Rosé may have gained the nickname “summer water” over the past few years, but if you ask us, there are few things more quintessentially summer than that first sip of a cold beer on an 80-degree day. Cheapies like Miller Lite and Corona have their own time and place (like the back of a boat, an afternoon tailgate, just before your burger at a friend’s barbecue, just to name a few), but for serious beer lovers, spending the summer sampling seasonal beers at Pittsburgh’s best breweries sounds like a mini vacation in itself. Here are the season’s most exciting brews — and where you’ll find us sipping them.

Dancing Gnome’s Lustra

via Brew Collar Guys

These guys are turning out some spectacular IPAs with usually two or three on tap, but their canned Lustra cans has our heart.  This crisp, citrus-y pale ale is like a craft beer version of the summer beers of years gone by. Dancing Gnome describes the flavor as “intense tropical and citrus fruit aromas and a clean fruity bitterness,” and the toasty wheat flavor brings it back down to earth. This is one that we’re thinking even the non-beer-lovers in your group will enjoy.

Where to find it: Dancing Gnome brewery, Independent Brewing Co., Merchant Oyster Co.

Grist House’s WIT-tastic Voyage 

via Untappd

This witbier is packed with summery citrus notes with the zest of over 250 oranges in each brewing.  Grist House  notes the ‘orange zest and white pepper dominate the nose and its dry, yet spritzy mouthfeel bring you back to take the ride all over again.’ And we know we will be tempted to skip the glass and go straight for a whole growler full on our porch with this one.

Where to find it: Grist House brewery

Hitchhiker Brewing Co.’s The Barbarian 

This IPA is a signature year-round at Hitchiker Brewing Co., but we think it’s perfect for summer if you’re the type who never really strays far from the IPA path. Notes of papaya, candied orange, grapefruit zest, peach and green pepper sound like a cookout in a glass, and the 7.6% ABV will have you feeling relaxed and weekend-ready in just a few sips.

Where to find it: Hitchhiker Brewing Co.,

Eleventh Hour’s Things Remote Oyster Stout

Brewed as a collaboration with Merchant Oyster Co., this intimidatingly coastal beer is not at all as scary as it sounds. Over 40 pounds of oyster shells were added to the boil to give it just a faint, salty finish, but the sweet stout base makes it totally easy to sip. This one is a great summer brew for hardcore beer lovers and weekend warriors alike.

Where to find it: Eleventh Hour brewery, or, the Whale, Merchant Oyster Co.

Roundabout Brewery’s Coconut Porter

via Anthony C. on Foursquare


Don’t let the coconut in the name fool you: this isn’t your typical vacation drink. The notes of dark chocolate in this heavy porter make it taste like a dessert in the form of a beer, but the coconut flavor gives it just the right amount of summer-ready drinkability.  If the dark beers aren’t your thing, their year-round Ginga Wheat is always a strong move.

Where to find it: Roundabout Brewery, Independent Brewing Co.