Summer is many things: blazing hot days that warp the bitumen; idyllic, warm afternoons; and nights that never drop below T-shirt weather. Each occasion invites a different experience. Here’s a guide to some of the best beers to match ideal summer occasions.

Occasion: after the beach
Beer: James Squire Swindler Summer Ale

James Squire’s Swindler Summer Ale has notable summer-friendly characteristics such as watermelon and tropical fruit on a subtle malt base. With a relatively low ABV of 4.2 per cent, and an easy-drinking feel, the brightness of The Swindler makes it an ideal beer for a relaxing, post-swim fish-and-chips session.

Occasion: watching the cricket
Beer: Stone and Wood Green Coast Lager

Relaxing in a comfy, shaded chair and settling in to watch someone else exert themselves is a timeless Australian tradition. Beer can help. Stone and Wood’s Green Coast Lager offers a malt-forward, European-style lager with a slight herbal character and subtle hop finish. Ideal for washing down whatever snacks are in arms reach.

Occasion: evening barbeques
Beer: 4 Pines Stout

It may shock you to learn not just any beer is appropriate for barbeque. You want something with a malt body big enough to stand up to the meat’s caramelisation. 4 Pines Stout is toasty enough to go with any barbequed meats without being too overpowering. Its modest ABV also makes it a perfectly quaffable option for simply standing around and watching meat cook.

Occasion: picnic
Beer: Little Creatures, Dog Days Summer Beer

More craft beers are being packaged in cans than ever before to provide freshness and portability. Little Creatures’ Dog Days Summer Beer has fruit hop aromas that marry perfectly with the wheat malt, making it a tasty option to enjoy while sprawled on the grass with friends, soaking in the sun’s rays.

Occasion: sunset on the patio
Beer: Feral, War Hog Imperial IPA

Much like its little brother, Hop Hog, Feral’s War Hog IPA bursts from the glass with flavours of mango, passionfruit, pineapple, tropical fruit and hop resin, but in a much bolder 8 per cent package. A good one to sit on over time outside under the stars.

This article is part of the Summer Craft Beer Quarterly presented in partnership with James Squire.

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