultry.

Bell’s Oberon: This sunny summer beer is Michigan born and bred.  Oberon is a smooth wheat ale with a mildly fruity aroma.  It pairs well with light summer fare like fish, salads and sushi.  Bell’s also recommends pairing it with seafood, like crabcakes or fish and chips.

New Belgium Rolle Bolle

Dogfish Head Festina Peche: The most adventurous brew on our list, Festina Peche is a neo-Berliner Weisse – don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.  Berliner Weisse is fermented with lactic cultures to produce an acidic flavor.  This version from Delaware includes the sweetness of peach and has a pale straw color.  Try it with grilled chicken, fish or salad.

New Belgium Rolle Bolle: Named for a Belgian yard game, Rolle Bolle was designed by the Ft. Collins, Colo., brewery for easy summer sipping.  This blonde ale has a hint of tartness and citrus, balanced out by creamy oats for a dry, clean finish.  Pair it with summer dishes like chicken and fish.

What are you favorite American summer brews?  Tell us in the comments section below!  Or, start your search for a summer brew-serving restaurant near you now!