Even after the pandemic changed pretty much everything, some things remain the same. Summer's still hot. BBQs are still awesome. And you and your friends need new, exciting ways to socialize. 

While COVID-19 makes some activities hard (or impossible) to access, it also gives us an unprecedented opportunity to rethink classic fun-time traditions. Take, for instance, the backyard BBQ: Social-Distancing Edition. It's a chance to grab some drinks, chill with a few friends, and embrace Ontario's summer season. 

The LCBO is right there with you and they've announced tons of new craft beers and ciders (all local, of course). To add a unique flair to your next BBQ, whether it be a birthday, Taco Tuesday, or just a fun gathering, mix and match some of these amongst your crew and see what everyone prefers with their food. You've got all summer to tackle this list and try different grilling and beverage combos, so pace yourselves! 

1. Soak up some sun and sip on Eden Grove Hibiscus Blossom Cider

Mellow yet floral, Hibiscus Blossom Cider gets you in the mood to take in some summer rays. Perfect for relaxing with your crew, this fizzy drink's smooth flavours make it a wonderful aperitif. 

2. Crack open a Lo Viste Mojito Sour and dive into some meaningful convos

Just because we're social distancing, doesn't mean we can't still connect. Bring your pals together over a Lo Viste Mojito Sour by Left Field Brewery. Its tangy twist on the classic mojito will help you reminisce and celebrate the future. 

3. Fire up the grill while enjoying a Bellwoods Brewery Roman Candle

The Roman Candle is actually the first-ever IPA made by this Toronto brewery. A true taste of summer, it hints at melon and pineapple and balances its medium-body with a fresh finish. As you get the grill goin', this drink will leave you delighted.

4. Munch on a summer salad with a Shubie Sour Raspberry IPA in hand

Crafted by Wellington Brewery, the Shubie Sour Raspberry IPA is everything you love about zesty and fruity flavours. Crunch on your leafy greens and stay refreshed with this delicious beverage. Want an extra kick of flavour? Try using a raspberry salad dressing for an awesome brew and grub combo. Make sure you keep a can on hand for eating ribs later on. 

5. Embrace your vegan virtues as you crack open a Hazy Pale Ale 

Created by the Lake of Bays Brewing Company, the Hazy Pale Ale pairs perfectly with all kinds of BBQ. Chances are some of your gang are vegan — so give them a meal and drink pairing they'll remember. With hints of coconut and mango balanced by grapefruit and tangerine, this fizzy treat goes great with grilled veggies. For an extra edge, serve it alongside grilled pineapple for an invigorating piña colada-style taste. 

6. Chew the fat with friends while you savour Beau's Juiced Up Pale Ale

Looking to grill up some steaks or brats? Whatever meat you want to sizzle will pair splendidly with Beau's Juiced Up Pale Ale. The classic beer flavours balance out the strong textures in meats. Let the fizzy refreshment whet your appetite as the meal gets going. 

7. Refresh between courses with Bench Brewing Green Fields Sour

Filled up on some great BBQ eats? Want to keep going? Try the bold yet refreshing tangy fruit tastes of the Green Fields Sour. The tart fruits balance with bitterness from the hops to completely cleanse your palate. Now you're ready to go in for some more grilled goodness. 

8. Gear up for dessert with Muskoka Tread Lightly Lager

After a day in the hot sun and tons of good grub, your crew is probably settling down. Try Muskoka Tread Lightly Lager as a way to cool off and enjoy the sunset. With powerful malt flavours and a citrusy yet hoppy finish, it's a great way to ready yourself for what comes next: dessert. You can drink this lager with fresh fruit or heavier starches. So kick back, sip away, and explore how this lager can bring out the real essence of your treats. 

9. Say thanks to your host with Steam Whistle Session Lager

The pandemic means social distancing, not forgetting our BBQ etiquette. Don't forget to thank your host for throwing a fun backyard BBQ. Offer them some Steam Whistle Session Lager. Light yet full-flavoured, this brew throws in spicy tones with a slight edge towards fruit. It goes well with everything, especially friends, so it's an excellent way to say thanks. 

10. Relax and unwind from an awesome day with Amsterdam Fria Cervesa

As you know, all good things come to an end. But that doesn't mean you can't ring it in with a smile on your face and a drink in hand. Try the Amsterdam Fria Cervesa, made right here in Ontario. Hints of zesty lime let this bubbly beverage dance on your tongue. Cheers with your buddies to a night well spent as you watch the stars begin to shine.  

11. Celebrate change with Somersby Spritz Cider

As you wrap up the evening and your guests depart, you're probably noticing how different things are nowadays. Different, but good in their own way. Celebrate that change with the crisp flavours of Somersby Spritz Cider. It's reminiscent of old flavours yet crisp and modern. This cider pairs best with a smile and some wonderful memories. Savour its unique flavours and be thankful for great friends and the freedom to throw a BBQ: Social-Distancing Edition. 

So, now you've got a whole bunch of inspiration for your summer BBQ. Whether you're the host or guest, these locally brewed beers and ciders help make your event one to remember.

With the sun beaming down at everyone, don't forget to stay hydrated either! If you're tired of gulping down water to quench your thirst, the LCBO actually offers great non-alcoholic options that you can check out right here

Check out the drink selection at your local LCBO (the go-to spot for tasty drinks and Ontario-brewery pride). Looking for an easy way to shop? Discover their convenient shopping options like same-day pickup (at select locations). 

Life is about experiences, so embrace the season, grab some refreshing beverages, and BBQ to your heart's content. Celebrate summer — you deserve it!

To discover more tasty drinks, check out the LCBO website or download the app to prepare for your next summer get-together. 

Please drink responsibly.
 
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