24 May 2013

WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 24 May 2013 - Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

I’ve never been known for featuring a traditional seasonal beer at the appropriate time on the WILK Friday BeerBuzz…and while sometimes I just prefer to fly in the face of convention, every so often it just seems like we should do it right.  Today we chose to feature a traditional summer beer, with some really interesting historical roots and sample it right as summer appears to be reaching Northeastern PA.

Our beer today was Leinenkugel’s Summer Shady…and I know before I even type that and before I even speak those words on the radio, the craft-beer and anti-Shandy Armies are amassing at my borders…but wait before you slaughter me for featuring such a beer.

First off, realize that the shandy style dates back to 1922 in Germany.  Based on the German Radler, the story goes that a group of cyclists entered a pub in Germany to enjoy a few beers.  Not wanting them to drink and cycle, the bartender began cutting their wheat beers with the only thing he had available….Lemonade.  The style became an instant classic and in fact the word Radler translates to “cyclist” in German.

Jump forward to 2012 and Jacob Leinenkugel’s introduces their Summer Shandy, and while the originals of the word Shandy may come from a different country, the style is a classic Radler.  Summer Shandy is a Wheat Beer with natural lemon flavor and you’ll not only be surprised by how drinkable it really is, but also by how popular it has become.

Yes I know Jacob Leinenkugel’s is backed by 10th and Blake, the craft beer arm of SAB Miller, but even this will surprise you.  Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy accounts for 40% of ALL sales coming from Leinenkugels.  The sales for Summer Shandy have increased by 90% in 2012 and this beer is part of the largest TV advertising campaign ever to come from Leinenkugels.  Even though cans and bottles are now available in ALL 50 states…Fasten your seatbelts because I expect you’ll see a lot more of the Summer Shandy Army in the future.

As if that wasn’t enough fun for one show, we decided to make our own Shandy in the South American tradition of cutting beer with lemon-lime soda.  We sampled side by side, and while our base beer was different and our soda was not exactly the same as lemonade, it was still pretty interesting and still pretty drinkable.

No doubt Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy wins that comparison and despite what you may think of Leinenkugel’s or the Shandy style, I have no doubt you’ll bee seeing a lot more of it.  Try this one for yourself….especially on a hot summer day and see if you agree.

Thank you to, Nancy, LA & Joe for yet another

fun Friday.

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together. As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

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