What’s this “shandy” all about?

If you’ve been wondering what all this “shandy” talk is about, then you’ll want to take a second to read this.

summershandy-bottle-pourAs the weather gets warmer and the grass and trees return to their lush green color, there are two refreshing beverages that come to mind: a cold beer and a tall glass of lemonade.  For years, people have ordered and enjoyed them side by side, but over the years creativity has combined them into one.  A few breweries and beverage companies have taken it upon themselves to take the leg work out of it for consumers, adding lemonade and or citrus flavors to their brewing process, creating perfect seasonable shandys.

Leinenkugel Brewing Company has two great shandys out on the market, their Summer Shandy and a Lemon Berry Shandy.  Summer Shandy is a wheat beer, brewed to perfection with natural lemonade flavor that offers great refreshing taste with light hop and malt characteristics.  Lemon Berry Shandy, a Weiss beer brewed with blackberry juice and natural lemonade flavor, is perfect for summer afternoon barbeques but is available year round.

New to the scene is Mike’s Hard Shandy, the combination of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Lager.  Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co took their popular Mike’s Hard Lemonade and merged it with a golden lager, creating a classic tasting shandy.

You can find any of these refreshing shandys at many locations all over town or at your local liquor store!

Gluten free? No problem!

Have you had to cut beer out of your diet due to celiac disease or gluten restrictions?  We have some good news for you!

You’re not alone, approximately 1 in 150 Americans are affected by celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine and affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.   Glycoproteins (gluten) are found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye, and essentially cause the body to attack itself when consumed by a person who has celiac. Limiting or eliminating your intake of gluten is the only way to alleviate the 300 plus symptoms that are associated with the disease.

Now for the news you’ve been waiting for!

Bard’s Original Sorghum Malt Beer is gluten free!  The creators, Craig Belser and Kevin Seplowitz, who are diagnosed with celiac themselves, worked to create this craft beer so that the millions of people who are affected by the disease can enjoy the taste of a refreshing beer again.  As most of you know the beer brewing process generally requires the use of barely or wheat that contains gluten, specifically hordein in barley and gliadin found in wheat.  However, this American Lager style beer contains only sorghum, hops, yeast and water, making it naturally gluten free.

So if you or someone you know has been without beer due to a gluten free diet Bard’s Original Malt Beer is the perfect solution!  Use the locator below or on their website to find Bard’s near you.

http://www.bardsbeer.com/locator.php

Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations

With Thanksgiving upon us, we have those who have helped us in our hearts and turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie on our mind. Or maybe that’s just us! Many will spend the day with family and close friends, enjoying football, cheese balls, turkey, green bean casserole, pie and, of course, a good beer to wash it all down. That being said, you should put some thought into the beer selection you make.

There are a few things to take into consideration when picking out your beverage for the day, keeping in mind when you’ll be having it and what you will be eating. Your favorite beer might be a stout, but drinking something dark and heavy early in the day will fill you up quickly, leaving no room for all the fixins’ you thought about for the last week. Instead, stick with something light, like a lager or pilsner, until it’s time to enjoy your big meal.

When choosing a beer to have with dinner, you can go in a variety of directions. Sticking with the light beer you’ve already been drinking will allow you to taste all the flavors that are on your plate. Another option is a darker, malty beer that will allow the flavors to complement one another. If you are skipping the bird and having ham instead, it’s suggested that you pair it with a wheat beer, or “Weizen” as the Germans call it. And if you’re thinking about picking up an IPA, DON’T. The extra hops can take away all the rich flavors you’re expecting to have in the perfect bite you have on your fork.

After dinner is over and you’re ready for dessert, bring out those dark, heavy beers that you enjoy so much. The sweet, spiced or fruity beers pair perfectly with many of the desserts you may find on the table. A chocolate stout or a sour beer might bring out a few extra flavors in the pie mom made! Or maybe this year that pumpkin ale you’ve been dying to try will take the place of that piece of pie that you always have!

And if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the day without stepping foot in the kitchen, you should be extra thankful!

Lagers/Pilsners: Coors Brewing “Coors Banquet”, Bards Brewing “Bards (gluten free)”, or Flying Dog Brewery “UnderDog Atlantic Lager”

Ales: Big Sky Brewing “Moose Drool Brown Ale”, or Anchor Brewing “Brekle’s Brown”

Wheat/Weizen: New Belgium Brewing “Sunshine Wheat”, or Boulder Beer “Sweaty Betty Blonde”

Stouts: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Stout”, Lagunitas Brewing Company “Cappuccino Stout”, or Alaskan Brewing Company “Stout (oatmeal)”

Pumpkin Ale: Coors Brewing “Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale”, or Tommyknocker “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”