Beer of the Weekend #843: Summer Shandy

Wheat beers fell out of my drinking rotation a while ago and I think it is high time I bring them back. Therefore, I have decided to dedicate August to wheat beers.

First up is something I have seen advertised almost ad nauseam for months: Summer Shandy, brewed by the Leinenkugel Brewing Company of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

The color is cloudy, bright gold. A finger of tight, buttery head leaves a skim and collar of foam. The aroma is reminiscent of lemonade and Sprite. It is soft and inviting; it smells like a refreshing summertime beverage—with alcohol! By comparison, though, the flavor is a disappointment; it is not as invigorating or refreshing as the aroma. It tastes flat. The lemonade and soda characters are present but relegated to the background. What is most prominent is something akin to malt beer or a subpar wheat beer. The lemonade flavor gradually becomes stronger as the beer warms, but it is still overshadowed by the dominant wheat beer flavor. It is better straight out of the bottle and is a pale comparison to Stiegl’s lemon radler, which quenched my thirst at a hot and humid Iowa Cubs game a few weeks ago.

Fun facts about Summer Shandy:

• Style: Fruit/vegetable beer.

• Price: $7.99 for a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles at the Drug Town at First and Rochester in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 4.2 percent.

• IBU: 11.

• Ironically, Summer Shandy’s availability—March through August—means it is available longer in the spring than in the summer.

The Quiet Man’s grade: C.

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