Bust out your boom box and load up the cooler: We’re giving you our ultimate summer beer mixtape—that is, summer’s best jams paired with the season’s best beers. Side A is the new stuff and Side B is strictly classics, so turn up the volume, crack one open and get ready to get down.
Song: “What Makes You Beautiful” / One Direction Beer: Samuel Adams Summer Ale
The boy band returns (again?!) in full force with this saccharine pop-ballad, but your beer doesn’t have to be nearly as sticky-sweet; Sam Adams’ summer beer breezes by with just touches of lemon, grains of paradise and wheat tartness.
Song: “Scream” / Usher Beer: New Glarus Totally Naked
Usher’s getting drunk to the thought of his latest club conquest naked; get the same effect by drinking a few Nakeds yourself.
Song: “Somebody That I Used to Know” / Gotye Beer: Napa Smith Cool Brew Hop Ale
This dry-hopped American pale ale leaves a bitter taste in your mouth—just like that summer fling who de-friended you on Facebook.
Song: “Pound The Alarm” / Nicki Minaj Beer: Brooklyn Summer Ale
The queen of Queens and Brooklyn’s gold-and-starry-canned summer ale team up for a dance extravaganza worthy of a New York club.
Song: “Drunk On You” / Luke Bryan Beer: Sweetwater Road Trip Ale
Georgia boy Bryan croons, “I’m drunk on you, high on summertime,” which is perfect for this easy summer beer from the same brewery that brings you 420 Pale Ale.
Song: “Let’s Go” / Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo Beer: Gordon Biersch SommerBrau
You must. Keep. Dancing. But you also need to rehydrate; Gordon Biersch’s crisp kolsch refreshes without weighing you down… those fists don’t pump on their own, you know.
Song: “Gold On The Ceiling” / The Black Keys Beer: New Belgium Somersault
The perfect way to see gold on the ceiling: doing a somersault. Your summer concert mosh moves get kicked up a notch with this annual soft, apricot-edged release.
Song: “The Power” / DJ Fresh feat. Dizzee Rascal Beer: Newcastle Summer Ale
When Rascal says, “Give me something for my beer glass,” we’d say this dry, bitter brew is a the perfect pour; it’s also a U.K. import, just like him.
Song: “Summertime” / DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince Beer: Southampton Keller Pils
Meet Big Willie Style’s demands—“Give me a soft, subtle mix / and if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”—with the gentle bubbles and delicate hops of this classic German style. A traditional, easygoing pilsner without the usual summery adjuncts: That’s the new definition of summer madness.
Song: “Cruel Summer” / Bananarama Beer: Lakefront Wisconsinite
Pegged “The most Wisconsin beer ever,” this German hefeweizen’s brewed with 100% Badger-state-born ingredients. Huge banana notes make it a fit for the 1983 Bananarama hit.
Song: “Saturday In the Park” / Chicago Beer: Goose Island Summertime
People talking, people laughing, a man selling ice cream—and you sipping on this clean kolsch from the band’s own Windy City.
Song: “Summer Girls” / LFO Beer: Shiner Ruby Redbird
New Kids on the Block might’ve had a bunch’a hits, but so has the 103-year-old Spoetzl Brewery—including this grapefruit lager. The late Rich Cronin was pretty particular about his preferences (“Like the color purple, macaroni and cheese / Ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees”), but we’re sure he’d like this ruby-hued ginger-citrus bomb.
Song: “Centerfield” / John Fogerty Beer: Pyramid Curveball
Even with a beat-up glove, a homemade bat and a brand-new pair of shoes, you’ll need a killer curveball to get the MVP title of your office softball team. A round of these floral, perky pours should seal up the votes.
Song: “Summer of ’69” / Bryan Adams Beer: Magic Hat Elder Betty
If you’re reminiscing about graduating before the summer of ’69, we hate to say it, but you’re no spring chicken. No worries, some things are better a little bit elder (berry); the fruit notes in this brew keep things fresh, just like you.
Song: “Stir It Up” / Bob Marley Beer: Summit Summer Ale
Drinking’s a good way to while away your cares, but the dank Mt. Hood and Hallertau hops in Summit’s brand-new seasonal evoke another kind of mind-altering activity.
Song: “Surfin’ U.S.A.” / The Beach Boys Beer: East Coast Beach Haus
Not everybody can have an ocean, but they can have a Beach Haus, a pilsner that’s made on the Jersey Shore but pairs better with baggies and Huarachis than Snooki’s bikini.
Song: “Hot in Herre” / Nelly Beer: Alaskan Summer
If triple-digit heat has you so hot your want to take your clothes off, try a beer first; this golden kolsch from our coldest state will keep the temps low.
Song: “Summer Breeze” / Seals & Crofts Beer: O’Fallon Kite Tail
A summer breeze will blow this Kite’s grainy-sweet smell to your nose; the cream ale’s barely there wheat-tart conclusion will make you feel fine.