With sales of its crown jewel, Summer Shandy, surging despite the cold, Leinenkugel’s is set to add three new beverages to its national lineup: Session Helles; Lemon Haze IPA, Leinenkugel’s first national IPA; and a new flavor of its beer with a splash of seltzer, Spritzen.
The new additions pay heed to the brewery’s spirit of innovation, with Summer Shandy the most visible example.
‘We’ve always prided ourselves on our innovation, and now we’re bringing new styles that are on trend with what’s happening in craft,’ says Dick Leinenkugel, president of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
Craft trends indeed show that IPA and crisp styles like helles are growing in popularity among drinkers. IPA continues to be craft’s hottest style, and the haze craze shows no signs of ebbing. Meanwhile, beers with lower alcohol content are becoming more popular as drinkers migrate to beverages with fewer calories.
Leinenkugel’s Lemon Haze IPA
Lemon Haze IPA is Leinenkugel’s first year-round, national IPA and its first IPA since dabbling in the hop-forward beer space with Big Eddy Imperial IPA and Leinenkugel’s India Pale Lager.
Leinie’s says its take on the hazy IPA will resonate with drinkers who aren’t hop heads, but are attracted to a balanced beer packed with citrus flavors, Leinenkugel says. Results from testing in the Great Lakes region bear that out, with 87% of consumers saying they would buy it, internal data show.
‘It’s something that our consumers have been asking us about for long time, and I think we really hit on something that builds on lemon and lemonade and Summer Shandy,’ he says. ‘It’s got a refreshing profile, but also taps into what’s happening in craft with hazy IPAs, that juicier style of IPA.’
Pouring a hazy dark golden color and checking in at 4.9% alcohol-by-volume, Lemon Haze IPA comes in with a slightly malty, lemon zest aroma from Citra, Centennial, Cascade and Hallertau hops and a taste that matches. With a moderate body, it finishes with an IPA’s hoppy bitterness.
‘It’s not a knock-your-socks-off-blow-out-the-bitterness-on-the-back-of-your-tongue IPA, where you can’t taste food for a day,’ Leinenkugel says. ‘It’s going to deliver that great hop aroma, and you’ll pick up that lemon when you drink it.’
Leinenkugel’s Session Helles
With Session Helles, Leinenkugel’s is building upon its Germanic roots, but offering drinkers a more sessionable option, with an ABV that checks in at 3.4%, well below the traditional 5% helles.
‘When you think about being out with family or friends, perhaps enjoying a day on the lake or the beach, that 3.4% ABV and only 99 calories…