This Shandy Punch is a perfect summer beer drink for entertaining. While the combo of sour beer, orange juice, and wine might seem strange, it is light and icy enough to enjoy during a heat wave. Or any 4th of July parties you might be planning.
Is there a heat wave where you’re at right now? I bet there is. My little town of Vacaville, California has been reaching 110 degrees the past week. Add that to the cold I’ve been slowly getting over and you have a very unmotivated Meg.
I missed posting last week for the first time in a long while. And over the next few posts, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of drinks or ice-cold desserts and treats. This Shandy Punch is the first of the bunch.
Let Me Explain
Okay. I know you probably cringed or maybe barfed in your mouth a little bit about combining beer and wine. So let me explain why this combo makes sense.
Sour and Barrel Aged Beers
The distinction between a sour beer and a barrel-aged beer is often blurred. A beer can be sour. Or barrel aged. And often it is both.
Bacteria and wild yeast are responsible for sour beers. Brewers can add particular strains through inoculation, open-air fermentation, fruit, and barrel aging. Barrel aging is simply aging brewed beer in recycled barrels from wineries and distilleries. Most sour beers I’ve tried are a combination of inoculation + fruit + barrel aging.
People’s reactions to sour beers are quite frankly, hilarious. They take a sip, their lips pucker up, they shake their head, and their eyes get really big. It’s what happened to me.
I was first introduced to sour beers when I moved to Santa Rosa for graduate school. Home of Russian River Brewing Company, there were many sour beers to choose from (with cool names like Consecration, Supplication, and Temptation).
Let’s just say sour beers are funky and a little rich. They’re not the type of beer you would want to be drinking a lot of during the heat of the day. Sour beers are also usually too adventurous for the average beer drinker.
But Memorial Day came around and I had a 22-ounce bottle of Anderson Valley Horse Tongue Wheat sitting in the fridge and an opened bottle of red wine. Inspiration struck. By adding wine to a wine barrel aged beer, would some of that funk disappear?
The answer is yes. By adding a very small percentage of wine to sour beer, you get a delightfully fizzy feeling light beer that still has a little kick to it. Adding the orange juice waters it down more, making it hot weather punch material.
What Beers to Look For
I used Anderson Valley Horse Tongue Wheat, a beer that’s fermented first in a stainless steel tank for 6 months and then in locally sourced wine barrels for another 6 months.
I think any wheat or blonde ale based sour beer aged in wine barrels will do. Sour beers tend to be more spontaneous brews that aren’t always available everywhere, so check out what your local breweries are getting up to.
If you’re like me, you always make more than what’s needed too. You can turn the leftover punch into a Strawberry Orange Shandy Sherbet.
- 1 and 1/3 cups red wine
- 5 and 1/2 cups sour beer 2 (22-fluid ounce) bottles
- 4 cups orange juice
- orange, lemon, and lime slices to garnish
- punch bowl
- Combine wine and beer in a large serving bowl filled with ice. Add the orange juice and stir until combined. I used 4 cups but feel free to add based on taste.
- Add orange, lemon, and lime slices for garnish.