Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

When Beer Meets Lemonade


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Harriet Moeller



Food and travel go hand in hand, offering a delightful opportunity to explore different culinary traditions and flavors from around the world. But what if we combine another element into the mix? Enter food travel with a twist – beer, and specifically, shandies.


Shandies are a unique concoction that combines beer with lemonade, resulting in a refreshing and tangy beverage that is perfect for those hot summer days or as a unique twist to your usual pint.


The history of shandies can be traced back to the 19th century, where they gained popularity in the United Kingdom and Europe. Originally known as “shandygaff” in Britain, this delightful beverage provided a lighter and more palatable option for those who wanted to enjoy a beer without the full strength and intensity.


The art of mixing beer and lemonade lies in finding the perfect balance between the bitterness of the beer and the citrusy sweetness of the lemonade. This marriage of flavors creates a harmonious blend that is both thirst-quenching and satisfying.


Shandies have evolved over the years, with various regional variations and adaptations. Some countries opt for a traditional mix of lagers and lemonade, while others experiment with different types of beer and citrus-based mixers, such as lime, grapefruit, or even orange juice.


The popularity of shandies has transcended borders, and they have become a staple in many food and beverage cultures around the world. From the radlers of Germany to the clara of Spain and the panaché of France, shandies have made their mark in the global beer scene.


While shandies are undoubtedly delicious, they also offer a range of benefits. The addition of lemonade adds a refreshing tartness and often lowers the alcohol content, making them a more approachable and sessionable beverage. Shandies are also a great option for those who may not typically enjoy the bitterness of beer but still want to experience and appreciate the flavors of different brews.


In spite of the numerous advantages, shandies do come with a few drawbacks. The dilution caused by the lemonade can impact the overall flavor profile of the beer, which may not be appealing to purists. Additionally, the sweetness of the lemonade can mask some of the more nuanced flavors of certain beer styles, making it a less ideal choice for craft beer enthusiasts.


Curious to try your hand at making your own shandy? Stay tuned as we delve into the art of creating these delightful beverages and explore some popular variations that you can try at home. So, grab your pint glass and get ready to embark on a flavorful journey of beer and lemonade.


The History of Shandies

The origins of shandies can be traced back to the 19th century in the United Kingdom, where it gained popularity as a refreshing and lighter alternative to straight beer. The term “shandy” is derived from the British slang term “shandygaff,” which referred to a mix of beer and ginger beer or ginger ale.


Shandies were initially created to cater to those who wanted to enjoy the taste of beer but preferred a milder and less intoxicating version. In an era when beer was often higher in alcohol content and perceived as an essential part of British culture, shandies became a popular choice among individuals who wanted a more enjoyable and sociable drinking experience.


It wasn’t until the 20th century that shandies gained more widespread recognition and began to take on different variations. In Germany, shandies are known as “radlers,” which translates to “cyclists” in English. Legend has it that the term originated when a German innkeeper mixed beer with lemon soda to serve to thirsty cyclists during a race in the early 20th century.


Shandies also found popularity in other European countries. In France, the version known as “panaché” combines beer with lemonade or carbonated lemon soda, providing a refreshing option in the warm summer months. Similarly, in Spain, “clara” is a mix of beer and sparkling lemon soda, often enjoyed as a light and refreshing beverage.


The popularity of shandies eventually spread beyond Europe, making its way to the United States and other parts of the world. Craft breweries have even started experimenting with their own versions of shandies, incorporating unique flavors and ingredients to create a modern twist on this classic drink.


Today, shandies continue to be embraced by both beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. They offer a delicious and approachable option for those seeking a lighter and more refreshing beverage without sacrificing the enjoyment and flavors of beer. Whether you prefer a traditional mix of lager and lemonade or a more adventurous combination, shandies are a testament to the enduring appeal of blending different flavors and creating unique drinking experiences.


The Art of Mixing Beer and Lemonade

The art of mixing beer and lemonade lies in finding the perfect balance between the flavors of both ingredients. It’s a delicate dance of sweetness and bitterness, creating a harmonious blend that is both refreshing and satisfying.


