Wawa's Strawberry Lemonade Is Now a Beer
Growing up outside of Philadelphia, one of my fondest teenage memories was walking into Wawa on a hot summer's day and getting a cold carton of Wawa Raspberry Lemonade. Over the ensuing years, plenty has changed: Wawa's lemonades began selling in plastic bottles -- and new flavors emerged: Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade, Pomegranate Lemonade. Personally, as I got older, I became more likely to grab for a beer -- and thankfully, a few years ago, Wawa began making beer, too.
Now, for the summer of 2021, all that nostalgia is coming full circle: Wawa has announced plans to collaborate on their first-ever summer beer -- and of course, it's inspired by their signature flavored lemonade. This week, Wawa and 2SP Brewing Company are releasing Sunfest Strawberry Lemonade Shandy.
As has been the case with past collaborations, 2SP's head brewer Bob Barrar teamed up with Wawa's manager of concept development and beverage guru Michael McLaughlin to make sure the beer was authentically Wawa. The 4-percent ABV results are billed as "a crushable, light-bodied shore beer with a touch of strawberry sweetness and a delightful pucker finish."
"We brewed a modern shandy recipe that includes a unique yeast that showcases the spectrum of flavors of Wawa's Strawberry Lemonade," Michael Contreras, 2SP's director of sales and marketing, said in the announcement. "The collaborative approach to the Sunfest beer was to find that balance of upfront strawberry sweetness with a refreshing lemon citrus finish that comes from the lemonade. What's the result? A Strawberry Lemonade Shandy that sings summer crusher."
Adding to the excitement, Wawa promises that, though still a limited-quantity release, this beer will be available at more Wawa stores than before -- thanks to the fact that Wawa now has six locations which are allowed to sell beer under Pennsylvania's notoriously stingy (but getting better) alcohol laws. Starting this Thursday, June 24, fans will be able to find the beer at the Wawa locations in Chadds Ford, Middletown, Blakeslee, Emmaus, Horsham, and Philadelphia (Penrose Avenue).
On Saturday, Sunfest will also begin being sold at the 2SP Brewery in Aston. And then starting Monday, the beer will arrive at select distributors and beer retailers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Eastern Shore Maryland. Six-packs of 12-ounce cans have a suggested price of $8.99.
Finally, beer diehards who want to go all-in on this new release have two launch events they can attend. On June 24 at 4 p.m., the Penrose Wawa location will host a ceremonial first pour along with samples and beach-themed giveaways. Then, at 12 p.m. on June 26, 2SP Brewing Company will be holding their own release party with "a beach-themed bash at the Delco brewery with boardwalk style games, mechanical surfboard, live music, food trucks and more." Mare of Easttown would be proud!