Bluecoat Gin - Leaderboard
THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
Signup

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
Official Easter Cocktail: Zombie Peep Corpse Reviver
Bars That Rock: The Essential Guide to Drinking and Rocking Out in Philadelphia
Win a Pair of Tickets to the Sold Out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington DC!
From Around The Web

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:
 
Win a Pair of Tickets to the Sold Out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington DC!

Win a Pair of Tickets to the Sold Out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington DC!

We're giving away a pair of tickets to this year's sold out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington D...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 14, 2014
Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em: Where to Celebrate 4/20 in Denver

Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em: Where to Celebrate 4/20 in Denver

Where to catch some of music's dopest acts and other smokin' good times on this "high holiday." ...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Apr 14, 2014
Win a Pair of Tickets to the Sold Out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington DC!

Win a Pair of Tickets to the Sold Out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington DC!

We're giving away a pair of tickets to this year's sold out SAVOR Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington D...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 14, 2014
SPONSORED
Perennial Funding - rectangle
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›

by Jenny An Sep 3, 2013
New Documentary Explores the Lore of Malort, AKA the World's Worst Liquor

New Documentary Explores the Lore of Malort, AKA the World's Worst Liquor

For anyone who's ever had the pleasure of throwing back a shot of the stuff, the first question that comes to ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 11, 2014
The Brewers Art Wants to Hear From Fans On What to Rename its Ozzy Beer

The Brewers Art Wants to Hear From Fans On What to Rename its Ozzy Beer

This week The Brewers Art announced that it will change the name of Ozzy, but solemnly swears that the recipe ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 11, 2014
Five Boro Craft Beer Fest Brings Exclusive Beers to Long Island City, April 25

Five Boro Craft Beer Fest Brings Exclusive Beers to Long Island City, April 25

Taste exclusive beers and food from local breweries and restaurants at this awesome beer fest. ...read more ›

by Drink NYC Apr 10, 2014
Drinking on the Job: Freelancers Choose Bars Over Coffee Shops as Places to Conduct Business
by The Drink Nation Apr 9, 2014
Mobile Brews: Food Cart Pods That Serve Beer in Portland

Mobile Brews: Food Cart Pods That Serve Beer in Portland

Here in Portland, beer just got more mobile. Here are four food cart pods where you can grab a cold one with your street food. ...read more ›

by Karen Locke Apr 8, 2014
VIP Tickets For Maryland Craft Beer Fest Are Already Sold Out; General Admission Still Available

VIP Tickets For Maryland Craft Beer Fest Are Already Sold Out; General Admission Still Available

The fest, which promotes and supports the mission of The Brewers Association of Maryland, will bring dozens of...read more ›

by Drink Baltimore Apr 8, 2014
SPONSORED
Read The Drink Nation Anywhere You Are
View all Articles

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

Close