food and beverages

Wisconsin Brands Johnsonville, Leinenkugel's Link Up For Beer Brats

Two Midwest summer mainstays joined forces on a new product bringing together two flavors long associated with each other.

Wisconsin brand beer Leninenkugel’s and sausage company Johnsonville partnered on the Summer Shandy Beer Brat, a grilling sausage infused with the flavor of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy (a shandy is a style of beer mixed with lemonade). The beer brats will be available for sale through late July at participating retailers across 19 states in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Southeast. Johnsonville is also making it available for sale to consumers outside these regions through its website, while supplies last.

 It’s a partnership with an air of inevitability, bringing together two brands often served alongside each other.

“Some things just belong together, and beer and bratwurst are no exceptions,” said Johnsonville Owner and Chairwoman Shelly Stayer in a release, calling the collaboration “a match made in Wisconsin.”



According to a release, the partnership came about in about the most Midwest way possible, stemming from a meeting between Stayer and the former president of the Molson Coors brewery, Dick Leinenkugel, at a Green Bay football game.

The brands are leaning into the Midwest nature of the “Lakeside link-up” in marketing the product on their social channels.

For Leinenkugel’s, this includes a paid partnership with Midwest-focused comedian, influencer and “Discover Wisconsin” host Alex Wehrley.

The brands will continue promoting the release through a “360 campaign,” according to a representative, which includes earned and paid media, influencer marketing, retail display advertising, and co-branded merchandise. There will also be a promotional sweepstakes as part of the beer brand’s “Camp Leinie’s” summer campaign.


The release also comes as Molson Coors has made the formerly seasonal Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy a year-round release, while bringing back Grapefruit Shandy as a seasonal release for the first time since 2019.


According to Molson Coors’ Beer & Beyond blog, the brand plans to promote the expanded release with a series of marketing campaigns. Bugher told the blog that the brand sees little overlap between Summer Shandy and the rest of its portfolio, adding, “And more importantly, Summer Shandy is incremental to the beer category – 30% of Summer Shandy drinkers buy no other beer.”

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