There’s nothing like Summer in Chicago. It’s festival, beach and grilling season, all rolled into one. And what goes with all those things? A crisp, delicious summer beer. So what beers should you grab for this year’s Fourth of July backyard BBQ? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite seasonal beers from local breweries that go perfectly with all sorts of dishes that you’re firing up over the grill.
(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Akari Shogun
4257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 248-4038

When summer arrives, so too does the Akari Shogun beer at the craft brewery in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. The American Wheat beer has a 5.5 percent ABV, and with its lemony-citrus notes, it’s perfect to sip on during a hot Fourth of July night. Pair it with items off the grill — particularly with a lamb burger, for one. And since it comes in a can, it’s easy to get it and keep it cool.

Heavenly Helles
1480 Industrial Drive
Itasca, IL 60143

If you’re looking for a beer to pair with that traditional burger, look no further than the award-winning Heavenly Helles, a lager from Church Street Brewing. The carbonation of the German beer pairs deliciously with the hearty flavors of the meat and the sweet malty flavor of the beer also helps balance the flavors out. The Helles Lager may originally hail from Germany, but Church Street has a pitch-perfect rendition of this flavorful beer that ends on a crisp note — perfect for a summer night.

Escapist IPA
Temperance Beer Co.
2000 W. Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 864-1000

Grab a growler to go from one of this charming brewery in Evanston. The brewery may be only open two days a week, but it’s worth the trip. For a seasonal beer, well matched for the flavors of the summer, go for the saison with local honey. The refreshing flavors of the 6.1 percent beer also have a bit of a bite with a peppery sweetness that is well matched to all sorts of charred meats and vegetables. While the saison is only available in the warmer months, another great option for your Fourth of July barbecue is the Escapist IPA. Available year-round, it offers just the right amount of hops, and it works well with burgers with lots of toppings, like grilled onions and bacon. (Temperance also offers a few canned beers).

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(Photo Credit: Two Brothers Brewing Company's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Facebook)

Dog Days Dortmunder Style Lager
Two Brothers
30w315 Calumet Ave. W.
Warrenville, IL 60555
(630) 393-2337

With the dry and bitter finish from Two Brother’s seasonal Dog Days Dortmunder Style Lager, this beer pairs well with the lighter fare on your Independence Day barbecue spread. Think of it as your aperitif of the barbecue — a good drink to start with, with its light body and grassy hops. Drink it while enjoying a salad or seafood at the beginning of a meal, or end the night with it, when enjoy a cobbler dessert.

Bottom Up Wit
Revolution Brewing
3340 N. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 588-CANS

While it’s hard to go wrong with any of the seasonal beers (or year-round beers for that matter) at Revolution Brewery, if it’s something you’re looking forward to enjoying during a barbecue, pick up some Bottom Up Wit. The 5.0 percent ABV beer is Belgian style and offers some wonderful citrus notes thanks to orange peel and ground coriander. The light golden beer is like Summer in a bottle.

Related: Best Bars For Craft Beer Aficionados In Chicago

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at