Ah, August. The temperatures reach their most sweltering. We realize summer is absolutely flying by and rush to fit in all the beach-ing, barbecue-ing, road-trip-ping, festival-ing, and general outdoor hang-ing that we can. But there’s something else about August: peaches.
That’s right, August is National Peach Month, and it’s a logical celebration. Peaches are in season from June until the end of August--their peak is any summer lover or school kid’s peak, too, basically. That explains why peaches just taste like summer. The more you think about a perfect peach, the more you realize what a superior fruit it is, from its balance of sweetness and tartness to its soft, juicy, just-a-bit-of-bite texture. Before you know it, you’re daydreaming about everything from how lovely a bowl of peaches looks on a summertime table scape to how good one tastes on its own to oh, yes, pies and galettes and tarts and cakes and ice cream parfaits and teas and…beers, of course! You know we had to bring it back to beers, silly.
But before we get to what we would argue is the good stuff, some peach facts--we gotta give this fruit its full moment in the sun, right? According to Britannica, it’s thought that peaches originated in China and spread through Asia to Mediterranean countries and the rest of Europe. Spanish explorers brought them to the New World, and there are records of peach trees in Mexico as early as 1600. However, commercial peach-growing didn’t get going until the 19th century, in the United States. The US is still one of the world’s major peach producers, along with China, Italy, and Spain.
Peach trees tend to need to be replanted in orchards every eight to 10 years but may grow good peaches up to 20 or so years, which makes them shorter-lived than many other fruit trees. Peaches are also persnickety and only like warm weather, not even mild-winter-warm, so that explains their fleeting perfection every summer.
Because you really want to make the most out of short-and-sweet peach season, it’s a great time to incorporate the delicious fruit into as many recipes as possible. They’re as good on their own, of course, but also bring so much to other ingredients. This Food & Wine collection of peach recipes is a great place to start, with gems like buttermilk biscuit peach cobbler; grilled peach, onion, and bacon salad; Georgia peach pie, peach-and-blackberry crisp; sweet peach olive oil cake; chilled peach soup with fresh goat cheese; Vietnamese peach relish; jerk-smoked duck with peach barbecue sauce; peach chutney; and butter pecan cookie and peach ice cream sandwiches.
And of course you’ll need peach drinks for the peach fun, whether you’re just planning to have the dreamiest meal possible on any old summer evening or want to plan a whole peach-themed dinner party. Whether beer or hard seltzer or cider is your favorite, we’ve got some peachy-keen options.
Oyster Bay Brewing Company Summer Peach Wheat Ale
Brewed with, well, wheat, wheat ales have this already lovely, refreshing base that’s crisp and full of wheaty, sweet-grainy, lightly bready flavor while remaining quite light--aka, a perfect hot-day style. Fruity notes like orange peel up the thirst-quenching ante with irresistible flavor. Oyster Bay Brewing Company made their wheat ale special with bright, sweet, juicy, tart peach, essentially creating the ultimate summer delight.
Jack’s Hard Cider Peach
Hand-crafted and pressed on-site, Jack’s Hard Cider takes the natural sweet, tart, bright, funky, dry, crisp, juicy flavors of seasonal fruit and cans them for instant and effortless enjoyment. Their peach variety blends peaches at the height of their ripe perfection with local apples for a truly next-level cider.
TrimTab Brewing Co. Martin Denny Complex Peach & Passionfruit Imperial Sour Ale
This dose of peachy summer enjoyment goes out to all the dedicated beer geeks, as well as those of us who just want something fruity, fresh, and absolutely bursting with flavor. TrimTab takes their genius bright, tart, acidic, funky, sweet sour-ale magic, turns up the volume by going “imperial,” and does it all with passionfruit and peach so you don’t even have to bother making a cocktail to unlock instant mental-tropical-vacation vibes.
Wicked Weed Marina Sour Ale
Wicked Weed became a beer lover’s favorite by proving what beautiful things that team can do with the natural goodness of fruit, creating uniquely complex and harmonious brews with tools like barrel-aging. Their sours are at once celebrations of the fruit at hand and also rich explorations of what happens when you combine, say, citrusy tartness with boozy-sweet warmth. Marina is a sour ale aged in wine barrels over one pound per gallon of apricots and peaches. This is a special-occasion stunner, or the perfect beer to make any ol’ summer night a special occasion in a snap.
NOCA Beverages Peach Bubble-Free Boozy Water
NOCA’s priority is full-flavor beverages that are so light and refreshing, you don’t even have to worry about some of the heaviness that can sometimes come with carbonation. Their bubble-free boozy waters zero in on fruity flavor, balance, and thirst-quenching goodness without a hint of after-effects. And, that wonder comes in peach! It’s hard to think of anything more easy-drinking. Check it out with their other flavors in a beach-ready variety pack.
Wild Ohio Brewing Wild Ohio Peach
Wild Ohio brews up natural magic by fermenting dreamy teas for an effervescent drink that sings with fruity, botanical flavors and aromas. Their Wild Ohio Peach is made with sweet peach tea, and not only is it a sip-all-day must-have on its own, but it’s also a game-changing base for endless cocktails.
The Rare Barrel Yee-Haw Friday Golden Sour Beer
This is another special one, made with a variety of gorgeous ingredients and different innovative-meets-traditional brewing processes to culminate in a beer the likes of which you’ve probably never before tasted. The Rare Barrel’s Yee-Haw Friday is a Golden Sour Beer aged in oak barrels with pineapple, strawberry, cherry, blood orange, raspberry, nectarine, and yes, peach. Because peaches also play well with others! And this beer is proof.
Jungle Tea Peach Mango Hard Tea
If you’re in LA, beat the heat with the “super clean buzz” of Jungle Tea’s hard tea, made with antioxidants and probiotics. And be sure to celebrate the season with the Peach Mango variety, a true fruity treat that feels light and refreshing.
Breckenridge Brewery Palisade Peach Wheat
Here we have another simply perfect American wheat ale, elevated to even more perfect heights with the gotta-have-it flavors and aromas of peaches. If you’re in Denver, don’t miss the Palisade Peach Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery.
Crooked Stave Peachy Sour
If you’re in Miami, picture lounging poolside, walking alongside the beach, or bringing more flavor to any friend hang with this “Peachy Sour” from the brilliant minds at Crooked Stave. This bright sour ale is brewed with Colorado-grown peaches, local to the brewery, and has definite summer-in-a-can status.
Sloop Brewing Co. Sauer Peach Berliner Weisse-Style Sour Ale
Nashville beer enthusiasts and summer sippers, catch some of the goodness coming out of upstate New York’s Sloop Brewing Co. with this standout Berliner Weisse-style sour ale, the Sauer Peach. It’s made with sweet peach nectar, and then the wonders of Berliner Weisse brewing and its natural sour culture kick in to open up that sweetness with a complex bouquet of flavors and aromas.