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
Home Bar Project Below Features

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:
 
The Shark Week Drinking Game

The Shark Week Drinking Game

This year, one of cable TV's longest-running programs celebrates its 28th anniversary. Enjoy it to the fullest with this handy game. Shark Week starts...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 2, 2015
The Struggle Is Real When This Reporter Attempts to Run Her First Beer Mile
by The Drink Nation Jun 22, 2015
Inflatable Irish Pub Is the Bouncy Castle of Your Dreams

Inflatable Irish Pub Is the Bouncy Castle of Your Dreams

You can now rent an inflatable Irish pub complete with wolfhounds and shepherd's pie. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jun 18, 2015
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
The Drink Nation Father's Day Gift Guide 2015

The Drink Nation Father's Day Gift Guide 2015

Don't just settle for getting your dad another tie or mug. Get him a gift he'll really appreciate this year....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 16, 2015
Enjoy High Altitude Flavors at the Mammoth Lakes Food & Wine Experience, June 26 & 27
by Carrie Dow Jun 15, 2015
BrewDog Announces Plans to Build a Brewery in Ohio

BrewDog Announces Plans to Build a Brewery in Ohio

World renown Scottish brewery, BrewDog, announced preliminary plans for a 100,000 square foot brewery in Columbus, Ohio. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 15, 2015
Craft Brewery Stands in Budweiser's Way of Trademarking Brewed the Hard Way

Craft Brewery Stands in Budweiser's Way of Trademarking "Brewed the Hard Way"

Budweiser is trying to trademark "Brewed the Hard Way", but a craft brewery might have beaten them to it....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jun 12, 2015
Cool off With a Hovito Mojito at Disney's New Indiana Jones Themed Bar
by Emily Lee Jun 11, 2015
John Oliver Delivers on FIFA Challenge and Chugs a Bud Light Lime

John Oliver Delivers on FIFA Challenge and Chugs a Bud Light Lime

Watch as John Oliver delivers on his promise to drink a Budweiser product. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 9, 2015
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