It’s time for another edition of the not-yet-that-popular-but-gaining-serious-momentum feature known as the Mailbag, where I field questions from the seedy, scummy characters of the TFM community. This week’s question is about summer and beer, a couple topics I’m confident in saying that I’m pretty well-versed in. Beer is actually my go-to antidote to cure the summertime blues, and being a self-proclaimed mild-to-moderate beer snob, I’ve tried quite a few different cold ones in my life.
One of those is Leinenkugel’s summer seasonal, the Summer Shandy. A shandy, for those unaware, is a concoction of beer and lemonade, which, if you’re a self-respecting male member of society, should immediately raise a red flag. But is it okay to drink? I received an email asking me if the Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy was acceptable to drink during the summertime, and questioning whether or not you can drink it without turning in your man card.
Aight, so my friends and I have been having an intense debate for months now: is Summer Shandy a manly enough beer for fraternity men to drink? Some of my friends are convinced that it’s just Mike’s Hard in a nice button down while the rest of us insist that Summer Shandy is in fact the ultimate summer beer for the ultimate summer gentleman.
As far as manliness goes, I’m seeing the spectrum ranging from Skinny Girl Moscato (admittedly that’ll fuck you up) to Guinness with a stick of dynamite in it served by a flaming grizzly bear. The nay-sayers argue that the fine people of Leinenkugel took some beer and just poured lemonade into it before they bottle the puppy, thus creating the lazy man’s version of Mike’s Hard and thus a total pussy drink. Supporters of Summer Shandy on the other hand insist that the brewers expertly crafted an infusion of lemony essence with a fine alcoholic base, ending up in a refreshing and yet inebriating mixture fit for the gods.
I literally know nothing about brewing but I know you just pour some shit into some other shit to make a Shandy, so while the voices against Summer Shandy have a point, I think it’s totally unfair to assert that such a concoction is not manly. First off, Summer Shandy is much more full bodied than Mike’s Hard (more like Mike’s Soft, am I right?). Second, this is a Shandy, not some Malt Liquor bullshit. Finally, check that proud brave on the bottle’s label…so strong…so confident…so manly. I’m allowed to say brave right?
Anyway, I come to you, the guy who in the moment I perceive as the expert of all things manly and fraternal, in my time of need. Can I keep drinking Summer Shandy and continue my (intended) image as a chill ass bro, or must i throw out the fine brew in favor of something more manly?
Lot of words there, bro. A simple, “Can I drink Summer Shandy without looking like a bitch?” would’ve done just fine. Thanks for reaching out, though.
I almost always operate under the “If it makes you happy, go for it” school of thought, but within reason, of course. I mean, if tossing puppies into a raging river makes you happy, don’t go for it. Check yourself into a psych ward instead. But if something makes you happy, and it’s not societally and socially reprehensible, go for it and don’t worry what other people think. Caring too much about how your peers perceive you is the first step in becoming a try-hard, and we all know how everyone around here feels about those.
A dude who flaunts his two-incher around a locker room gets more bro props than the guy who rocks a hog but showers with his trunks on.
If you like the way Summer Shandy tastes, and admittedly it doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds, you drink the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck out of it. You have to own it, though. Shower in that shit if you want to. You will get judged, as you know, especially by the Bud and Miller purists you drink with, but if you own it, they’ll have no choice but to offer you at least a flicker of respect. You can get away with almost anything if you’re confident about it. A dude who flaunts his two-incher around a locker room gets more bro props than the guy who rocks a hog but showers with his trunks on.
Don’t even use a koozie. That’ll hide the label and give the appearance that you’re ashamed. Let it be known in front of God and everyone else that you like lemonade in your fucking beer, and you’re not about to give in to peer shame. Maybe even drop a little “fuck you” cocktail umbrella in there for some flair. You know, really show your boys what they’re up against.