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“Believe it or not, it’s Summer Shandy season,” CJ Leinenkugel said just before he tapped the first keg of what has become a classic summer brew.

Leinenkugel was at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls on Friday night to mark the availability of draft Summer Shandy.

Patrons 21 and older were given free samples and a chance to win a canoe paddle signed by the Leinenkugel family.

Rob and Julie Peterson of Little Chute swung by for the brewery tour and to sample some Shandy on their honeymoon.

Leinenkugel enlisted their help in the ceremonial tapping.

“It was an honor,” Rob Peterson said.

“It’s one of his favorite brews,” Julie Peterson added.

Such is the case for many Leinenkugel fans. Summer Shandy is Leinie’s most popular seasonal beer, nearly outselling all the company’s other brands put together.

“It’s half our volume,” Leinenkugel said, adding that the brew is only available March through August.

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