THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Beer Review: Saranac Shandy

by Tara Nurin on May 14, 2012 in Beer
Beer Review: Saranac Shandy

What does the beer industry do when sales are flagging? Flood the market with new beers! With overall beer sales down across the U.S. (while craft beer steadily gains a share), mainstream brewers are finding solace in the growing popularity of malternatives — malt beverages juiced with fruit or other flavorings — whose sales grew 15% by volume between 2010 and 2011.  So you’re not seeing quintuple when you’re spotting multiple versions of shandies — beer spiked with lemonade — on the shelves where before there were none. And with summer coming, we can expect to see many more.

Typical Yanks are just now discovering shandies while Brits and other Europeans have relied on them as a cooling summer staple for a century. With Leinenkugel burning up the market (their shandy has its own Facebook page), other breweries are stepping into the brush. Enter Utica, NY-based Saranac, which released its Shandy Lager & Lemonade this spring and appears to be the only craft brewer so far to do so. (Boston Beer Co. is releasing a Sam Adams variation on the shandy called a radler, and the company’s craft brew incubator, Alchemy and Science, has released Curious Traveler Shandy under the brand The House of Shandy Beer Company.)

Saranac’s version is exceptionally pale and exceedingly clear. It pours heady but quickly absorbs most of the head until it’s left with a clean, snow-white foam that clings to the edges and lightly coats the surface. Add to this the focused yet gentle lines of bubbles that float to surface and you realize what you’re looking at is a very pretty beer.

The 3.5% ABV liquid drinks so quickly that it was gone before I finished the review. There’s little that actually tastes like beer in this beverage — not a hint of noticeable flavor of hops, malt or yeast. What you do get is the feel of a mild, spritzy lemonade or an Italian lemon soda that very quickly turns sweet just before your mouth decides whether or not it wants to pucker. The tartness does last long enough to poke the underside of the tongue (in a friendly way), though the finish is just a touch medicinal.

This is an ideal quaff to pair with whitefish or salad drizzled with vinaigrette, or to serve to friends who don’t like the taste of beer – who, incidentally, are the exact audience the industry is trying to capture with the mass marketing of the shandy. Saranac beer is available in 26 states, most East of the Mississippi (although their soft-drink products — which include root beer, orange cream soda and ginger beer — are available in Arizona and California).

Have you tried a pre-made shandy? Mixed up your own? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

Morgan Street Company out of Ontario is trying to crowdfund a set of 'unique' whiskey stones....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 18, 2017
Game of Thrones & Ommegang Are Teaming Up For Its Line's Latest Beer, 'Winter Is Here'

Game of Thrones & Ommegang Are Teaming Up For Its Line's Latest Beer, 'Winter Is Here'

Just ahead of the July 16 premiere of HBO's megahit series Game of Thrones, Ommegang has announced its latest ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 11, 2017
Keep Calm & Carry On This Summer With Pimm's Popsicles

Keep Calm & Carry On This Summer With Pimm's Popsicles

The latest boozy summertime treat is the poshest yet - a U.K. based company is producing Pimm's popsicles....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 11, 2017
SPONSORED
AB InBev Brewers Responds to Brewers Association's Craft Label

AB InBev Brewers Responds to Brewers Association's Craft Label

AB InBev has released a video response to the craft beer seal recently developed by the Brewer's Association....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jul 11, 2017
A Negroni Fountain Now Exists in New York City

A Negroni Fountain Now Exists in New York City

Award-winning cocktail bar Dante, a New York institution, has teamed up with design and concept firm AvroKo to take over the currently empty Genuine r...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 6, 2017
A Texas Brewery Has Combined Ramen With Beer For Their Latest Brew

A Texas Brewery Has Combined Ramen With Beer For Their Latest Brew

College students, rejoice: a Texas brewery has made a beer using and inspired by ramen noodles....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 6, 2017
The Brewers Association Has Unveiled a Craft Brewery Seal

The Brewers Association Has Unveiled a Craft Brewery Seal

The Brewer's Association, an organization seeking to support 'small and independent craft breweries,' has developed an optional seal to be placed on l...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jun 27, 2017
There Are Two New Frozen Rose Treats to Keep You Cool This Summer

There Are Two New Frozen Rose Treats to Keep You Cool This Summer

Are you starting to feel like the rose market, between gummies, giant bottles, and even deodorants, is getting to be a little much? Too bad....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 27, 2017
George Clooney's Tequila Company Casamigos Sells to Diageo for $1 Billion

George Clooney's Tequila Company Casamigos Sells to Diageo for $1 Billion

Artist and philanthropist George Clooney can safely retire from Hollywood now - Casamigos, the tequila company...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jun 27, 2017
A Bar in Brooklyn Now Has a Beer ATM

A Bar in Brooklyn Now Has a Beer ATM

It was inevitable - people love beer, and people love convenience, especially in New York City. So Randolph Beer in Brooklyn has designed a convenient...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jun 20, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close