Dandy Shandy: The Origins of Beer Cocktails

Mixing spirit or juices with beer has long been common practice, but how did this popular libation come to be?

Born in Britain
From across the pond and here in the United States, some variation of the modern day shandy has been sipped and enjoyed the world across for centuries. Historians commonly trace the shandy back to 19th century Britain when a drink called The Rich Man’s Sandy Gaff was widely sipped by the population. This shandy was a mixture of both champagne and ale. And for those who could not afford bubbly, ginger beer or lemonade was a common substitute. Others cite that shandy first made its debut during the reign of Henry VIII, as historians claim that the King of England came up with the concoction as a tonic. While its origins are certainly murky, one thing is clear. The shandy has widespread staying power. Across the globe drinkers have created their own variations of shandy, including in Germany, where radler is commonly enjoyed.

Shandies, The Twisted Way
We’ve put our own twist on the shandy. At Twisted Grove we offer five different varieties of the libation. Our Southern Style is made with an amber ale, brandy, lemonade and is sweetened with a touch of peach. The Homegrown features locally-brewed Four Peaks Sun Bru in addition to vodka and grapefruit. Made with Founder’s Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, the Dark & Shandy is a stronger sipper with rum and ginger beer. Our Blueberry Lemon combines Bell's Oberon with St. Germain, blueberry and lemon as its name illudes. And finally, the Victory Lap with Prima Pils, Patron, lemon, agave and jalapeno round out our list of shandies with a bit of regional flare and no shortage of southwestern kick.

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