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I don’t believe people when they say, “I don’t like beer.” I 100% believe that if someone says that, they just haven’t tried enough different kinds of beer to find one they like. Laying down a blanket statement like that is like saying, “I don’t like music.” You may not have heard any music you like, but I promise you, there is music out there for you. There are so many different kinds of beer, and they all have so many different flavor profiles, that it’s so hard for me to believe there isn’t at least one single beer out there for everyone.
And even if maybe drinking a beer straight up isn’t your thing, I promise you, there is a beer cocktail out there that you’ll love.
Putting beer in a cocktail may sound strange, but there are a ton of great recipes for beer-based mixed drinks. Two of my favorites are beergaritas and shandys. Beergaritas are exactly what they sound like—the labradoodle of booze—mix half a margarita with half a light-flavored beer. It sounds strange, but it’s a really refreshing drink! And my personal favorite, a shandy, is half lemonade and half beer. You can buy shandys in the can at most grocery stores, but they’re really wonderful when made with homemade lemonade and your own personal favorite brew. And the great thing about shandies is that their premise works with so many flavors beyond just lemonade.
While a classic shandy is the absolute perfect drink for when it’s 95° outside in July, the flavors don’t really fit very well here in October. But what does fit? Apple cider, pumpkin beer, and cinnamon! It’s the perfect slightly-sweet cocktail for fall.
As far as the beer part of this shandy goes, you can really go any direction you like (although I’d probably steer clear of darker beers—no stouts or porters—save those for a really good float). Personally, I like the addition of a really good pumpkin beer. There are no less than a billion pumpkin beers out there, so it might take some trial and error to find the one that works well for you. My favorite pumpkin beer is a local beer here in Indiana, and it tastes straight up like a carbonated pumpkin pie. It’s crazy good! But unfortunately, they don’t bottle or sell it in growlers, so I have go with my second favorite pumpkin beer for at-home drinking. We love this New Belgium Pumpkick. It is brewed with cranberries and has a really nice fruity tartness to it that somewhat mimics the tartness of lemonade—perfect for a shandy!
I plopped a whole cinnamon stick in each serving glass, not only because it’s absolutely adorable, but also because the cinnamon flavor really starts to develop in the drink after just a few minutes. I’m assuming there is something about the carbonation of the beer and the acidity of the apple cider that helps break down the cinnamon faster—it’s super tasty. And it makes the cider shandy cute. Everyone likes cute things.
This super simple fall cocktail is perfect for those October gatherings!
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Will be trying this tonight!
It’s the strong aftertaste of the hops that I just do not like in beer. Ales and lagers (which are different from beers in that they do not contain hops) are a little better but even those have a yeasty aftertaste that I’d just rather stay away from. I am always trying sips of my friends’ various beers, ales and lagers in the off chance I find one without that penny-like aftertaste but haven’t found a single one I’d want to drink a whole bottle of. Just give me a good mead or hard cider, though, and I am good to go. :)
Ales and lagers are actually both types of beer, both using hops. The two are generally characterized by the temperature at which they ferment (ales = warmer, lagers = cooler) and the yeast used in said fermentation.
You are right though, it most likely is the hops you’re not enjoying.
Chances are that the aftertaste you’re experiencing is from an IPA (India Pale Ale), which traditionally use a lot of bittering hops. There are other beers that will follow similar procedures though, so it’s just a matter of finding the right beer for you!
Yummmmmmm. I am bookmarking this for after the bambino is born!Looks delish!
I first discovered shandys over the summer. I’m hooked now! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe.
This one gets a “we’re not worth” bow. Or, a standing ovation. I will do both.
Yum! I have both Apple Cider and Pumpkin Beer (Pumpking) in my fridge. It’s go time!
Just tried out the Pumpkick beer after your recommendation – you need to get the New Belgium crew to sponsor you! Such a fantastic beer, and I am 100% behind spreading the message to us (formerly) beer-adverse gals that beer is not just for the boys and it can be DELICIOUS!
I love beer cocktails! This past summer was the summer of the Radler for me (beer and grapefruit juice) and I see no reason why it can’t be the autumn of the apple cider shandy. Great idea! I don’t think I’ll be able to find pumpkin beer where I live, but I’m sure I can find many delicious beers to try with this. Thanks for the inspiration!
Beer and grapefruit??? That sounds delicious !
I don’t drink. I may start with this though.
My name is Christin and I’m also a blogger. I run a weekly feature on my FB page called “Friday Happy Hour” where I feature my favorite cocktail find from the week. I came across your Apple Cider Shandy post and I absolutely loved it, so I’m featuring it this week :) Here’s a link to my FB page if you want to check out the post: https://www.facebook.com/bluecrabmartini
Have a great weekend, and I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future!
I was making shandys all summer long with some of our home brew, and they were fantastic! We also have a pumpkin home brew and home made apple cider, so now I’ll have to make up some of these! I can’t wait!
Don’t even get me started with people who “don’t like beer” :P Of course, I live in Denver, home of the Great American Beer Fest, and live in a neighborhood with three breweries within a quarter mile of my house so maybe I’m biased. This shandy sounds so good! And you even used a Colorado beer :)
I featured you in a recent blog post: http://life8oh2.com/autumn-inspired-cocktails/ !
This looks so yummy, I need to try it ASAP!
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