Friday, July 23, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol LXIII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the fruity folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you turn all of life's lemons into lemonade.

What the heck is "shandy" anyway? At first blush, it sounds like a description of what I find in my youngest son's diaper following a day of sand eating.


Shandy, or shandygaff, is beer flavoured with ginger beer or ginger ale. Carbonated lemonade or citrus-flavored soda may also be used. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, normally half-and-half. Shandy that is sold canned or bottled is typically much weaker (about one part beer to ten parts soda).

In Germany, this type of drink is called a Radler ( German for "cyclist"). In France, it is called a panaché ("mixed").

In some jurisdictions, the dilution of shandy (and thus its low alcohol content) makes it exempt from the laws that govern alcoholic beverages.

Sounds like a clever way to avoid the revenuers. However, our featured beer this week is not that diluted. It's a shandy made with lemonade that checks in at 4.2% ABV. From Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin we have Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy.

Standard brown bottle. Label follows Leinenkugel's pattern with yellow colors, lemons galore, and a fresh summer look.

Beer Style: Fruit beer

Alcohol by Volume: 4.2%

COLOR (0-2): Very cloudy, yellowish tan. 2

AROMA (0-2): Lemony freshness. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white. Good volume off the pour but fades fast. Lacing would disappoint Saint Paul. 1

TASTE (0-5): Strong lemon flavors from start to finish combined with lighter wheat. Light bodied with a lot of carbonation. Very refreshing and drinkable. 2

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Somewhat hollow. 1

OVERALL (0-6): Another seasonal beer that will definitely not appeal to everyone (I imagine the Nihilist in Golf Pants disapproves). But on those all too infrequent sweltering days of summer, it has its place, especially when consumed outside. It quenches your thirst and makes for a good lawn mowing beer. The carbonation and citrus content mean that you're probably only going to want to quaff a couple at any one sitting, but that one or two will hit the spot. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 11

ADDENDUM: The entire list of Fraters Beer Ratings has been updated at long last. It now includes four-hundred-and-sixty-one beers from around the world and the states.

Nihilist Rebutts (sans graphic): Actually, I find Chad's comment about this beer having it's place on a sweltering summer day to be spot on. On a recent golf trip, I successfully fought off the heat with a few Summer Shandys. It was far more flavorable than the dull alternatives at the clubhouse bar after the exhausting labor of pushing a tee into the ground.