Even with heaps of snow and freezing rain plaguing the Chippewa Valley, a summertime staple beverage is back in production.
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company held a release party for their popular Summer Shandy at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls Friday night. The drink is traditionally offered every year from March through August and Friday’s festivities saw the first sale of the drink in 2019.
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is a traditionally brewed Weiss beer which pairs the expected flavor of Weiss with lemonade. Leinenkugel’s said the drink is best paired with summer food such as barbecue chicken, watermelon nad among other foods, but release party attendee Greg Kimbrel said he enjoys the drink no matter what he’s eating.
“It’s just a really really good tasting beer,” Kimbrel said. “It doesn’t matter what else I’m having or what time of the year it is. It has just become one of my favorite beers Leinenkugel’s makes, and I’m glad to have it in my hand right now.”
Besides Summer Shandy being back on hand and readily available for the hundreds of patrons that walked through the Leinie Lodge Friday night, a variety of other attractions adorned the festively lit space.
Local band Big Deeks set the mood by providing live music throughout the event, playing upbeat drinking songs from the likes of Chuck Berry, Blink-182, Walk the Moon among others. Patrons were also treated to light food throughout the night, "Summer Shandy: was spelled out in large gold balloons ripe for picture taking, and giveaway competition lines remained constant.
Allison Baker attended the event with a few friends and said the event was a fun getaway from all of the horrible cold wintery days the Chippewa Valley has experienced the last few weeks.
“It’s just been terrible the last month with all of the snow,” Baker said. “So, getting to think about summer for an hour or two is a welcomed change of pace. It feels a little weird releasing a summer drink in the thick of winter, but I don’t think anyone here will be complaining any time soon about it. The band playing is great and the beer is great, so we’re having a lot of fun tonight.”
Baker said having a historic beer brand like Leinenkugel’s is really valuable to Chippewa Falls.
“I feel like it’s one of the most recognizable parts of Chippewa,” Baker said. “A lot of people don’t know about Chippewa since it’s so small, but anywhere you go people have heard of Leinenkugel’s. It definitely is cool to have them call this town home and this event shows just how much this community supports them.”
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is now available for purchase through the summer, and hopefully the summer drink helps melt away the current frigid winter weather.