Warmth is good for tomato plants, not for me. I melt in the summer sun and wilt like a flower in the muggy humidity that’s been plaguing our Dixie these last couple of weeks. When the temperature hits that special threshold that turns you into more moisture than man, it’s time to reach for a cold brew — but which to choose?

San Diego-based Saint Archer has a Ventura connection in the local band Hy Brasil and its cans have become ubiquitous on shelves around the county. The Saint Archer white ale, a wheat beer brewed in the Belgian tradition, packs a lot of flavor into a light, refreshing beer (at 5 percent ABV). Spiced with coriander and fresh orange peel, this brew is best served in the proper glassware, but I wouldn’t blame you for drinking it straight from the can.

Coming soon from Ventura’s Surf Brewery is a grapefruit version of the Wahine wheat ale. Surf’s Wahine has been the canvas for many a fruity experimentation, with a lemon and strawberry version, too. For go-to summer brews, Wahine is a brilliant choice. Also at 5 percent ABV, this’ll be one of those beers that goes fast at summer parties — so make sure to have plenty.

The grapefruit Wahine will more than likely be a tasting-room exclusive, but the standard Wahine wheat ale can be found on local store shelves.

Finally, from just up the road in Santa Barbara (and soon in Westlake Village, stay tuned), Figueroa Mountain offers the combo breaker in its FMB “101.” Coming in at 4.8 percent ABV, this kolsch-style ale has a nice, fruity aroma, is a little sweet and a little bitter. I call it the inner-tubing beer, if only there were water in the rivers nearby.

Look, you don’t have to sit around and melt this summer. Grab a beer or two or several, head to the beach or your backyard and throw back a few while grilling up some burgers. It’s a good time to start the search for your perfect summer brew.


Chris O’Neal misses the winding rivers of the Texas hill country, but will settle for the ocean. Follow him on Instagram @agentoneal.