This week's Sunday Night Suds revisits one of my least favorite beer styles and looks at Leinenkugel's Cranberry Ginger Shandy.
Regular readers of this blog are aware of my extreme distaste for the Shandy style of beer which is essentially the American version of the German Radler - a combination of lemonade and lager. In my opinion the only time that lemonade and lager should be remotely close to each other is if when you sort your bottles by the alphabet. Still, for some reason there are people who continue to expirement with Radlers by merging lemonade, lager and other fruit extracts to try to create something with a passing resemblance to beer.
This brings me to the Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy. When I opened the bottle I said to Mrs KB - if I am going to have to drink this, you are going to have to share this with me too. Although Jews don't have a "for better or for worse" in their vows, there was no way that I was going to have to experience this brew along.
Before I got a chance to bring the bottle to Mrs KB to force her to have her share, I had an odd realization. This does not actually taste like ersatz beer, it is more like one of those funky versions of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. The "brew" tastes mostly like an over-sweet soda and there is no discernible alcohol or hop taste to the beer. The lack of alcohol taste is probably attributable to the low alcohol content (4.2% abv according to the bottle, but even that seemed exaggerated). The lack of beer taste is due to all the cloyingly sweet fruit extracts added to the brew process.
The upshot is that the product does not have that awful clash/curdle of lemonade and lager, it just tastes like soda.
Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, and has an OU on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/710/129259.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
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