Motto Pale Ale beer cans

Milwaukee Beers of Summer: 10 Local Options for Warm Weather

When the temps rise, the ABV goes down.

Warmer months require a change in your beer drinking choices. It’s a good idea to lower the ABV and put away the barrel-aged stouts for a few months. There’s a wide variety of styles from local breweries that can help you get through the summer.

Am I Coming In Clear? Saison

➸ Hacienda Beer Co.

The new addition to the Milwaukee beer scene (via Door County) offers this complex saison for warm weather imbibing. It’s dry hopped with Motueka, which adds some tropical fruit flavor, and conditioned with Brett for a hint of funk.

Beercation Dark Mexican Lager

➸ Collaboration between The Fermentorium and Vennture Brew Co.

The collaboration took Fermentorium’s Sombrilla Oscura Dark Lager and added Mexican coffee from Vennture. The result is a dark amber brew with a touch of coffee bite. It adds up to refreshing, and comes in at a reasonable 5.6% ABV.

Harry Cherry Beer Can
Photo courtesy of Broken Bat Brewing

Harry Cherry Hefeweizen

➸ Broken Bat Brewing Co.

Weiss beers are tailor-made for summer. Add Door County cherries to one and you have a winner. The slightly tart finish adds an interesting twist to the standard hefeweizen.

Lemony Wicket Wheat

➸ Urban Harvest Brewing Company

If a shandy is your style of choice during the warmer months, try this wheat ale. It’s made with Meyer lemon zest, which gives it a pop of citrus flavor. And it’s only 5.1% ABV.

Motto Pale Ale beer cans
Photo courtesy of Good City Brewing

Motto Mosaic Pale Ale

➸ Good City Brewing

Summer beer drinking isn’t relegated to lagers and wheat brews. This pale ale is just fine when the temperature heats up. It has a piney citrus hop flavor with a hint of bitterness and a clean, crisp finish.

Patagonian Hitchhiker Lager

➸ Explorium Brewpub

You can’t really go wrong with lagers in the summer, and Patagonian Hitchhiker is a nice representation of the style. Crisp and clean and just 5% ABV make this a good choice while basking in the sun on Explorium’s sprawling patio.

Photo courtesy of Component Brewing

Raspberry Crush Wheat

➸ Component Brewing Co.

Component’s Rose’s Sour isn’t a bad call either, but the nod goes to this red-hued brew. Raspberry is a nice touch to an already refreshing wheat beer. Raspberry Crush weighs in at just 4.7% ABV so you can have a couple without getting groggy in the heat.

Summer Home Hoppy Blonde Ale

➸ Third Space Brewing

Photo courtesy of Third Space Brewing

A light, dry-hopped blonde ale with a hint of bitterness and a low ABV of 4.8%, it comes in a can that’s ideal for cracking after a long day on the lawn or while tailgating on the hot asphalt of the Miller Park lots.

Photo courtesy of Raised Grain Brewing.

Summer Vice Hefeweizen

 Raised Grain Brewing Company

If you don’t care for the addition of cherries and are more traditional when it comes to your hefeweizens, try this option from Raised Grain. It has the clove and banana hints that you expect. And it comes in a can for added convenience.

High Life Lager

➸ Miller Brewing Co.

Beer snobs may scoff at the Champagne of Beers, but on a warm day, an ice cold High Life goes down quickly and smoothly. Does it have a complex flavor profile? No, but that’s OK. The golden brew is crisp, refreshing and unapologetic.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.