Shake up a shandy with local craft beer
Eating & Drinking

Shake up a shandy with local craft beer

Nowadays, a shandy is a blend of beer with any nonalcoholic beverage, but the original formulation, hailing from 19th-century England, was strictly comprised of beer and ginger ale or ginger beer. The term shandy itself is a shortening of “shandygaff,” which first appeared in print in 19th-century England. Not even the fine folks at Merriam-Webster have been able to untangle the mysterious etymology of that weird and wonderful word.

The Germans later got in on the fun with the “radler” – their take on the shandy – involving beer and lemon soda. The word “Radler” in German means “bicyclist.” While its exact provenance is unknown, according to local legend, the invention of the radler is credited to a 1920s innkeeper by the name of Franz Kugler. As the story goes, Kugler’s inn was situated on a popular bike route and on one fine June day, he was overwhelmed by hordes of cyclists seeking refreshment. As his thirsty patrons quickly made their way through his beer supplies, Kugler had a stroke of genius to prevent running dry – he cut his pilsner with overstocked lemon soda he had on hand.

Over time, both the shandy and radler have seen countless variations, the only limitation now is your imagination. We’re serving up a little inspiration to quench your thirst – three beer cocktail recipes using unique offerings from three National Capital craft brewers – Tooth and Nail Brewing Company, Spark Beer, and Beyond the Pale Brewing Company.

If you’re seeking something at a lower-ABV, leave out the hard stuff and only mix in the beer and non-alcoholic ingredients. And you’ll want to mix up some of this Thai Chili Syrup as it is key in two of the three below recipes.

Thai Chili Syrup
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup water
– 1-2 red Thai chilies, minced

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is fully dissolved.
Cool to room temperature and strain off solids.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks

Two views of the Rousing Performance shandy. Photography by Yvonne Langen/Taste and Tipple

A Rousing Performance
This concoction is inspired by the classic Americano cocktail (Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda). The Rabble Rouser American India Pale from Tooth and Nail delivers a wellbalanced hoppiness with flavours of peach, mango, and pine. It has an assertive but pleasant bitter finish that adds structure to this shandy.

– 1 oz Aperol
– 1 oz sweet vermouth
– 1 oz grapefruit juice
– 6 oz Tooth and Nail Rabble Rouser
– Garnish: grapefruit twist

Add first three ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled highball glass.
Top with Tooth and Nail Rabble Rouser, stir well to combine.
Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Passion Project
The Even Downtown Pink Guava+Passionfruit Bottle from Spark Beer on Somerset is bursting with tropical goodness. This aged sour beer explodes with pink guava and passionfruit. Combined with reposado tequila, passionfruit, lime, and a spicy Thai chili syrup, the Passion Project is a vacation in a glass.

– 1½ oz passionfruit juice
– 1 oz lime juice
– ½ oz Thai chili syrup
– 1 oz reposado tequila (optional)
– 6 oz Spark Beer Even Downtown Pink Guava+Passionfruit
– Garnish: cilantro bouquet

Add first four ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into an icefilled highball glass.
Top with Spark Beer Even Downtown Pink Guava+Passionfruit, stir well to combine.
Garnish with a bouquet of fresh cilantro.
Serve with a straw.

Left: Pink Fuzz, Purple Haze. Right: The Passion Project. Yvonne Langen/Taste and Tipple

Pink Fuzz, Purple Haze
Pink Fuzz is a Grapefruit American Wheat Beer made with a what-forward brew, hopped with American hops to impart a strong citrus flavour and finished with zest from only the juiciest grapefruits. All the zested grapefruit are then donated to local Food Banks.

– 2 oz chilled hibiscus tea
– 1 oz pineapple juice
– 1 oz white rum (optional)
– 1/3 oz Thai chili syrup (recipe follows)
– 4 oz Beyond The Pale Pink Fuzz
– Garnish: two pineapple leaves

Add first four ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube.
Top with Beyond The Pale Pink Fuzz, stir well to combine.
Garnish with two pineapple leaves.