Whether you know this drink by its German name, “radler”; British handle, “shandy”; or the slightly less urbane “brass monkey” made famous by the Beastie Boys, one thing is for certain: Lagers and citrus blend for the perfect summer refresher.
Its origins are vague, but shandies — most often a 50-50 to 70-30 mix of lager and lemonade — have cooled the brows of dewy socialites throughout the world for more than 100 years. Despite their international ubiquity, shandies were a rare breed in the States until Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing began offering its Summer Shandy as a seasonal in 2007. Since then, Summer Shandy, a 4.2%-ABV half-and-half blend of a wheat-based lager and natural lemonade, is one of Leinenkugel’s most in-demand products.
“Beer and lemonade was something we’d been experimenting with for years,” notes trade quality specialist John Leinenkugel. “We were garnishing our hefeweizen with a big wedge of lemon, so lemon and beer became intriguing to us.” The end result is an effervescent drink that pairs the bright tang of lemonade with tart wheat notes and a clean lager finish. Sip your way through this citrusy mix this summer with these four standout shandies:
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy: This 4.2%-ABV brew’s available in cans and bottles through Labor Day.
Leibinger Seeradler Classik: Clocking in at just 2.6% ABV, Classik’s sweet lemon notes and grainy malts rush the tongue without the alcohol buzz.
Hoppin’ Frog Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale: This seasonal offering from the Ohio brewery may tip the scale at 7.2% ABV, but its robust malt and lemon flavors are a refreshing counter to the hot weather.
Stiegl Radler Lemon: This Austrian version blends Stiegl Goldbräu, a Munich helles, with lemon soda for a lively, 2.5%-ABV brew.
Make Your Own
Terry McNally, owner of Philadelphia’s London Grill, shares his four favorite shandy mixes.
• Equal parts homemade lemonade and Stoudt’s Gold Lager, in a glass garnished with orange sugar.
•Equal parts homemade lemonade and Tröegs Sunshine Pils with a splash of Villa Italia blood orange soda (available at Trader Joe’s), garnished with a lemon slice and a Morello cherry.
•1 ½ ounces homemade lemonade and ½ ounce Cointreau; top off with Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, and garnish with a Morello cherry.
•1 ½ ounces homemade lemonade and ¾ ounce Stoli Strawberry Vodka, topped off with Sly Fox Pikeland Pils and garnished with orange sugar and a lemon slice.