Shandy, Radler and Fruit Beers

This week's Thirsty Thursday beer tasting really took a lot of Mr. Beer employees out of their comfort zones. Most employees look forward to our tastings for new, interesting and complex craft beers to review, so when we told them this week they needed to review a shandy, radler and a fruit beer, they weren't too pleased. However, part of being a well-rounded beer drinker is learning to appreciate beer styles that you may not choose to enjoy in your spare time. Also, we realize many beer drinkers will be reaching for fruitier, lighter beers, like a shandy or radler, as the weather starts to warm up, so it made sense to do a beer tasting of these popular summer brews. A shandy and a radler are very similar in that they are a beer mixed with some sort of a soft drink or juice. For our fruit beer, we wanted to find something unique and very summer-esque.

Summer Shandy by Leinenkugel

shandy and radler beers

Photo courtesy of Leinenkugels

Aroma The unanimous word used for the Summer Shandy's aroma? Lemon. One employee described it like the smell of Lemonheads candy. Appearance Pale, light colored and cloudy. Flavor You guessed it... lemon! Similar to a lemon soda with a nice subtle malt finish and lots of zest. Mouthfeel Light, easy drinakbility and crisp. Overall Tasting Notes If you are a fan of lemons or lemonade, this is a great refreshing summer beer. A shandy by nature is going to be fairly mild as far as beer goes, as it is mixed with juice or soda, and this is a great standard representation of the style.

Porch Rocker by Samuel Adams

shandy and radler beers Photo courtesy of Samuel Adams

Aroma Very lemony with hints of ginger. Appearance Light in color and clear. Not much head retention. Flavor Very lemon forward with notes of spices like ginger and coriander. Nicely balanced. The lemon flavor isn't as strong as the aroma of lemon. Mouthfeel Very light bodied, smooth and dry. Overall Tasting Notes This is a beer that definitely needs to be consumed ice cold! It is a decent summer beer, nothing too stand out, but something good if you are looking for a refreshing drink in the heat. Again, you better love lemon if you're going to drink this beer.

Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Beer by New Belgium

Shandy and Radler beer tastingPhoto courtesy of New Belgium Brewing

Aroma Many employees described a vegetable-like aroma that was almost sour. Appearance Very light gold in color with medium head retention. Flavor Subtle watermelon with a more prominent lime flavor,  making it slightly acidic. Toasted malt finish. Mouthfeel Medium body and very refreshing. Overall Tasting Notes Many thought that the watermelon flavor could have been a little stronger, but it was an overall great summer beer that we would grab for a backyard BBQ.