Seven refreshing craft brews to get you through the summer

Summer calls for a special kind of beer, here are seven great ones to choose from

We survived the last heat wave of spring, and summer is officially kicking off in Los Angeles this holiday weekend with countless backyard BBQs, picnics, pool parties and camping trips. You don’t always want to lug bottles of craft beer to your summer activities, but thankfully there are now more canned craft options than ever before. Here are seven suggestions for perfect summer-styles all from California breweries and all available in cans.

Hangar 24 Helles An alternative to the classic pilsner, the helles is a pale lager with a sweet malt character and just enough hops to keep the beer interesting. Hangar 24’s version is excellent and available in 12-packs to make filling the cooler with refreshing craft beers easy.

Anchor California Lager A recreation of a historic California beer dating back to the Gold Rush, Anchor’s California Lager is light and slightly sweet with a distinct grainy character. The brew was just launched in cans, and Anchor is celebrating by donating a portion of sales from the beer to California's state parks.

Golden Road 329 Days of Sun The home-grown L.A. option for canned craft lager is the new 329 Days of Sun from Golden Road Brewing. The sub-5% alcohol beer splits the difference between a German helles and the Mexican lagers so loved in Los Angeles, and the brew is available in 6-packs and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans.

21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon This polarizing wheat beer from San Francisco’s lauded 21st Amendment features fresh watermelon added to secondary fermentation. The results are crisp and refreshing, though some find the beer off putting and rind-y. My favorite trick is to make a shandy with 2/3 wheat beer and 1/3 lemon-lime soda. Now that’s refreshing.

Firestone Walker 805 The big brewery on the Central Coast is getting even bigger, and it's recently added a canning line to package its local-favorite 805 blonde ale. The blonde is freakishly popular in its home area code (805, natch) and the brewers have expanded the brand south. It’s light, fruity, and 12-packs should be hitting the L.A.-area soon.

Figueroa Mountain FMB 101 Another growing brewery in the 805, Fig Mountain has also added a canning line and is launching a new canned Kolsch beer in June. The brew is a hybrid style that combines the clean finish of a lager with the lightly fruity aromas of an ale. While it won’t make it in time for Memorial Day, keep your eyes out for six-packs of FMB 101 for the Fourth of July.

Ballast Point Even Keel Want some hops? The San Diego mega-brewery has just rebranded its Even Keel pale ale as a session IPA (they’re so hot right now) and canned the hoppy brew. Call it craft’s version of “lite beer”; Even Keel has all the hop flavor and aroma you need to pair with spicy grilled foods, but it’s only 3.8% alcohol so you can crush a few cans in a sitting.

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