Traditionally, a shandy, like its German cousin the radler, is a simple combination of beer and a soft drink, such as a citrus-flavored soda or fresh juice. These drinks are low-alcohol, fruity and highly refreshing, making them ideal candidates for summertime sipping.
Angry Chair Brewing in Seminole Heights is perhaps best known for its decadent imperial stouts, but it's also no slouch in the fruited sour ale category. The brewery has released a deconstructed shandy of sorts, combining an already-mild wheat beer base (thereby making the soft drink portion of the equation unnecessary) with fresh citrus to create what it calls a "sour radler."
The beer is called Electric Chair, and it's the creation of brewer Jordan Copher, who created an earlier version during a stint at Tampa's Cigar City, where the beer was a huge hit with the staff due to its refreshing nature and low alcohol content. The idea was to create a beer that drinks like a carbonated lemonade.
Electric Chair starts as a 4.1 percent alcohol by volume wheat beer (similar to a Berliner weisse) that's given a late addition of Lemondrop hops — the name is as descriptive as you'd hope — before being dry-hopped and treated with both lemon and grapefruit zest post-fermentation. The result is a beer that's more dry than tart, with a light body and extremely high level of drinkability.
Electric Chair is available on draft in Angry Chair's tasting room for $6 a glass, or you can take a larger bottle home — supply is limited, so don't wait too long — for $12. — Justin Grant
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