The Shock Top division of Anheuser-Busch (one of their “craft” beer arms, very similar to Coors’ Blue Moon arm) has been on a roll lately, cranking out new Shock Top variations beyond their original Belgian-style White variety: earlier this year they introduced “Wheat IPA” which is solidly in the Belgian Wit/American IPA category, and for spring they’ve introduced Shock Top Lemon Shandy, of which I received several bottles at the beginning of the month.
A “shandy” is (according to Wikipedia) a “beer mixed with citrus-flavored soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or cider”—basically a half-and-half beer and soft drink of some sort. Myself I usually think half (lighter) beer, half lemonade, so “lemonade” is what I’m looking for.
Shock Top is (I think) their base Belgian Wit-styled ale, brewed “with lemonade flavor added”—which frankly dashes my hopes a bit for actually having a half-lemonade beer. It’s 4.2% alcohol by volume, easy drinking.
Appearance: Light golden in color, hazy, fizzy white head that fell quickly.
Smell: Wheaty, a touch of the “white” coriander aroma, and hints of lemon. Otherwise mellow, understated.
Taste: Mellow version of the “white” beer with hints of sweet lemon flavor. Not very lemonade-y which I admit I was hoping for. It does have a bit of a soda pop character with bready wheat notes.
Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, a bit of a sweet finish.
Overall: Not entirely what I expected, it’s light with hints of lemonade tempering the Belgian-style White character. A little disappointed that it’s not more lemony, but overall not bad and would be a nice hot-weather beer.
Shock Top Lemon Shandy on Untappd. BeerAdvocate: only 8 reviews so far, 2.59/5. RateBeer: 2.34/5, 12th percentile overall (33rd for the style).