Summer Shandy goes year round while Leinie’s links up with Johnsonville

When Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy was introduced in 2007, it was planned as only a seasonal offering.

If anything, the traditional weiss beer mixed with the refreshing brightness of lemonade flavor did too well. For its first two years, Summer Shandy wasn’t even available all summer, selling out before July 4.  

“The brand just took off,” says Tony Bugher, president of Leinenkugel’s. “It's the biggest brand in Leinenkugel’s portfolio by far.”

The brand is now ready for Summer Shandy to finally graduate from a seasonal to a year-round fixture of its lineup.

“We think it's the right move and we also think there's a big opportunity,” says Bugher. "Drinkers are looking for a beer they can enjoy all year long, and Summer Shandy is perfect for that."

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

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

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

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

That includes the return of Grapefruit Shandy, a beloved seasonal that’s been in hibernation since 2019.

“The return of Grapefruit Shandy is a big deal,” says Bugher. “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.”

Lakeside link-up with Johnsonville

Starting today, Leinenkugel’s is also connecting with another storied Wisconsin brand, Johnsonville, for a Summer Shandy Beer Bratwurst. Yes, that means a fresh Johnsonville grilling sausage infused with Leinenkugel’s lemonade-flavored Summer Shandy beer. ​

“This is big news for us,” says Kimi Luttrell, associate marketing manager. “It's obviously such a great Wisconsin collaboration and a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming summer season.”

The brand is promoting the collaboration with paid media, partnerships with influencers and grilling-themed displays for retail. It also has co-branded merch available at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls.

Consumers will be able to find the sausage from April 2 until late July, while supplies last, at select retailers in 19 states. To find their closest store, consumers can use Johnsonville’s product locator, and then sort for the Summer Shandy Brat under the “Fresh Grilling Sausages” section. 

For those outside the distribution region, a limited supply will also be available to purchase online. Consumers can also try one at the J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard at American Family Field in Milwaukee this baseball season.

Leinenkugel’s is planning another partnership with Johnsonville for the fall, centering around tailgating, called “Brats and Brewskis.” More details will be released later.

Camp Leinie’s returns

To round out their plans, Leinenkugel’s is bringing back Camp Leinie’s, its adult summer camp sweepstakes.

Leienkugel’s is partnering with Camp Halcyon in Wisconsin for the sweepstakes. The grand prize allows the winner and one guest three nights at Camp Halcyon, plus round-trip airfare, a transportation voucher and Leinenkugel’s merchandise. Other entrants could win Johnsonville brats for a year and Leinenkugel’s merchandise, including shirts, hats and camping gear.

To enter, legal drinking-age consumers can scan QR codes found in retail or visit The brand plans to promote the partnership with summer camp-inspired retail and on-premise tools, along with social media spots.