Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is one of my guilty pleasures in the summer. Normally, I stay away from beers made by the “big guys,” Leinenkugel’s being under the aegis of SAB Miller, but Summer Shandy calls to me when the weather is hot.
When the craving hit the other day—after spending the better part of a morning and afternoon under the sun in mid-80s temperature—I found something new in the world of shandy…a sampler! On top of being a sampler, it was a twelve pack of cans. Before I had only run across Summer Shandy in bottles or on tap. As the years go by I am increasingly a fan of beer in cans for a number of reasons—the can is opaque so light does not damage the beer, the can is lighter so it costs less in terms of money and energy to ship, the can goes places that bottles cannot, and aluminum is readily recycled.
This particular sampler included three versions of a shandy:
From left to right we have Summer Shandy, Lemon Berry Shandy, and Orange Shandy.
For some reason Summer Shandy hits the spot on a warm evening. At first, I thought that I would detest the combination of beer and lemonade flavor but something about it just works. Considering that the concept exists in forms across Europe and other continents there must be something about the combination that works for a lot of people.
The other two varieties…well, I can best summarize them as beer candy. It was like drinking some neon hued “malt beverage” from the cooler in the corner of the liquor store that should never be visited because it’s the same place where you find Four Loko. Neither of these “beers” are as bad as that insipid swill, but neither will be making a regular appearance in a cooler of mine destined for warm nights. Apparently, Lemon Berry Shandy was almost some kind of apple flavored concoction but I bet that would have conflicted with the introduction of the alcoholic apple juice known as Redd’s Apple Ale.
However, Summer Shandy will keep its treasured place as my guilty pleasure during the summer. It gets even better considering that I can also get 16 ounce cans now.