Summer Shandy—It’s Not Just for Summer Anymore

Leinenkugel’s makes brew a year-round offering, teams up with Johnsonville on bratwurst
Grouping of three Leinenkugel Summer Shandy beer bottles and trademark logo.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is now a beer for all seasons.

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin-based Leinenkugel’s introduced Summer Shandy in 2007 as a seasonal offering, but it is now available any time of the year at convenience stores and beyond.

The traditional weiss beer mixed with lemonade flavor did so well its first two years that it sold out before July 4 even though it was intended to be available all summer, the company said.

“The brand just took off,” said Tony Bugher, president of Leinenkugel’s, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Molson Coors. “It’s the biggest brand in Leinenkugel’s portfolio by far.”

Bugher said drinkers are looking for a beer they can enjoy all year long, and by moving Summer Shandy from a seasonal to a year-round fixture of its lineup, Leinenkugel’s is giving them that.

While Leinenkugel’s was initially worried Summer Shandy would distract from other Leinenkugel’s offerings if available year-round, internal data proved that was incorrect, Bugher said. 

“We see very little overlap between Summer Shandy buyers and the rest of the Leinenkugel’s portfolio,” he said. “And more importantly, Summer Shandy is incremental to the beer category—30% of Summer Shandy drinkers buy no other beer.”

Leinenkugel’s will support the move with a series of campaigns.

“We like to say we’re going to ‘make anytime taste like summertime,’” Bugher said. “We’ve got a lot on our plate.”

In addition to this move, Leinenkugel’s also is bringing back Grapefruit Shandy, a seasonal beer last available in 2019.

“The return of Grapefruit Shandy is a big deal,” Bugher said. “I wish I could show everyone the comments I get about bringing back Grapefruit Shandy. I also hear about it quite a bit whenever I talk with our distributors and retailers.”

Johnsonville Partnership

Elsewhere, Leinenkugel’s is connecting with another Wisconsin brand, Johnsonville, for a Summer Shandy Beer Bratwurst. The offering is fresh Johnsonville grilling sausage infused with Summer Shandy beer.

“It’s obviously such a great Wisconsin collaboration and a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming summer season,” said Kimi Luttrell, associate marketing manager.

Promotion of the collaboration includes grilling-themed displays for retail and co-branded merchandise available at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls.

The sausage is available now until late July, while supplies last, at select retailers in 19 states.

Molson Coors is one of the world’s largest brewers. Its brands include Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling, Staropramen, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Blue Moon Belgian White, Hop Valley, Creemore Springs and Crispin Cider. The company went through a restructuring in late 2019.

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