When the thermometer seems to never stop rising and the A/C always seems to be on, it is time to try something new and this year the hip hot weather beer is only partially beer. Session IPAs are still white hot style wise but the Johnny-Come-Lately’s are the Radler and the Shandy. Both mixed beer drinks have been around for a long time even though they may look like modern day marketing fads.
Radlers are a half-and-half mix of lager (usually Pilsner or Helles) and lemonade. A Shandy is beer mixed with a wider variety of drinks like soda, sparkling lemonade, ginger ale, or if juice is your thing, then apple or orange juice. This could be another half-and-half or blended to taste.
Usually, these concoctions have been mixed at the bar, but more and more are coming to store shelves ready to drink. Widmer Brothers Brewing has a Hefe Shandy. Boulevard Brewing has a kegged version of a Radler that I found to be very refreshing and lively. The Traveler brand (from the same folks that own Angel City Brewery) have numerous “twists” on the sub-style as well.
I prefer the make-your-own model though. The ingredients can be fresher and you can utilize a wider palate of base beers for your own tastebuds. And who doesn’t enjoy playing scientist in the kitchen trying to find just the right combination of flavors?
Your Beer of the Week is another refresher Kihei Kolsch from Maui Brewing. Take a classically brewed Kolsch and then add in a touch of the islands to get this tropical take on the historic Cologne export.
Your Homework is to get your tickets for the upcoming 7th Blue Palms Brewhouse anniversary bash. I may repeat myself ad nauseam, but there are signature L.A. craft beer events that are not to be missed and this party that snakes all around Blue Palms Brewhouse and the Fonda easily makes that short, elite list. You might also find a super rare imperial version of the Return of Sassy Rye IPA that wowed me in its original version during L.A. Beer Week.