Westchester A-Listers Select 10 Best Summer Beers

With hundreds of options nationally and some of our state’s best brewers right here in Westchester, picking the right six-pack is no simple task. That’s why we asked 10 local beer aficionados to choose their go-to summer cold one.

The Expert: Brendon O’Brien, Craft Beer Manager, DeCicco’s

The Summer Selection: Hudson Valley Harvest Sour Apricot by Captain Lawrence

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The Expert’s Insight: “Few things are more refreshing than a barrel-aged sour ale in the warm summer months. The beer’s high acidity and ripe fruit quality will keep you reaching for more. Pair with a nice pork tenderloin.”


The Expert: Jason Daniels, COO, Half Time

The Summer Selection: Road Jam by Two Roads

The Expert’s Insight: “It’s a raspberry wheat beer, with red and black raspberries plus a hint of lemongrass. Very sessionable, and perfect for your summer day/backyard barbecue.”

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The Expert: Scott Vaccaro, Founder of Captain Lawrence Brewery

The Summer Selection: (What else?) Effortless Grapefruit by Captain Lawrence Brewery

The Expert’s Insight: “This is the best low-ABV thirst quencher we have. Great for the golf course, beach, or a walk through the woods. Great IPA character and hop flavor with a grapefruit twist to really crank up the thirst quenching properties. Pair it with fish tacos and some guacamole.”

photo courtesy of captain lawrence

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The Expert: Eric Schulman, Owner of Sarene Craft Beer Distributors

The Summer Selection: Optimal Wit by Port City Brewing Company

The Expert’s Insight: “My ideal summer beer evolves in the glass as it inevitably heats from 40°F to 50°F on that hot summer day. Port City Brewing Company’s two-time GABF medal-winning Optimal Wit does just that. Grains of Paradise and coriander make the first sips crisp and peppery. The Spanish orange peel takes over by the last sips, the perfect juicy/citrusy finish.”

photo courtesy of port city

The Expert: Rich Russo, Host of Anything Anything, Sunday Nights on 107.1 The Peak

The Summer Selection: Jammer by Sixpoint

The Expert’s Insight: “My favorite summer brew is Sixpoint’s Jammer, which is very refreshing, and brewed with sea salt, so the initial taste is tart and then it settles in and really feels like summer. It’s something that I would pair with a great barbecue on the beach. It’s just a perfect brew for being outside while the waves are crashing.”

photo courtesy of sixpoint

The Expert: Tim Reinke, co-owner of Birdsall House

The Summer Selection: Oberon by Bell’s

The Expert’s Insight: “Oberon is one of my favorite summer beers. It’s a bright, refreshing, well-balanced beer. At 5.8% ABV, it packs just enough punch, yet it’s still quite sessionable when you’re having more than one.”

photo courtesy of Bell’s

The Expert: Neal Steward, BJCP Recognized Beer Judge

The Summer Selection: Blood Orange Gose by Anderson Valley

The Expert’s Insight: “Gose is fast becoming my favorite beer for summertime. I first experienced this historical style while judging a homebrew competition last year, and had enjoyed three commercial Gose’s from three different breweries within the last two weeks. It is a light-bodied, sour wheat beer that is tart and refreshing on a hot day. Salts from the high mineral content water bring out the flavors.”

photo courtesy of anderson valley

The Expert: Jason Wulff, Owner of DrinkHV.com

The Summer Selection: Czech’rd Past Pilsner by Chatham Brewing

The Expert’s Insight: “It’s only 4.5% ABV, nice and light, crisp, clean, and smooth with just enough hop to keep it interesting. It goes down so easy, it was gone before I finished writing this.”

photo courtesy of chatham brewing

The Expert: Pete Menzies, owner of The Katonah Reading Room

The Summer Selection: Resin by Sixpoint 

The Expert’s Insight: “It’s a double IPA from Brooklyn with a strong hoppy flavor and nice citrus notes. Everything about it is just a little more intense. It’s also in a can, which is great, because there is nothing better than pulling an ice-cold can from a cooler during the heat of summer whether you’re out on a boat, out camping, or poolside. It’s perfection.”

photo courtesy of sixpoint

The Expert: Chris Giardini, bar manager at Growlers Beer Bistro

​The Summer Selection: Lime Zest Gose by Kent Falls Brewing Company

The Expert’s Insight: “Gose is a top-fermented beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. It’s brewed with at least 50 percent of the grain bill being malted wheat. Dominant flavors in Gose include lemon tartness, an herbal characteristic, and a strong saltiness.”

photo courtesy of kent falls

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