One sip of our Limoncello Shandy, and you're transported to summer. At least that’s what our Brewer Brad Young says is the reason why he believes so many fans will love it.
“We just had the best day of the year this past Sunday, we’re all feeling ready for warmer weather. Our Limoncello Shandy couldn’t be coming at a better time,” says Brad.
We got the chance to sit down with Brad and talk about our newest shandy. There’s no better way to spend a lunch break than by sipping a Cape May Brew Co. Limoncello Shandy and talking about the inspiration behind it.
[Ed note: Small sips of course, because it is 8% and although sampling the beer is part of the job, we had to get back to work.]
“What inspired the On The Way team to create a Limoncello Shandy?,” we asked Brad as we sat in the barrel room.
“My fiance and I were on our way back to Cape May from a wedding in North Jersey and decided to stop for pizza at Columbia Inn (because, duh, stopping for pizza in North Jersey is a non-negotiable). We were sitting at the bar, enjoying our thin crust pizza, when the bartender whips out Limoncello and starts pouring it for the couple next to us,” says Brad. “I was like ‘Hey, can we get some of that?’ and the bartender gave us two shots on the house. On our way home, I kept thinking about how good this would taste in a shandy. It was the first thing I brought up in our On The Way meeting when I got into work the following week.”
[Ed note: Our On The Way team consists of our Marketing Manager Casey McBride, Tasting Room Manager Chris Costello, Brewers Brad Young and John Ackley, and Guest Guru Mary Braccili. The team gets together bi-weekly to come up with the best beer ideas, exclusively for the Tasting Room!]
“Can you walk us through the taste of it?” we asked, pulling a perfectly chilled Limoncello Shandy out of our bag. The design alone will make you excited to try it. Bright, yellow lemons and green leaves are wrapped around the can, along with different colors of blue to compliment it.
“It hits that tart flavor up front,” says Brad after taking a sip. “It’s very zippy and zesty from the real lemon zest that we used. Lemon juice is added post-fermentation to keep it sweet. I think overall it does a good job of capturing that punchy, lemon flavor, which is exactly what I wanted. It’s so refreshing.”
When we think of the word ‘refreshing’, we imagine pulling an ice-cold Limoncello Shandy out of a cooler on a warm summer day while at the beach. Only 57 more days until Memorial Day weekend, but who's counting?
[Ed note: Who are we kidding? We all are.]
Are you curious about what the brewing process was like for this shandy? We were too, so we asked.
“At Cape May Brewery, we make a ton of shandies, so we already have our base down, which is just a really clean ale. We use a little bit of wheat and a little bit of rice to get good fermentable sugars. The rice is what keeps it really clean, which is what we want because we are going to fruit our shandies so heavily. Then we added some lemon zest at the end of the boil to carry that flavor through the wort. It’s super lightly hopped because all you need from hops in a beer like this is a little bit of bitterness for balance.”
Intrigued, we went a little deeper. “Was there a certain part in this brewing process that was the most important?”
“I would say the base beer is your most important step, but being that we do so many shandies here, we already had that dialed in,” says Brad. “I focused on bumping the ABV up, which meant adding more grain. I tried all different kinds of lemon juices because I really wanted this flavor to be just right. Flavor is important when it comes to all of our shandies, that’s actually called bench-topping, which is when we pull little tiny samples of beer and tiny samples of different flavors and juices and mix it in a sample until we get that taste that everyone agrees on.”
We discussed with Brad what food might pair best with this Limoncello Shandy, going back and forth between different pizza options. Although a thin crust pizza sounds delicious, if there’s one thing we were both in agreement with, it’s that this shandy stands well on its own – no pairing needed.
We asked Brad our final question of the day. “How does it feel as a brewer to create so many beers and shandies that are loved by so many?”
Humbly, he responds.
“I like running into people and you get to talking about Cape May and they’re like ‘Holy sh*t, I love your beer.’ So, it feels really good. It’s cool to get positive feedback from everyone at the company and our fans. Our beer is about enjoying the moment; sit down, share a beer, have some fun... And this shandy is a really great one to share.”
We’re lucky to have such amazing brewers at Cape May Brewing Company that can bring incredible creations like Limoncello Shandy to life. The love from our fans is a testament to just how talented our team is!
Limoncello Shandy is now available in the Tasting Room on draft and in our Brewtique for pickup for $16.99!