Drink Indiana: Curious Traveler Shandy, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Wild Blue, Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat, Samuel Adams’ Cherry Wheat and Abita Lemon Wheat.
If you’re like me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Yuengling or a Labbatt Blue: You like beer.
However, beer isn’t at the top of everyone’s list of favorite drinks. In
fact, for some, beer doesn’t even make the top 10.
If you don’t care for the taste of beer and you aren’t in the mood for hard alcohol, it can sometimes feel like you’re out of luck.
For these people I have complied a list of “beers in disguise.”
By that I mean I found a selection of drinks that look like beer and act like beer, but don’t taste like beer.
The six drinks on my list are Curious Traveler Shandy, Leinenkugel’s
Summer Shandy, Wild Blue, Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat, Samuel Adams’ Cherry Wheat and Abita Lemon Wheat.
Let’s start with the shandies.
Shandies are a mixture of beer and lemonade that are delightfully refreshing, easy to drink and have a weakened beer flavor to them.
Curious Traveler Shandy leans more towards a lemonade than it does to its roots as a beer.
It is sweeter than most shandies, and has a pretty, golden coloring.
Don’t worry, the heavy lemonade flavor does not take away from its strength.
Traveler has a 4.4 percent alcohol content and will most likely be the preferred shandy of anyone who truly dislikes the taste of beer.
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy stays true to its beer origin with just a hint of lemonade flavor added, making it my shandy of choice.
Don’t get me wrong, Leinenkugel’s is very obviously a shandy, not a beer. However, there is still enough beer flavor that when I drink one I know that I am drinking a shandy, not a hard lemonade. Leinenkugel’s has a light, crisp flavor, a 4.2 percent alcohol content and is ideal for drinking on a hot summer evening.
Although Abita Lemon Wheat isn’t technically a shandy, it has a strong lemon flavor to it.
It is also the drink on this list that tastes the most like a beer.
The citrus flavor in Abita isn’t overpowering, and you still get a good wheat flavor from the beer.
It is light in color and has a 4.4 percent alcohol content.
All in all, although Abita still tastes like a beer, it provides a refreshing twist on a classic wheat.
While Abita and the shandies
highlight the citrus flavor of lemons and lemonade, Wild Blue, Samuel Adams’ Cherry Wheat and Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat all showcase softer, sweeter fruits.
Wild Blue – although it’s technically a lager – is the farthest thing from beer that I have ever tasted.
It is also important to note the color of this beer.
It’s purple. And I’m not talking
violet or indigo, I’m talking a deep plum coloring with a light pink head on it. That’s right, pink.
This makes this a less-than-ideal beer to drink out of a pint glass in front of other people.
The flavor of Wild Blue resembles a melted grape lollipop more than anything else and is sweet to the point of becoming overwhelming.
However, with an 8 percent alcohol content, it is the strongest beer on this list.
Samuel Adams’ Cherry Wheat is very light and easy to drink, with a hint of cherry flavor that does not overwhelm. It has a light, golden coloring and is on the sweeter side of the spectrum along with Traveler without reaching sweetness levels that rival Wild Blue.
It is also one of the stronger beers on the list, with a 5.3 percent alcohol content.
All in all, it’s a solid beer that really doesn’t taste like a beer in the least.
The final beer on the list is the one that surprised me the most, mainly because it did not taste at all like I expected. Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat did not taste like strawberries in the slightest. Deceptively named, this beer tastes very heavily like caramel with soft coffee undertones.
Despite the initial flavor shock, I found this beer to be surprisingly good. It has a beautiful amber coloring and a 4.7 percent alcohol content.
It has a very pleasing balance of beer and “strawberry” flavoring, which made it incredibly easy to drink and also made it my favorite out of the four fruit–flavored beers.
If you’re not a huge fan of beer but can still deal with drinks that resemble a beer, I recommend Abita, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat.
However, if the slightest hint of beer is a deal breaker for you, then you’ll probably be more suited with Curious Traveler Shandy, Wild Blue and Samuel Adams’ Cherry Wheat.