The best beer cans for summer: Ten top picks for your beer cooler

Upgrade your beer cooler with these picnic-friendly craft-beer cans, including session beers, easy-swilling lagers, IPAs, pils and more.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Narragansett Lager
    There’s no shame in reaching for an easy, all-American lager when the sun’s beating down on you: This New England classic bests its nostalgia-baiting competition (PBR, Genesee) with a crisp, smooth body and dry finish. • Available at Growler Station, 26 W 8th St between Fifth Ave and MacDougal St (212-777-2337, growler-station.com/nyc). 16-ounce can $1.39.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    21st Amendment Bitter American
    Coming in at just 4.4 percent alcohol by volume (Bud is 5 percent), this citrusy pale ale drinks like a bold, hops-forward West Coast IPA. • Available at Whole Foods Market Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320, wholefoodsmarket.com). 12-ounce can $2.99.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
    Citrusy, herbal hops ride a malt backbone in this IPA: While the pine aroma makes us yearn for a forest romp, the beer goes down just fine on an Alphabet City rooftop as well. • Available at Good Beer, 422 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-677-4836, goodbeernyc.com). 16-ounce can $2.99.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Avery Brewing Co. Ellie’s Brown Ale
    We think a beer can sporting a handsome chocolate Lab earns its reputation as a good cookout brew by default. This silky American brown ale happens to taste delicious too, packed with chocolatey, nutty malts that pair nicely with a spread of grilled meats. • Available at the Cannibal, 113 E 29th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-686-5480, thecannibalnyc.com). 12-ounce can $4.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Sly Fox Pikeland Pils
    For picnic-blanket boozing, we favor this Pennsylvania brewery’s classic Northern German–style pilsner—a fine showcase for the style’s spicy hops and refreshing dryness. • Available at Whole Foods Market Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320). 12-ounce can $2.99.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Wells Bombardier
    Leave the Carling to the lager louts: If warm weather makes you think of lawn games and cricket matches, you’ll want to pack a proper British ale like Bombardier—a rich, malty sipper with hints of dark fruit and peppery spice. • Available at the Cannibal, 113 E 29th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-686-5480). 16-ounce can $5.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cisco Brewers Whale’s Tale Pale Ale
    Inspired by English brewing traditions, this beer dials back the hops to showcase its bready malt backbone, with mild bitterness providing just the right balance to the sweetness. • Available at Whole Foods Market Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320). 12-ounce can $2.99.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Stevens Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat
    While it’s easy-drinking enough to fuel a game of sloshball in the park, the creamy mouthfeel and slightly fruity twang of this wheat beer will keep you interested as the day wears on. • Available at Growler Station, 26 W 8th St between Fifth Ave and MacDougal St (212-777-2337, growler-station.com/nyc).  12-ounce can $1.89.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Yoho Tokyo Black
    For those cooler evenings when you crave a moodier beer to savor as the sun goes down, reach for this velvety, English-style porter from Japan’s Yoho Brewery. While the predominant flavors call to mind dark chocolate and espresso, a background note of mildly floral hops helps keep the intensity in check. • Available at Bierkraft, 191 Fifth Ave between Berkeley Pl and Union St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-7600, bierkraft.com). 12-ounce can $6.50.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Sixpoint Apollo
    The Sixpoint team leverages the expertise of German brewmaster Jan Matysiak for its summer seasonal, a refreshing pale wheat beer made with Bavarian yeast. The all-white tall boys make a statement in your cooler, and the brew itself is equally arresting—tart and lemony, with lightly prickly acidity that cleanses the palate and keeps you coming back for more. • Available at Eastern District, 1053 Manhattan Ave between Eagle and Freeman Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-349-1432, easterndistrictny.com). Four-pack of 16-ounce cans $12.75.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Narragansett Lager
There’s no shame in reaching for an easy, all-American lager when the sun’s beating down on you: This New England classic bests its nostalgia-baiting competition (PBR, Genesee) with a crisp, smooth body and dry finish. • Available at Growler Station, 26 W 8th St between Fifth Ave and MacDougal St (212-777-2337, growler-station.com/nyc). 16-ounce can $1.39.

It’s been happening for a while now: Craft-beer producers have been opting for beer cans over bottles. Back in 2011, when Sixpoint first launched its “nanokegs” (beer cans, for the uninitiated), brewery founder Shane Welch explained to TONY the environmental benefits of canning and noted that because they are sealed without any trapped air, the contents are less likely to go stale. Either way, it doesn’t hurt that beer cans are easier to toss into a beer cooler filled with ice or tuck into a brown paper bag. Here are our favorite ten beer cans to tote to a picnic, barbecue or rooftop party this summer.

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