When it comes to selecting the right beer for your shandy, there are a few factors to consider. The choice of beer largely depends on personal preference and the flavors you want to highlight. Typically, lighter beers such as lagers, pilsners, and wheat beers work well in shandies, as their crisp and clean profiles complement the bright and citrusy character of lemonade.


On the other hand, stronger and more robust beers, such as IPAs or stouts, may overpower the lemonade and result in an imbalanced flavor. However, experimenting with different beer styles can also lead to exciting and surprising combinations, so don’t be afraid to get creative.


The next crucial component of a shandy is the lemonade. While store-bought lemonade can be used, some prefer making their own fresh lemonade for a more vibrant and authentic flavor. Homemade lemonade allows control over the sweetness and tartness, creating a personalized experience.


When it comes to the ratio of beer to lemonade, the choice is entirely subjective. Some like a stronger presence of beer with just a hint of lemonade, while others prefer a more balanced combination. It’s all about experimenting and finding the perfect blend that suits your taste buds.


The process of mixing beer and lemonade is relatively simple. Start by pouring the desired amount of beer into a glass, leaving enough space for the lemonade. Slowly add the lemonade, stirring gently to incorporate the flavors without creating excessive foam. Take a moment to admire the delightful hues created by the fusion of beer and lemonade before taking your first sip.


Remember, shandies are meant to be enjoyed immediately. The mixture may lose its effervescence and flavor over time, so it’s best to make just enough for immediate consumption.


As you savor your shandy, notice how the delightful tanginess of the lemonade complements the crispness of the beer. The sweetness of the lemonade softens the bitterness of the beer, creating a refreshing and well-rounded flavor profile. Each sip offers a perfect balance between the two elements, making a shandy a truly enjoyable and unique experience.


So, whether you’re looking to cool down on a hot summer day or simply want to explore new and exciting flavor combinations, the art of mixing beer and lemonade opens up a world of possibilities. Get creative, embrace experimentation, and enjoy the process of discovering your perfect shandy blend.


Popular Variations of Shandies

Shandies have evolved over the years and taken on various regional variations and adaptations. Here are some popular variations of shandies that have gained recognition and popularity around the world:

  1. Traditional Shandy: This classic shandy combines equal parts lager or light beer with lemonade. It offers a balanced and refreshing flavor profile that is loved by many.
  2. Radler: Originating from Germany, radler is a popular variation of shandy that combines beer with fruit soda or lemonade. Traditionally, it consists of lager or wheat beer mixed with lemon soda. Radlers often feature unique fruit flavors like grapefruit, raspberry, or even elderflower.
  3. Clara: Known as clara in Spain, this variation mixes beer with a sparkling lemon soda. The result is a light and effervescent drink that is perfect for hot summer days.
  4. Panaché: In France, the panaché is a popular choice. It combines beer with either lemonade or carbonated lemon soda. The mix of beer and citrus creates a delightful and refreshing beverage.
  5. Shandygaff: The name that inspired the term “shandy,” shandygaff traditionally referred to a mix of beer and ginger beer or ginger ale. This variation offers a unique twist with a hint of spiciness and warmth.
  6. Frühschoppen: This German variation is typically enjoyed as a mid-morning or early afternoon drink. It combines beer with club soda, lemonade, or flavored syrups, offering a lighter and more thirst-quenching option.

These variations are just a few examples of the countless possibilities when it comes to shandies. Many breweries and craft beer enthusiasts have taken inspiration from these traditional recipes and created their own unique interpretations.


Experimentation is key when it comes to shandies. Feel free to mix and match different beer styles and citrus-based mixers to create your own personalized version. Whether you prefer a zesty grapefruit radler or a tangy raspberry shandy, the variations are endless and provide a world of flavor exploration.


It’s important to remember that shandies are meant to be enjoyed as a leisurely drink. They offer a refreshing and lighter alternative to straight beer, making them the perfect option for social gatherings or as a refreshing beverage on a warm day.


