Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

There are lawnmower beers, and then there are lawnmower beers. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is the lawnmower beer to end all lawnmower beers. Its rating on Beer Advocate is a paltry 71 – definite proof that a lot of craft beer connoisseurs have prejudices against “average Joe” brews. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly well-crafted. Hell, a beer like this that could easily be terrible if it were not perfectly in balance. So hats off to the Leinenkugels for getting it right! Summer Shandy is their take on a traditional German Radler – half pale lager, half lemonade. It is, of course, brewed specifically for the summer months when something cold and refreshing is in order. And boy, does this stuff ever hit the spot! It doesn’t taste “off” or too sweet or disgusting. For what it is, it’s pretty darn perfect. It may be a lemonade beer, but it’s still a beer. The lager component is rock solid. And if you hate the idea of lemonade in beer, that’s a matter of taste and not a knock on the quality of this product. Honestly, I haven’t mowed a lawn in almost 20 years. But coming home from the gym in a non air-conditioned car is kind of similar to coming in from mowing a lawn. And I do that a lot. Both cases are fine occasions to pour a Summer Shandy! The cynic will say that the booming sales of this beer are a sign that it’s lowest common denominator swill. But conceptually, there’s nothing wrong with a beer that almost everyone can love. It’s simply a matter of whether it’s quality or garbage. If Bud or Miller tried to make a shandy (and trust me, they will sooner or later), they’d fuck it up royally. Do not underestimate the Summer Shandy!

1 comment:

Shawn Abnoxious said...

Funny story about Leinenkugels.... THE SOCIALS were playing yet another over rated hole in the wall in Cincinnati... I got my stuff loaded in and hit the bar immediately. They were serving up LEINENKUGELS RED at the bar on tap for the first time. They daid it eas 'new', which I heard as a nrw beer called 'Red Cougar'. Being the idiot I am I got Julie and Juice each a RED COUGAR too (we were getting excellent prices at the bar due to us being rock and/or rollers). I told them both about the new beer called RED COUGAR. They liked it... Juice even went up and asked for another RED COUGAR. He politely corrected me that it wasnt RED COUGAR, it was actually LIENENKUGALS RED.... To this fay we still call all Lienenkugals beerm despite variety, RED COUGAR.