Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Beer >
Aug 16, 2005 04:07 PM

Adding stuff like lemons to beer - good idea? Why? [moved from General Topics]

  • r

Buried in another thread is a discussion about adding lemon to Hefeweizen which some people seem to think ditract from the beer and probably is a US thing.

Often a lime is served with Mexican beers. My opinion is that like bad tequilla, it takes the edge off of mediocre Mexican beers.

I had a Belgium Beer called Berliner Weisse which is traditionally served with a shot of raspberry or green woodruff syrup. In the link below, the beer fan says to drink it straight. Tried that. I say, add the sugar. The straight version is horrible sour in a bad way to me.

Looking around I found a wheat beer which was served with with a spicing of coriander and salt which was said to bring out a tang in the beer. The same beer was sometimes laced with sherry or the raspberry / woodruff syrups.

So, are there any other compatablie additions to beers? Or is it a beer sin to add ingrediants?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yards Saison (available only in summer) is served with an orange slice. Doesn't distract at all, it just complements the flavor with another refreshing, fruity level.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gina

      Try mixing 2 parts mediocre beer (tecate in my case), 1 part champagne, 1/4 a lime, and 1/4 lemon.

      We call it -- Champeer!

    2. As always, it's all about personal taste--I remember my dad once ordering, and actually drinking, a Coors (Oklahoma-style 3.2%) mixed with tomato juice.

      7 Replies
      1. re: PayOrPlay
        The Jeff Next Door

        My brother-in-law drinks that -- he calls it a "Red Beer." BTW, he's from Idaho-Montana-Colorado-Nevada-New Mexico-Oregon.

        1. re: The Jeff Next Door

          How about Clamato Beer? Clamato, 1/4 bottle of beer, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt and chili powder. Motts suggests this on their website aimed at hispanic consumers.

          No worse than a Bloody Caesar, I suppose, which is Canada's top cocktail.

          1. re: The Jeff Next Door

            In the southeast, it's called a "redeye". Great with a breakfast of fish and grits.

            1. re: The Jeff Next Door

              Years ago at my dad's bar in Southern Oregon, some of the regulars - particularly in the mornings if memory serves - used to mix the draft beer (blitz weinhard) with tomato juice. Never had much appeal to me though.

            2. re: PayOrPlay

              My uncle from Wisconsin who, at the time (1950's+)added a raw egg to his beer. At the time I thought it was quite gross-and still do. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

              1. re: Ken

                I know drinks like that were very popular in the 1800's.

              2. re: PayOrPlay

                Tomato Juice and Beer, isn't that called a "Bloody Monkey"

              3. You just demonstated why Germans like to do it. (Berliner Weisse, as the name implies, is a German, NOT a Belgian beer) and I can't see Belgians adding a sweet syrup. They will add fruit as an adjunct during the brewing process, but the products are notable for their tartness, not sweetness.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Gary Soup

                  You're right, Gary. Berliner Weisse is a German wheat beer, made in the Berlin style. The main reason people add lemon to wheat beer is to enhance the natural tartness imparted by the yeasts. It's not to cover up anything or make a bad beer better.

                  Belgian-style witbier (which is actually an ale) is brewed with bitter orange peel and cardamom. Many styles of beer and ales add flavorings, and, in reality, the malts, hops and specialty yeasts used in the brewing process are all flavoring agents. Without them, beer is just water.

                2. "Shandy" is a fifty-fifty combination of beer and either lemonade or ginger ale. It's popular in England.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: N Tocus

                    A friend of mine who grew up spending his summers in Augsburg, Germany often spoke of a local summer drink made of strong ale (maximator), coca-cola and cherry schnapps poured over a tall glass of ice. "Totally awesome!", was how he described it. It sold by the pitcher in his uncle's restaurant.

                    1. re: N Tocus

                      just to note--"lemonade" in england is usually a clear, lemon-flavored, sweet soda. a bit cloying on its own, but nice in a shandy!

                      1. I thought you were only supposed to add lemon to kristalweizen, or clear wheat beers. Not the cloudier hefeweizen style.