So, the next time you’re in the mood for a unique and flavorful beverage, don’t hesitate to give one of these popular variations of shandies a try. Cheers to exploring the world of beer and lemonade in harmony!


Benefits and Drawbacks of Shandies

Shandies have gained popularity for a reason – they offer a range of benefits that make them a favored choice for many. However, like any beverage, they also come with a few drawbacks. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of enjoying a refreshing shandy:

  1. Refreshment: Shandies are incredibly refreshing, making them a perfect choice for hot summer days or after physical activities. The combination of beer and lemonade creates a thirst-quenching beverage that cools you down and keeps you hydrated.
  2. Lighter Alcohol Content: Shandies typically have a lower alcohol content compared to straight beer. The addition of lemonade dilutes the beer’s strength, making shandies a more approachable and sessionable option for those who prefer a milder alcoholic drink.
  3. Appealing to Non-Beer Drinkers: Some individuals may not enjoy the bitterness of beer on its own. However, the sweet and tangy flavors of lemonade in shandies can help mask the bitterness and make the beverage more enjoyable for those who are not typically beer drinkers.
  4. Versatility: Shandies offer endless opportunities for creativity. The combination of beer and lemonade allows for varied flavor combinations, allowing you to experiment and create your own unique shandies with different types of beer, citrus juices, or mixers.
  5. Pairs Well with Food: Shandies are versatile when it comes to food pairing. The bright and refreshing flavors of shandies complement a wide range of dishes, from light salads and seafood to grilled meats and spicy fare.
  1. Diluted Beer Flavor: The addition of lemonade to the beer can dilute the intensity and overall flavor profile of the beer. This may not appeal to beer purists who enjoy the distinct flavors and nuances of different beer styles.
  2. Masking of Beer Characteristics: The sweetness of the lemonade can sometimes mask the unique characteristics of certain beer styles. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast who enjoys exploring the complex flavors of different brews, you may find that shandies diminish some of those nuances.
  3. Preference Variability: The ideal ratio of beer to lemonade in a shandy can vary from person to person. While one person may prefer a more balanced blend, another may lean towards a stronger beer presence. Finding the perfect ratio to suit everyone’s taste can be a challenge when serving shandies for a group.
  4. Potential for Oversweetness: Depending on the sweetness of the lemonade used, shandies can sometimes become overly sweet, especially if the beer used has residual sweetness. It’s important to find the right balance to avoid a cloying or unbalanced flavor profile.

Despite these drawbacks, it’s worth noting that shandies have a wide appeal and offer a refreshing and enjoyable drinking experience. Whether you choose to embrace the benefits or consider the drawbacks, shandies continue to be a popular beverage choice for those seeking a lighter and more refreshing take on beer.


How to Make Your Own Shandy

Making your own shandy is a fun and creative way to experiment with flavors and enjoy a unique beverage. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you make your own refreshing shandy:

  1. Select Your Beer: Start by choosing a beer that pairs well with lemonade. Lighter beer styles, such as lagers, pilsners, or wheat beers, tend to work best in shandies. However, don’t be afraid to try different beer styles to create your desired flavor profile.
  2. Choose Your Lemonade: Next, select your lemonade of choice. You can opt for store-bought lemonade or go the extra mile and make your own fresh lemonade for a more vibrant and authentic taste. Consider the sweetness and tartness levels of the lemonade to balance it with the beer.
  3. Measure the Ratio: The key to a great shandy is finding the right balance between beer and lemonade. The ratio depends on personal preference, but a typical starting point is equal parts beer and lemonade. Feel free to adjust the ratio to your liking, whether you prefer a stronger beer presence or a more balanced blend.
  4. Preparation: Begin by chilling your beer and lemonade in the refrigerator to ensure their temperature is cold. This helps to enhance the refreshing nature of the shandy. You can also chill your glass before pouring the shandy to keep it colder for longer.
  5. Pour and Mix: Start by pouring the desired amount of beer into your glass. Leave enough space at the top for the lemonade. Carefully pour the lemonade into the beer, stirring gently to incorporate the flavors without causing excessive foam. Take a moment to admire the beautiful blend of colors created by the beer and lemonade.
  6. Taste and Adjust: Once the shandy is mixed, take a taste test. If you find the balance of flavors to be too strong or weak, feel free to adjust by adding more beer or lemonade accordingly. Everyone’s taste preferences differ, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it perfect for you!
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Your homemade shandy is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve it immediately, as shandies are best enjoyed fresh to preserve their carbonation and flavors. Sip and savor the delightful combination of beer and lemonade, relishing in the refreshing and harmonious taste.

