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All About the Shandy Beer

All About the Shandy Beer

Perfect for the summer heat, shandy beers are refreshing and light. Here’s a short history of the revitalizing British shandy.


How do you like your beer? Dark? Light? Smoky? Dry? Pale? Strong? In a can? On tap? Cold? At room temperature? On its own? Or with something mixed in?

With so many different types of beer in the world and so many brands selling them, we’ll never run out of beers to taste!

But when summer comes around, there’s one beer with lemonade that makes its way to pubs and homes across the UK and other parts of the world too! Shandy beer!

What is Shandy Beer?

Shandy is a mixture of beer with lemonade or any other citrus beverage that may or may not be carbonated. With lesser alcohol content than regular beer, it’s a refreshing summer drink.

Shandy is usually poured as a 50:50 mixture, but the quantity of lemonade can be adjusted to taste.

Important: beer has to be poured first. Otherwise, you’ll get a very fizzy drink.

Where did the Shandy Beer originate?

Shandy originated in the 1850s in England where it was earlier known as Shandygaff. The Shandygaff was a mixture of beer and ginger ale or ginger beer that Charles Dickens considered the perfect “alliance between beer and pop.”

It was also called the “poor man’s champagne”.

By the late 19th-century, the ginger ale in the Shandygaff was replaced by lemonade or lemon soda, and the “gaff” was dropped to shorten the word to Shandy.


What is the difference between shandy and a radler?

A Radler is essentially the German version of a shandy.

Legend has it that in 1922, an immensely large group of cyclists stopped by a Bavarian inn on the Munich trail for a drink. The innkeeper Franz Xaver Kugler was running low on beer that day and ingeniously thought of mixing it with lemon soda to increase the quantity. The cyclists loved the drink, and the rest as they say is history.

No wonder Kugler named the drink ‘Radler’ which means cyclist in German!

Is there a difference between the Radler and the Shandy other than their origins?

A teeny bit, but an important bit. A shandy is usually made by mixing beer with lemonade or lemon-flavored drinks and no other flavors, while the Radler can be made with lemonade or any other fruit juice.

Now that you know the difference, why not go and whip up some shandy at home!


Other FAQs about Beer with Lemonade

What beer is best for shandy?

Light beers such as Pilsner make the best shandy.

Which lemonade should I use?

Use any fizzy or non-fizzy lemonade of your choice. 7-Up and Sprite are good choices.

How much beer is consumed every year?

Almost 200 kilo liters of beer is consumed globally every year.

What is a rock shandy?

A non-alcoholic shandy made without beer is called a rock shandy. This shandy is usually made with lemonade, soda, and angostura bitters.

What is beer and coke called?

A popular drink in Germany, beer with coke – Colabier, Diesel, Colaweizen, Krefelder, Teichwasser, and many different names depending on the region.

What are other drinks similar to the shandy?

  • Biermischgetränke, Russ, or Radler in Germany
  • Clara in Spain
  • Bul in Cuba
  • Panaché in France and Switzerland
  • Fanschop in Chile
  • Sneeuwwitje in the Netherlands
  • Portergaff in Australia
  • Refajo in Colombia
  • Kip Lin in Singapore