This refreshing but not too sweet Lemon Shandy recipe is made with homemade lemonade and wheat beer. Easy measurements yield exactly four shandies.

Glasses of lemon shandy garnished with lemon wedges and fresh mint in front of a patterned blue background.

This lemon shandy recipe is fresh, sparkling and so refreshing!

If you love the IDEA of a lemon shandy more than you actually love the pre-mixed bottled versions, this recipe is for you.

Personally, I think the idea of an ice cold beer with some lemonade in it sounds so refreshing. But the big, well known brand of bottled summer shandy is just too sweet for me. About half a bottle, and I’m totally done with it.

This homemade lemon beer is the perfect balance of lemonade that isn’t too sweet, sparkling water for bubbles, and wheat beer.

Why you will love this lemon beer

  • Lemony but not too sweet. You won’t get heartburn from a drink with too much sugar!
  • Made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.
  • Easy to prep in advance. Make the simple syrup ahead of time and you’re all set to stir up your shandies whenever you’re ready.
A pint glassed filled with lemon beer, garnished with mint and lemon slices.

What is a shandy?

A shandy is beer-based cocktail where beer is combined with a non-alcoholic beverage like lemonade or citrus soda.

This beer with lemon concoction originated in Europe but has gained popularity in the United States thanks to how delightful it is!

Ingredients in front of a patterned blue wall, including a bottle of beer, citrus juice, sugar and simple syrup.

Lemon shandy beer ingredients

  • sugar – regular granulated sugar is what will add sweetness to the shandy.
  • water – please note that you’ll need regular still (tap) water AND a bottle of sparkling water to make this lemonade shandy.
  • lemon juice – freshly squeeze it from real lemons, none of that bottled stuff!
  • wheat beer – you’ll need four 12 ounce bottles of wheat beer. More on this below.

What beer is best for lemonade shandy?

This really isn’t the time to experiment with dark beers like porters or stouts, or heavily hopped or complex-tasting beers.

Keep it light and simple. Think something that you would serve with buttermilk chicken tenders or grilled chicken wings, and you’re probably good.

My favorite is wheat beer (Weihenstephaner Hefe is one I prefer), but pilsners and saisons are also great choices for a lemon shandy.

Three glasses filled with lemon shandy beer in front of light blue wallpaper.

How to make a shandy

  1. Make a simple syrup out of equal parts sugar and water. Transfer it to the fridge to fully cool before making your shandies.
  2. Grab a pitcher and stir together the simple syrup, some sparkling water and fresh lemon juice.
  3. Pour one bottle of beer into each of 4 pint glasses. Divide the sparkling lemonade mixture over the beers. Serve immediately!
A pint glass filled with beer and lemonade, garnished with mint and lemon, with hot dogs in the background.

How to serve beer with lemon

If you can, chill your pint glasses in the freezer for a couple of minutes before serving your shandies so you have chilled glasses.

Serve the shandies garnished with lemon wedges, and mint sprigs for color if you want (but totally not necessary).

The best snacks to serve with beer and lemonade

Who doesn’t love an ice cold beer with some salty snacks? Even better when there’s a splash of lemonade involved.

My favorite snacks to serve with lemon beer are:

A tall glass of beer and lemonade, garnished with a citrus slice and fresh mint sprig.

Beer with lemonade storage

The simple syrup can be made and refrigerated up to 1 week before serving.

Because sparkling water loses its fizz quickly, don’t stir up the pitcher of sparkling lemonade until just before serving.

Home Chef Tips for Lemon Shandy

  • Feel free to experiment with sweeteners. Instead of granulated sugar, try an equal amount of honey or agave nectar in the sugar syrup for a twist.
  • Try a flavored sparkling water to add another layer of flavor to beer with lemonade. Stick with lemon flavor, or try it with lime or grapefruit sparkling water.
A tall glass of lemonade shandy, garnished with a lemon slice and fresh mint sprig.

Recipe for lemon shandy FAQ

Can I use Meyer lemons?

If Meyer lemons are in season, they are perfect for a lemon shandy beer! Their sweet and slightly floral flavor pairs nicely with wheat beer.

Can I use lager beer?

Shandies are best with a wheat beer, but a lager will work for beer and lemonade in a pinch!

Do I serve lemon shandy over ice?

Some recipes call for serving lemon beer over ice, but I don’t think it’s needed, as long as your beer, sparkling water and simple syrup are all well chilled before you stir them together.

A pint glass of beer being topped off with lemonade from a small pitcher, in front of a patterned blue wall.
Glasses of lemon shandy garnished with lemon wedges and fresh mint in front of a patterned blue background.

Lemon Shandy

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This refreshing but not too sweet Lemon Shandy recipe is made with homemade lemonade and wheat beer. Easy measurements yield exactly four shandies.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1-1/3 cups chilled sparkling water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 bottles (12 ounces each) chilled wheat beer (I used Weihenstephaner Hefe)

Instructions

  1. In small saucepot, heat sugar and 1/3 cup water to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When all sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to jar and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. In small pitcher, stir together sparkling water, lemon juice and sugar syrup until well combined.
  3. Pours beer into chilled pint glasses and top each glass with sparkling lemonade. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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