Remember, making your own shandy is a creative process, so don’t be afraid to try different beer styles, citrus-based mixers, or even add your own twist with garnishes like fresh herbs or fruit slices. Enjoy the experience of crafting your personalized shandy and discovering the perfect blend that suits your taste buds.


Whether you’re hosting a gathering, relaxing in the backyard, or simply looking for a unique and refreshing drink, making your own shandy adds a touch of excitement to your beverage repertoire.


Pairing Shandies with Food

Shandies are not only enjoyable on their own, but they also make a delightful companion to a variety of foods. The bright and refreshing flavors of shandies can enhance and complement different dishes, creating a harmonious dining experience. Here are some suggestions for pairing shandies with food:

  • Seafood: Shandies pair exceptionally well with seafood dishes. The citrusy notes of the lemonade in a shandy can complement the delicate flavors of fish, shrimp, or scallops. Try pairing a crisp lager shandy with grilled fish or a radler with a seafood ceviche.
  • Salads: A light and refreshing shandy can be a wonderful choice to enjoy alongside a salad. The combination of beer and lemonade provides a cleansing effect that complements the fresh and crisp qualities of the salad. Consider a wheat beer shandy with a citrusy vinaigrette-dressed salad or a panaché with a summer fruit salad.
  • Grilled Meats: Shandies have enough substance to stand up to the bold flavors of grilled meats. The citrusy sweetness can help cut through the smokiness and richness of grilled meats like burgers, sausages, or barbecue. Try pairing an amber ale shandy with a juicy burger or a citrus-infused shandy with grilled chicken.
  • Spicy Foods: The refreshing nature of shandies makes them an excellent choice for pairing with spicy foods. The sweetness and carbonation can help cool and soothe the palate, balancing out the heat. Consider a radler or panaché with spicy tacos, curry dishes, or even spicy wings.
  • Cheeses: Shandies can complement a wide range of cheeses. The lively flavors of the lemonade can bring out the tanginess in aged cheeses or contrast with the creaminess of soft cheeses. Pair a lager shandy with a sharp cheddar or a wheat beer shandy with a tangy goat cheese.
  • Desserts: Shandies can even be enjoyed with desserts. The citrusy and effervescent qualities can add a refreshing contrast to sweet treats. Consider pairing a radler with fruity desserts like lemon tarts or a chocolate stout shandy with rich chocolate desserts.

Remember, food and drink pairing is subjective, and personal preferences play a significant role. Experimentation is encouraged to discover your own favorite shandy and food combinations. Don’t hesitate to try new flavors and explore the endless possibilities of pairing shandies with different cuisines.


When in doubt, follow the general guideline of complementing flavors. Look for flavor connections or contrasts that enhance the overall dining experience. Ultimately, the goal is to create a harmony between the refreshing qualities of the shandy and the flavors of the food, resulting in a pleasurable and well-balanced meal.


So, the next time you enjoy a delicious shandy, consider accompanying it with a dish that complements its flavors. Let your taste buds embark on a culinary adventure of flavors, and elevate your dining experience with the delightful combination of shandies and food.


The Future of Shandies

As the culinary and beverage landscape continues to evolve, so does the future of shandies. The popularity of this refreshing beverage has continued to grow, and the possibilities for innovation and creativity are endless. Here are a few potential trends and developments that may shape the future of shandies:

  1. Craft Shandies: With the rise of craft breweries and the growing interest in unique and experimental flavors, we can expect to see more craft breweries developing their own versions of shandies. These craft shandies may feature local or seasonal ingredients, utilizing different beer styles and mixers to create innovative and exciting flavor combinations.
  2. Low Alcohol or Non-Alcoholic Shandies: As the demand for low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages continues to rise, we can anticipate the emergence of shandies with lower alcohol content or entirely alcohol-free options. This allows individuals who prefer milder beverages or who choose to abstain from alcohol to still enjoy the refreshing and flavorful experience of a shandy.
  3. International Influence: As shandies gain global recognition, we can expect to see more regional variations emerging from different cultures around the world. These variations may incorporate local citrus flavors, indigenous ingredients, or even unique mixers that reflect the culinary traditions of their respective regions.
  4. Collaborations and Flavored Shandies: With the increasing popularity of collaborations between breweries and other beverage companies, we may see more collaborations specifically focused on shandies. These collaborations could involve the infusion of different flavors such as fruits, herbs, or even botanicals to create enticing and innovative shandy experiences.
  5. Creative Garnishes and Presentations: Shandies offer plenty of opportunities for creative garnishes and eye-catching presentations. Expect to see bartenders and home enthusiasts experimenting with unique garnishes such as citrus slices, fresh herbs, or even edible flowers to elevate the overall visual appeal and enhance the taste experience.
  6. Shandies Beyond Beer and Lemonade: While beer and lemonade are the traditional base for shandies, the future may bring experimentation with other base beverages. We could see the incorporation of cider, wine, or even seltzers as alternative options, expanding the possibilities for shandies and appealing to a wider range of preferences.

Overall, the future of shandies is bright and exciting. As more people embrace these refreshing beverages and the demand for unique and flavorful options continues to grow, the world of shandies is poised for further exploration, innovation, and delightful surprises.


Whether it’s the emergence of craft shandies, the incorporation of unique flavors, or the influence of different cultures, shandies will continue to captivate our taste buds and offer a refreshing twist on traditional beer enjoyment. So, raise a glass and toast to the exciting future of shandies!



Shandies bring a delightful and refreshing twist to the world of beverages, combining the flavors of beer and lemonade in a harmonious blend. Whether you’re sipping on a traditional shandy, exploring regional variations like radlers or panachés, or even crafting your own unique concoctions, shandies offer a versatile and enjoyable drinking experience.


The history of shandies dates back centuries, originating from the United Kingdom and spreading across Europe and beyond. What started as a way to create a lighter and more approachable beer option has evolved into a global phenomenon, captivating taste buds and quenching thirsts around the world.


The art of mixing beer and lemonade lies in finding the perfect balance of flavors, creating a refreshing beverage that is both thirst-quenching and satisfying. The versatility of shandies allows for creativity and personalization, from the choice of beer and lemonade to the ratio and even the addition of unique garnishes.


Shandies offer a range of benefits, including their refreshing nature, lower alcohol content, and ability to appeal to both beer and non-beer drinkers alike. However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as the dilution of beer flavors or masking of certain beer characteristics.


When it comes to pairing shandies with food, the possibilities are endless. From seafood and salads to grilled meats and desserts, the bright and refreshing flavors of shandies complement a wide range of dishes, enhancing the overall dining experience.


Looking ahead, the future of shandies is filled with innovation and creative possibilities. Craft breweries will continue to experiment with unique flavors and collaborations, while the influence of different cultures and the rise of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic options will shape the shandy landscape.


In conclusion, shandies offer a delightful and refreshing twist on beer enjoyment, combining the best of both worlds – the crispness of beer and the tangy sweetness of lemonade. Whether you savor a traditional shandy or venture into the exciting world of regional variations and homemade creations, the experience of drinking a shandy is sure to quench your thirst and tickle your taste buds. So, grab a glass, mix up your favorite shandy, and enjoy the delightful journey of flavors and refreshment.