Johnsonville, Leinenkugel’s Announce 'Summer Shandy' Brats

The Molson Coors brand will also bring back its Grapefruit Shandy beer.

Leinenkugels X Johnsonville 1920x1080 3 (1)
Molson Coors

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‚Äôt even available all summer, selling out before July 4.  

‚ÄúThe brand just took off,‚ÄĚ said Tony Bugher, president of Leinenkugel‚Äôs. ‚ÄúIt's the biggest brand in Leinenkugel‚Äôs portfolio by far.‚ÄĚ

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

‚ÄúWe think it's the right move and we also think there's a big opportunity,‚ÄĚ said 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‚Äôs offerings if available year-round, internal data proved that was incorrect.  

‚ÄúWe see very little overlap between Summer Shandy buyers and the rest of the Leinenkugel‚Äôs portfolio,‚ÄĚ said Bugher. ‚ÄúAnd more importantly, Summer Shandy is incremental to the beer category ‚Äď 30% of Summer Shandy drinkers buy no other beer.‚ÄĚ

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

‚ÄúWe like to say we‚Äôre going to ‚Äėmake anytime taste like summertime,‚Äô‚ÄĚ said Bugher. ‚ÄúWe've got a lot on our plate.‚ÄĚ

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

‚ÄúThe return of Grapefruit Shandy is a big deal,‚ÄĚ said Bugher. ‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ

Lakeside link-up with Johnsonville

Starting today, Leinenkugel‚Äôs 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‚Äôs lemonade-flavored Summer Shandy beer. ‚Äč

‚ÄúThis is big news for us,‚ÄĚ said Kimi Luttrell, associate marketing manager. ‚ÄúIt's obviously such a great Wisconsin collaboration and a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming summer season.‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôs product locator, and then sort for the Summer Shandy Brat under the ‚ÄúFresh Grilling Sausages‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs is planning another partnership with Johnsonville for the fall, centering around tailgating, called ‚ÄúBrats and Brewskis.‚ÄĚ 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 campleinies.com. The brand plans to promote the partnership with summer camp-inspired retail and on-premise tools, along with social media spots.

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