Brew Review

The Six Best Craft Beers for Summer and Where to Get Them in Metro Phoenix

The Six Best Craft Beers for Summer and Where to Get Them in Metro Phoenix
Dave Clark
Summer is officially upon us, which means it's time to break out the light, crisp, summer brews. We've rounded up six craft beers that should be in your fridge, cool box, or pint glass right now.

PC Pils is the summer seasonal from Founders Brewing Company. - DAVE CLARK
PC Pils is the summer seasonal from Founders Brewing Company.
Dave Clark
Founders PC Pils
Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, Michigan
5.5% ABV, 45 IBU

Pleasantly crisp and perfectly clean, PC Pils is an American take on the classic European Pilsner style that replaces traditional floral hop characteristics with a citrus-meets-pine character. While Noble hops of Germany and the Czech Republic have been the preferred choice of Pilsner brewers for centuries, Founders put an American spin on this brew by using some of the most popular American varieties for their blend of piney Chinook, citrusy Cascade,and orange-like Centennial. American hops, by nature, tend to be a little more aggressive with a bigger feel than their European counterparts, and their use in this beer, along with its above average ABV of 5.5%, give it an initial "bigger than pilsner" sensation that quickly fades into the familiar pilsner crisp, clean finish. 

Find it in Phoenix: Available in 15 packs, PC Pils is perfect for that weekend outdoor activity and can be found at Total Wine or at any of these craft-centric bottle shops.

Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen
Schofferhofer Brewing Company, Germany
2.9% ABV

Schofferhofer claims to produce the world’s first hefeweizen grapefruit beer, and we're not here to argue. Best served cold, it’s a true 50/50 blend of Schofferhofer Hefeweizen and carbonated juice, which results in a low ABV of 2.9%. The grapefruit provides a zesty, tart character that works well with the traditional banana and clove of hefeweizen. This is a refreshing, easy-drinking, lighter-bodied wheat beer that is perfect for sipping throughout a hot, sunny afternoon.

Find it in Phoenix: Find Schofferhofer in many grocery stores; it's almost always in stock at Sprouts Farmers Markets or grab one at Brat Haus, 3622 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

Mexican Amber Lager is a refreshing local summer beer that's hand-crafted in Tempe. - PEDAL HAUS BREWERY
Mexican Amber Lager is a refreshing local summer beer that's hand-crafted in Tempe.
Pedal Haus Brewery
Mexican Amber Lager
Pedal Haus Brewery, Tempe
4.4% ABV, 18 IBU

Also known as an Austrian Vienna lager, a reference to the birthplace of the style, most "Vienna" lagers are now produced in Mexico. As the story goes, when Mexico won its independence, Maximilian proclaimed himself Emperor of Mexico and, like many of the Europeans who had migrated into Mexico, he craved the taste of familiar beers from his homeland, Vienna. This particular lager is made right in Tempe by brewmaster Derek "Doc" Osborne. It is a fantastic beer for hot Arizona summer days, and pairs especially well with food as the hops and carbonation act as a natural palate cleanser making every bite taste like the first. Try it with saucy meat, chicken, and pork, or good old-fashioned red-sauce Italian food.

Find it in Phoenix: Go to the source, Pedal Haus at 730 South Mill Avenue in Tempe.



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Dave is a certified cicerone and former professional brewer. When he's not doing something beer-related, Dave enjoys writing, listening to, and performing music, hiking, skiing, and watching baseball.
Contact: Dave Clark