On a hot summer day, there is simply nothing better than a cold beer. A shandy is known for having a distinct citrus-forward flavor. The best shandy beers will leave you refreshed!
From lemon to grapefruit and beyond, breweries are crafting creative shandy and radler batches that are perfect for a refreshing sip on a summer day. Interestingly, a radler is named for German cyclists who enjoyed a Barvarian bartender’s creation of a mixed drink consisting of lager and lemonade after a long ride.
A picnic in the park or a day on the beach is perfected by adding a tasty shandy. We tasted lots of beer to create this comprehensive list of the eleven best shandy beers on the market. From major producers like Sam Adams to smaller craft breweries like UFO, each of the beverages on this list are perfect options for a summer holiday.
Curious Traveler is a classic European Shandy brewed by The Traveler Beer Company. The Curious Traveler is an American craft wheat ale with added lemon and a dash of lime to highlight the citrus aroma and flavor. The beer has a low alcohol ratio of 4.4 percent.
The brewery is located in Burlington, Vermont, and initially opened in 2012. The shandy is a perfect pair to enjoy with various seafood and is refreshing on a warm day. The cloudy amber color of the Curious Traveler and its distinct citrus aroma is present when poured into a glass.
The most recognizable shandy on the list is Del’s Shandy by Narragansett Beer, with a distinctive white, green, and yellow tall can. The brewery has been operating since 1890. Del’s Frozen Lemonade stand opened in Rhode Island in 1948 and shortly afterward partnered with the brewery to blend their recipes and create a delicious shandy.
The shandy is tasty when paired with grilled chicken, salmon, and shellfish. It is a summertime favorite when enjoying time by a body of water. The shandy is 4.7 percent alcohol content, so it is an easy-drinking beverage that is great for a day of summer fun.
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
Jacob Leinenkugel opened his small brewery in 1867 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and started brewing German-style beers. Only available between March and August, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is a crisp Weiss-style beer with a lemonade flavor. The Summer Shandy received a Silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Fruit Wheat Beer category in 2012.
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is perfect for a summer backyard barbecue and pairs best with BBQ chicken, fruit salads, watermelon, and grilled fish. The shandy has an alcohol content of 4.2 percent. Packs of the shandy are available in most grocery stores across the country beginning in early spring.
Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler
Ginger Lemon Radler is a zingy, light, and thirst-quenching potable perfect for warm weather. Radler is a particular style of shandy that focuses on introducing a key citrus element. Boulevard Brewing Company opened in 1989 and has developed into one of the largest specialty breweries in the Midwest.
The Ginger Lemon Radler is 4.1 percent alcohol. The beer is brewed with both citrus and ginger to create a distinct taste, even among other shandies. Beers from the Boulevard Brewing Company are sold in bars and grocery stores across the country, but it is an institution in the Midwest.
Hopworks Totally Radler
Hopworks’ Totally Radler is a bright lemon shandy. Hopworks Urban Brewery is located in Portland, Oregon. It is a rotating, seasonal beverage. The Totally Radler has a light yellow tint with a slight haze and a thin topper frothy white foam. Overall, the taste is more fruit-forward than tart.
The Totally Radler is a low alcohol percentage beer at only 3.1 percent. Most radlers can be somewhat sweet, but Hopworks’ version has a much more apparent tart lemon flavor. The beer pairs well with light lunches and dishes like shrimp salad, lobster rolls, or raw oysters.
Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen
Peter Schöffer had a passion for beer and created the Schöfferhofer Weizen hundreds of years ago. It became the ideal standard of a German wheat beer. The Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is the first Hefeweizen grapefruit beer globally. It is an equal parts blend of Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen beer and a carbonated grapefruit beverage that creates a naturally refreshing taste.
Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is available year-round but is particularly delicious during the summer months. With a 2.5 percent alcohol content, it is a very drinkable option for a long day on a boat or out enjoying the summer sun. The intense orange color is fun and festive.
Samuel Adams Porch Rocker Radler
Samuel Adams Porch Rocker is a tart beer that is the brewery’s version of a traditional Bavarian Radler. It combines lemonade and beer; Porch Rocker is made with real fresh-squeezed lemons, making it a perfectly refreshing summer beverage. It is a seasonal brew and is only available between April and August.
The Porch Rocker has a 4.5 percent alcohol content, which is on the higher end for this beer style. While it can be purchased as its own six-pack, it is included in the Samuel Adams Sips of Summer Variety Pack, perfect for a day outdoors with friends or family.
UFO Big Squeeze Shandy
UFO Big Squeeze is a grapefruit shandy with a 4.5 percent alcohol content. In 2014, the brewery first produced the shandy, and it has grown in popularity over the last several years. Big Squeeze has an intense grapefruit flavor with tartness and distinct citrus flavors. Interestingly, the same year that UFO launched Big Squeeze, the business became employee-owned, so everyone is invested in creating a delicious beer.
When poured into a glass, Big Squeeze appears to be an orange or apricot color. Even if beer is not your beverage of choice, Big Squeeze could be a tasty choice for you since it is very fruit-forward.
Stiegl Radler Grapefruit
Brewed in Austria, the Stiegl Radler Grapefruit is naturally cloudy and satisfyingly tangy. The fruity taste makes Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit an excellent thirst quencher on a hot summer day. The color of the beer is a light, hazy yellow, and the aroma is distinctly that of grapefruit.
It is ideal for an all-day event at just over two percent alcohol by volume. The Radler is great when paired with spicy dishes and is delicious with fresh fruit. Whether by the pool or over a hot grill, a Stiegl Radler Grapefruit is the perfect accompaniment for your summer activity.
Karbach’s Blood Orange Radler
Karbach Brewing Company brews blood Orange Radler in Texas. The beer appears orange and has a big citrus aroma. The Radler and the brewing company have a growing reputation for delicious and creative beers from Houston to Austin. You can visit the brewery to try other various seasonal brews if you are in the area.
Karbach’s Blood Orange Radler is 3.5 percent alcohol. It is a sweet orange soda for adults that can transport the drinker to their childhood summers. The Blood Orange Radler pairs well with summer favorites like corn on the cob, barbecue ribs, or grilled chicken skewers.
Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler
The Stiegl Radler Zitrone is the second beer from Stiegl that we’ve included in our list of the best shandy. At only 2 percent alcohol by volume, this lemon Radler is a perfect summer beverage. Brewed in Austria, the Radler is a staple of pub drinking, and the lemon Radler has gained popularity in the United States over the last few years.
Radler Zitrone pours a clear yellow and has a big lemon aroma. Like lemonade, the beer offers the perfect balance of sour and sweet. The natural fruit flavor shines through—the beer pairs well with picnic favorites like creamy cheeses and strawberries.
We love a refreshing beer on a hot summer day, so trying these various shandies and radlers made us wistful for sun, waves, and seafood. Whether you are on vacation at the beach or just finished mowing the lawn, enjoying a crisp citrus beer is a delicious treat.
The blend of lemonade or orange juice with a lager is an ages-old mixed drink popular across the globe. From Austria to Austin, folks everywhere enjoy trying new drinks and celebrating the warm days of summer.
When these primarily seasonal brews are released in the spring, be sure to grab a pack or two and make your own comparisons about the eleven best shandies for summer.