Jun 1, 2015

Widmer Brothers Hefe Shandy

This bottle of Widmer Brother’s Hefe Shandy is only the second example of the style that I’ve had the opportunity to check out. The first came five years ago courtesy Leinenkugel’s, a beer that I found refreshing, but gimmicky. I suppose that looking at the time that has passed since then and the sheer volume (sarcasm, here) of shandy that I’ve been drinking, I’d say that the style isn’t really all that popular. And yet, this offering from Widmer Brothers is their latest seasonal release.

So what’s the deal with a shandy? In this particular case, you’ve got yourself a sessionable Hefeweisen (4.2% ABV) that’s been given a healthy dose of lemon character via the Lemon Drop hop variety and “natural lemonade flavor.”

The result is a beer that is quite refreshing and packing some serious lemon-soda like traits. Served cold, this beer is an ideal thirst quencher — if you’re a big fan of lemons. I think, however, that after a couple the flavor tends to become a bit much. Perhaps a switch to a radler is in call at that point?


Hefe Shandy pours a hazy straw in color with a large stack of white foam that falls slowly to a resilient, dense cap.

Widmer Brothers Hefe Shandy photo


Loads of lemon, a hint of banana in the background, a waft of honey and a solid wheat base all combine for a refreshing, lively aroma.


The flavors mirror the aroma nearly trait for trait. It’s not a lemon-soday as I had feared and has a welcome touch of lemon tartness. The wheat and grain of the Hefe are present, supporting the domainant citrus notes. The beer is refreshing and damn near quaffable as its effervescent mouthfeel and light body make for a reinvigorating experience.


The shandy, much like the radler, will never be a go-to style for me to search out. That said, there’s nothing better than a cold, refreshing beer after a long day in the Virginia heat. And this Hefe Shandy would be more than adequate in quenching and resurrecting the soul on just such an occurrence.

Rating: 3.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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