Photo: Peter Dazeley (Getty Images)
Sunburns hurt. While aloe vera might help, the best pain reliever is an ice-cold
beer. Like sunburns, summer beers come in a variety of hues (but are far more pleasant). That’s why we paired them with your severity of sunburn, from pasty to scorched. Drink to numb the pain now, but remember to apply sunscreen next time! You shouldn’t have to suffer just for an excuse to drink.
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Pasty (Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty)
The first warm, sunny day is no good for the fair-skinned. That’s because you are bound to be as pasty as possible. This almost translucent look begs for Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty, a light beer that doesn’t feel like a light beer. It’s 4 percent ABV with low calories and low carbs, but it has a huge hop presence and hints of monk fruit and malts.
Photo: Dogfish Head
Pale (Half Acre Daisy Cutter)
The pale sunburn is just a hint over pasty. It’s obvious that you’ve been outside in the sun for at least a few minutes. Maybe you walked to your car or perhaps you sat under an umbrella for 10 minutes. You’re on your way to an actual tan, which pairs well with a pale ale like Daisy Cutter Half Acre. This 5.2 percent ABV brew has subtle hints of citrus, pine, and tropical fruits.
Photo: Half Acre
Light Tan (Boulevard 80 Acre)
This 5.5 percent ABV hoppy wheat beer is light and refreshing with a sweet, subtly hoppy flavor. It's perfectly paired with a subtle, light tan, the kind you get when you mow the lawn or sit on the deck after dinner. This the kind of tan where your coworkers on Monday say something like, “Someone got some sun this weekend.”
Medium Tan (Two Roads Two Juicy)
This is the optimum level of tan. If you reach this level, everyone knows you have a tan, but nobody is concerned about your health. A nice medium tan pairs well with a New England-Style IPA like Two Roads Two Juicy, a juicy, hazy, brew. At 8.2 percent ABV, this unfiltered IPA is well balanced with Hallertauer Blanc, Citra & Mandarina Bavaria hops.
Photo: Two Roads
Dark Tan (Surly Bender)
If you’ve reached this level of tan, you’re getting into risky territory. People are going to ask if you need aloe or lotion. It’s also probably time to go inside and watch some Netflix or dress yourself like Marlon Brando in
The Island of Doctor Moreau to avoid the inevitable sunburn. Pair this cautionary level with a Surly Bender. This 5.5 percent brown ale is perfectly balanced. At first, it’s refreshing and full of hop flavor, but like a tan, it gets darker as it goes along. Photo: Surly
Burnt (Brooklyn Black Ops)
Nobody likes a sunburn. We all want to get as close as possible without actually burning. But, like Icarus, we all fly a little too close to the sun and end up burnt. You know what else is burnt (well, actually charred)? Ex-bourbon barrels. That’s why the best beer to pair with a sunburn is a barrel-aged beer like Brooklyn Black Ops. The beer was aged in bourbon barrels before being refermented with Champagne yeast. The result is rich, smooth, velvety beer with hints of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla.