22 of the best summer craft beers brewed in New Jersey
With the weather finally starting to warm up in the great Garden State, it's only natural that we beer lovers start to seek out lighter, more refreshing styles. Styles that align with our rekindled love for all things summer.
Luckily for us there are plenty of great local breweries crafting serious seasonal brews! Some celebrate the traditional summer styles of beer pioneered by early German, Belgian and French farmers. Styles such as saisons, wheats and pilsners, which were brewed to provide a safe source of hydration and nourishment, while being low enough in alcohol that the farmers could keep working.
Other breweries take inspiration from the best that summertime in New Jersey has to offer, with beers meant to be enjoyed while vacationing at the Jersey Shore. Or how about a beer that was brewed as the perfect hiking companion?
We've assembled a list of the best locally brewed summer craft beers. You're bound to find a style you like that complements whatever summer activities you enjoy! Here's to a great summer in New Jersey. Cheers!
Have any other recommendations? Leave them in the comments below.
This ale is meant to be the perfect summer hiking companion. It’s brewed with lemongrass giving it a hint of lemon and a peppery finish that will quench your thirst after a long hike. It’s even named after the Paulinskill trails that run near the brewery. 6.8% ABV.
An ale that goes great with a pork roll, egg and cheese but also great with a summer barbeque (if you’d rather drink it later in the day.) It’s brewed with the best quality malts and fermented with traditional Belgian yeast to give it both fruity and clove notes. 5.0% ABV.
They use German lager yeast and German pale barley, which creates a smooth clean taste that’s also rich in flavor. A moderate dose of noble hops rounds out this very drinkable beer. 6.0% ABV.
It’s a new take on the tart wheat beer style. Hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe hops but with a good amount of tartness to balance it all out. 4.5% ABV.
Simply light, crisp and refreshing it’s a perfect warm weather companion. Enjoy after completing your summer yard work or with a plate wings. In fact, you may be able to find this brew at local Buffalo Wild Wings early this summer. 5.2% ABV.
Similar to a classic European Pilsner, but brewed with the native American grains and hops that were available to early German farmers who brewed this style for themselves. Refreshing with a nice balance of underlying hops and malt. Brewed with maize which adds a distinctive grainy sweetness. 5.6% ABV.
(AKA Prickly Pear Cactus Sour Ale) It’s brewed using prickly pear cactus meat which grows natively near the brewery. Found on top of the dunes on Mount Mitchill in the Atlantic Highlands. The prickly pear gives this sour wheat ale balance and a nice spring vegetable sweetness. 3.9% ABV.
“Helles” mean bright in German and that’s exactly what a summer beer should be. The Hoffmann Helles is easy to drink but with a bready, grainy complexity. 4.6 – 4.8% ABV.
Taking it’s name from the Blondie song this blonde ale (get it?) is light and refreshing with a nice pale color. A dose of Nelson Sauvin dry hop gives it a white wine quality.
They mix their Saison Du Flounder and their Berliner Weisse to make a “nice, thirst quenching, tartly sour, lemon citrus beer.” 4.7% ABV.
Cloud Cover is inspired by the “rustic ales of old world Belgium.” It’s dry and refreshing yet complex. Honoring the old farmhouse brewing traditions while incorporating modern Sorachi Ace hops. Plus orange peel is added to the boil and a touch of coriander too as in a traditional wheat beer. Bright, citrusy, peppery and very refreshing. 4.8% ABV.
A blonde ale with a minty and herbal aroma reminiscent of a fresh cut lawn. It’s subtly sweet, bright, and refreshing with a crisp finish. 4.5% ABV.
One of the biggest New Jersey craft breweries. River Horse pumps out a serious summer blonde ale that is light, refreshing, easy to drink yet complex. Perfect for the warmer months. 4.5% ABV.
A lemony taste of summer. A light, refreshing Hefeweizen. 5.8% ABV.
A Belgian-style wheat ale that is citrusy and refreshing. Summer Catch is Cape May Brewing Company’s new summer seasonal “aimed at the adventurous craft beer drinkers, yet approachable enough to encourage the yet-to-be converted consumer.” So it’s a great place to start if you want to get into local summer beers. 5.5% ABV.
Another one of New Jersey’s Biggest craft breweries, Flying Fish created this lightly filtered ale as a “tribute to the highly drinkable every day beers,” which were pioneered in the French-speaking region of Belgium. The imported Styrian Goldings hops give this ale a subtle earthy and spicy character. 4.6% ABV.
A big part of summer in New Jerse is the boardwalk. And a big part of the boardwalk is the food. This ale with it’s creamy smooth hints of vanilla will make you feel like you’re strolling on the boards. 5.5% ABV.
This modestly hopped amber ale uses six different malts to create an easy drinking summer beer. It’s the perfect beer to unwind with after a long summer day. 5.6% ABV.
Not your typical IPA. Light in color and body, refreshing with citrus notes from the hops, and of course, peach. 6.5% ABV.
This is one of Tomfoolery’s lightest brews “especially made for drinking all summer long.” They use pilsner and Vienna malts and Czech Saaz hops to make this refreshing craft lager. 5.0% ABV.
They sour their dry hopped session ale with lactobacillus, which creates a refreshing beer with a crisp tart finish. 4.0% ABV.
A refreshing wheat beer that’s “the perfect way to cool off after a hard day’s work in the sun.” 4.2% ABV.