Last year during the evening in which Veronika Springer was crowned Hallertau Hop Queen a man with a tray full of one-liter glass mugs stopped at our table, perhaps noticing I had an empty glass in front of me.
I went to pick up one. Roland Bitti, brewmaster at Augustiner-Brä, raised his hand to signal me to stop. He pointed to a slight difference in color between two glasses and spoke a single word.
I took a deep breath and picked up a liter of Augustiner Edelstoff instead. Rookie mistake (hey, it was dark, they looked much the same).
I thought about this today a) when I saw a story on the press release that the Alchemy & Science, the collaboration between Alan Newman and Jim Koch, has created The House of Shandy and that Curious Traveler is its first release. There will be more.
The press release says, “The shandy tradition dates back to the 17th century and is typically beer mixed with a citrus-flavored soda or carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or cider. Today, English publicans pour a blend of traditional English ale with various lemon and lime beverages for their patrons though real lemons or limes are rarely used.”
I expect that beer-mixed-with-whatever purists can explain the difference between a shandy and Radler to me, but I’m lumping them together when considering “beer trends.” (I thought that Germany’s history with the Radler — “cyclist” in German — was confined to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but let’s try to stay on point.)
So b) yesterday Jon Abernathy suggested he might have to stage a “Shandy Shootout” between the new Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. I’ve had the Shock Top (4.2% ABV) and it certainly delivers the lemonade flavor the label delivers.
And before the evening was over c) Jeremy Danner declared it the Year of the Radler.
Yes, this looks like a trend.