A shandy is essentially a mixed drink that uses beer and citrus (or other but predominantly citrus) flavored soda. There are many variants to what a shandy actually is. In a German Bier-Stube (German Beer Hall) you would order a Biermischgetränke, which translates to beer-based mixed drinks. The combination of the German style beer with carbonated lemonade is a style of shandy. Now if we keep on this German train of thought, we move into what are called Radlers, or Cyclists. This style consists of a 50:50 or 60:40 mixture of beer and German style lemonade. Now the lemonade is crucial in making this recipe because it is not the lemonade that Americans are used to seeing and drinking in the summertime. The Germans use a sparkling lemon soda, or carbonated lemon soda, which brings incredible life to the beer mixture. It is vibrant, refreshing and very enjoyable to drink, especially on a sunny afternoon.
You may be asking yourself; “If I want to make one of these at home, what beer should I use?” Well it all depends on where you are in the world. Different regions use different beers to make their shandies. If you are in northern Germany you will want to use a pilsner, and if you are in southern Germany a weissbier (wheat beer) is the style preferred. If you happen to be near Vine & Table then you will have plenty to choose from. I really think the style of beer you use will come down to personal taste.
Now Leinenkugel started on the right track when they began making their summer shandy. It was close, but not quite what a beer drinker would necessarily want in a great shandy. When our resident Irishman told me about the Lemon Radler from the Stiegl Brewery in Austria, I was a bit skeptical (I am a beer geek who likes plenty of hops!)
But he wasn’t wrong! We cracked open a bottle and to tell you the truth I was shocked at how delicious and refreshing it was. I truly believe that this is a beer everyone will enjoy from geeks to novices, male to female and everyone in between! Trust me, take home a bottle or two and see what you think. I have a great price on it of just $2.79 for a pint bottle until the end of September. You have no excuses!