While over G-Lo’s house, we sampled several brews in addition to Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. We lead off the evening with a SamuelSmith Pure Brewed Lager (ABV of 5%) (www.merchantduvin.com). I had brought over an 18.7 ounce bottle (a “Victorian” pint), that we split. As a fan of all things Samuel Smith, this brew wasn’t new to me and I find the golden color and fragrant aroma to be a nice lead-in to the full flavor. If forced to assign a letter grade, I would give this an A. Additionally, Rohan Daft, the author of Daft about Lager, calls it “One of the best British brewed lagers on the market from the company that knows a thing or two about its craft.”
Next, I must confess that while I do enjoy a heavier brew, the fruity, fragrant brews usually provide a nice distraction. Thus, after the lager I thought to introduce the Summer Shandy (ABV of 4.2%). While G-Lo’s review does in fact capture the nature of the Summer Shandy (the Beer Advocate was a little kinder and gave it a C+ – www.beeradvocate.com), I would suggest that you try other brews from Leinenkugel’s (www.leinie.com) and if you are interested in a different and fruity taste, the Berry Weiss is a much better brew than the Shandy.
In keeping with our fruit investigation (much to the Wookie’s dismay and obviously I did not braid what is left of G-Lo’s hair), G-Lo provided an Apricot Wheat (ABV of 4.9%) from the Ithaca Beer Company (606 Elmira Rd. Ithaca, NY 1485, www.ithacabeer.com). This is the #1 selling beer from Ithaca. After sampling the Shandy, this was a welcome change as the wheat beer was quite palatable with a hint of the apricot in both the initial aroma and the finish. Again, if forced to assign a letter grade, I would give this a B+.