Try These Summertime Southern Beers

Margaret Houston
by William Bostwick -

Here are ten Southern beers to look out for this summer

A new crop of seasonal, Southern-brewed craft beer proves great flavor can come from unexpected inspiration—like North Carolina farm-fresh basil, local Mississippi honey, or tropical Florida guava.

Bayou Teche LA-31 Bière Pale
Arnaudville, Louisiana
Bready and smooth like fresh-from-the-oven biscuits and balanced with a slight grassy bitterness, this beer is made to complement the flavors of classic Louisiana dishes like jambalaya or red beans and rice.

Cigar City Guava Grove
Tampa, Florida
The fruited farmhouse ale from this cult favorite Tampa brewery is plenty strong, but cut with tart, tropical notes of guava (it’s fermented with real fruit puree) and the dry kick of Saison yeast.

Coast 32/50 Kolsch
North Charleston, South Carolina
This underrated style—smooth like an ale; dry like a lager—is soft, sweet, and delicate. Serve extra cold and sip from traditional stange glasses, made to hold only a few chilly ounces.

Duck-Rabbit Hoppy Bunny
Farmville, North Carolina
Known for its stouts, Duck-Rabbit brewed its first new bottled release in three years hoppier than any other but just as dark. You’ll see a stout but taste an IPA. Looks can be deceiving—just check out that logo.

Fullsteam Summer Basil
Durham, North Carolina
Born when a Fullsteam brewer livened up a can of Bud with a handful of fresh window-box herbs, Summer Basil gets its unusual lemon-pepper aroma from six pounds of basil per batch, fresh from local farms.

Jester King Le Petit Prince
Austin, Texas
Light and peppery and brushed with the earthy fuzz of the brewery’s trademark farmhouse yeast, this one packs tons of rich flavor into a puny package—the beer’s only 2.9 percent ABV. So sip freely.

Lazy Magnolia Southern Gold
Kiln, Mississippi
A touch of local honey (provided by owner Mark Henderson’s bee-keeping Uncle Milton) gives Southern Gold a sweet, floral aroma and smooth, easy-drinking finish.

Rahr Gravel Road
Fort Worth, Texas
This altbier, an underappreciated style born in Düsseldorf and barely known stateside, is brewed strong but aged cool and long to balance its malty sweetness.

Terrapin Easy Rider
Athens, Georgia
This smooth sailor gets its luxurious body from British Maris Otter malt, and its rich, resinous bitterness from a globe-trotting array of hops, including the hip Galaxy strain, flown in from Down Under.

Yazoo Dos Perros
Nashville, Tennessee
A craft-brew spin on a Mexican lager, Dos Perros is toasty, creamy, and thanks to a touch of corn, light on its feet. Great with tacos.