Ballantine Beer 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
Johnnie Walker Unveils Collaborations with Iconic Harris Tweed Hebrides and Oliver Sweeney
Beer Review: Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale
Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols
2 Gingers Below Features
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:
 
Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols

Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols

Watch as the Laphroaig Christmas choir turns product reviews into carols. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 22, 2014
PicoBrew's Zymatic Brews Craft Beer at the Touch of a Button

PicoBrew's Zymatic Brews Craft Beer at the Touch of a Button

Craft beer is only a button push away with this table-top brewing machine. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 19, 2014
Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

The final episode of The Colbert Report, or should we say The Colbdewar's Repewars, airs tonight on Comedy Central. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 18, 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
Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

The Carry On Cocktail Kit allows you to mix up some better than average in-flight drinks....read more ›

by Nasira B. Latif Dec 15, 2014
The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

Sometimes it's not as easy as picking up a random six pack and jamming it in your friend's stocking. That's wh...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Dec 15, 2014
Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 15, 2014
Holiday Pub Crawl: Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Holiday Pub Crawl: Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Enjoy a holiday pub crawl in nearby Boulder....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Dec 15, 2014
Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Hibernation is a hearty English Style Old Ale that would rouse the most snoozy bear from slumber....read more ›

by Nathan Solheim Dec 12, 2014
A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

Japan isn't usually the first thing you think of when you think about whisky, but that could change very soon. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 12, 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